What exactly should you do first when your progress has stagnated and you don't know where to turn? Other than the obvious answer of asking for help, here are some guidelines on what to do next.
Continuing to do the exact same thing leads us to getting the same result. The step that us humans get caught in however, is trying to do more than one thing at the same time right off of the bat.
Instantly deciding to cut out all sugar containing foods, going from the couch to training 5 days a week at the gym, and choosing to get 8 hours of sleep from your normal 4 hours rarely lead to long term permanent progress.
Focus on one thing that you feel at least 9 out of 10 confident in.
Some examples of this would be adding 1 glass of water to your normal daily routine each day. Or going for a 15 minute walk twice a week.
Both of these strategies are habits and all habits can be scaled up or down, based on how confident you are that you can do them. Remember we want a "pshh, are you serious? Of course I can do that!" response to our habits. If we aren't there yet, no worries, we just scale down the habit.
Be Ready to Be Wrong
More often than not you will be faced with the decision of either holding on to a belief or choosing to drop it.
I can not tell you how many people struggle with this, because they are unable to recognize that they are choosing to hold on to a belief about food, exercise or themselves, simply because a health professional told them that it was "true".
I've talked about this before. If you are not seeing results, it is because you are not taking the correct actions. And almost all of our actions are derived from what we choose to believe.
Here's a great example.
Say a 55 year old woman was told by her personal trainer that carbs are bad for her and that she should avoid them in order to lose weight.
By subconsciously choosing to believe that carbs are bad for her, the woman takes the action of avoiding all carbs. For a while the woman may lose weight but then her weight loss suddenly stagnates. Pile on top the daily low energy from having zero carbs and also a deep underlying anger about how she can't have any, but other people can and you are at a crossroads. Hold on to my belief or drop it.
The result (current weight loss plateau) can be directly traced back to the optional belief that "carbs are bad".
We must be able to recognize biases and dogmatic thinking while at the same time being willing to drop them in order to change our results.
Finally, do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking the right types of questions help us get the right answers. Have an open mind and remember to start small.