The dictionary defines a plateau as a state or level of little or no growth or decline; to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off. Does that describe any area of your life? Maybe spiritually, physically or relationally.
I have been working out for over 8 weeks now. It is a pretty intense program with a variety of exercises. I kind of felt like I was doing pretty well. I wasn’t sore anymore and I was able to keep up with most of the exercises. On Monday I did a new workout that I had not done yet. Those new exercises were a real challenge for me. I made it through the workout, but I could tell I was being pushed to a higher level of fitness. The next day I could feel the effects of the workout. I was sore and stiff in several areas of my body.
That soreness is an indication that my muscles have been stressed and that they are rebuilding and will be even stronger. Maybe you have been working out for a while doing the same thing. It might be running, walking, biking, basketball or whatever exercise machine you like. If you don’t change up your workouts from time to time your body gets used to it and you plateau.
To go to new levels physically, spiritually, relationally or emotionally you need to change up the way you are doing things.
To keep growing spiritually we need to keep progressing on that journey with God. Many people plateau spiritually because they are not experiencing God in new meaningful ways. Sometimes we get stuck in the same old routine, doing our favorite things.
Churches can also plateau by doing the same thing over and over again. Things that once worked well and where helpful are now just something to be checked off. Churches and individuals need to try some new things and keep it fresh by using some spiritual muscles you may not have used for a while.
So if you feel like you have plateaued spiritually, physically, relationally or emotionally here are some things you can do to get back on track:
- Get some help from a person that can coach you and encourage you – A personal trainer, counselor, executive coach, pastor etc.
- Talk to some people that are further ahead of you in whatever area you are plateaued.
- Try to do something you have not done before – A different workout, try a new sport, give more, volunteering at church or in the community, find a partner to train with, forgive, write some thank you notes to people that have influenced your life, read a book, write a story.
- Change up your routines – drive a different route to work, Stop and spend time praying in the middle of the day, do a random act of kindness, Fast for a day or three, confess your sin to a trusted friend, listen more than you talk, take a break from texting, facebook or the Internet.
- Be real – trying to fake it is the biggest way to plateau and start declining.