Are You Going Nowhere Fast? Here’s One Way To Begin Eliminating Stagnancy!
Written by Matthew Ryan, LMSW for Bike and Brain
Have you ever thought that maybe there was more to your life? Do you sometimes feel like you’re stuck in a boring cycle? Does life ever feel mundane? It’s ok if the answer to these questions is yes. That is the case for a lot of people. Do you want this to change? Hopefully your answer to this is also yes!
If you have been following our blog over the past few weeks you will have read about struggles, passions, and motivation. These are all aspects of humanity that we must address if we want to better ourselves. Everyone is going to encounter struggle and it will be important to understand how to overcome this. Additionally, a strong sense of passion and motivation helps to live a satisfying life. However, one thing we have not addressed is stagnancy! That’s the feeling of going nowhere fast!
Stagnancy is defined as a “lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement” (Dictionary.com). Stagnancy is a struggle, but it’s unlike any other. Why is this? This is because stagnancy doesn’t manifest itself in a downward spiral or a tangible loss. A well-to-do person with a big house and good job may be stagnant. Stagnancy is not the stereotypical struggle of losing something, rather, it is the lack of gain. Even more surprising is that stagnancy may feel safe to some people who fear change. However, it will eventually lead to dull and deadened lives. Who wants that?
I want to bring to light one way to begin alleviating stagnancy. That’s right, just one!
1. Set and Achieve One Simple Goal Over The Next Week
Setting and achieving ONE single goal may be the spark that ignites the fire. This achievement may create a motivation to move forward and to break free from stagnancy. If we look at the simple concept of positive reinforcement (rewarding a behavior through praise or tangible rewards) you will understand that people respond well to this. You go to work because you get paid. You eat food because it tastes good. You drive a car because it transports you. The list is endless. You continue to do things if the reward of doing them is worth the effort The reward you get from achieving your one goal this week, whether it be joy, loss of weight, or a new friend, may reinforce your drive to eliminate stagnancy.
When we say simple goal we mean simple. For example, your goal could be something like preparing one home cooked meal, lifting weights for 30 consecutive minutes, initiating a single conversation with someone you don’t know, or waking up 20 minutes earlier than usual. Your goal NEEDS to be achievable. If not, you set yourself up for failure. In fact, this would be positive punishment (eliminating a behavior by introducing a negative stimulus i.e yelling, bad feelings, etc). If you set a goal that you can’t achieve feelings of failure and despair may decrease your motivation. This is the exact opposite of what you want.
Acting on pure and simple psychology it is safe to assume, to some degree of accuracy, that if you achieve your simple goal, you may be encouraged to continue this trend. This will be the upward trend to eliminate stagnancy.
What are you waiting for? Get going!