JKLTip Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but find a goal and progress a little bit each day
Learning progressive overload can be helpful when working on goals. Progressive overload can help us learn in the best of times, but is all that much more important in difficult times.
Any time we face difficulties we will shrink, or we will grow. We won’t stay the same. Borrowing from the fitness industry we can use the term “progressive overload”. It is learning to add just the right amount of pain each day to maximize our gains.
It would be easy in a potentially depressing time like this current economic and social crisis to simply hide. The Coronavirus has forced all of us to make unique decisions. People are debating whether to be productive at this time, or simply focus on relaxing. I think the answer to that question is very contextual.
Can We Not Just Relax?
Any challenge offers an opportunity to re-evaluate, start a project and make some gains. It is important to be safe first and make sure your basic needs are met. That means being healthy all around first. But, beyond that, if you have any goals, this is a perfect time to make gains.
Otherwise, people who are goal-oriented and have ambition will look back on this time with regret. And regret is a very painful thing if we don’t at least try. But that’s just it. All we need to do is try. Not necessarily making massive success right now. Just trying in and of itself and progressing is all we should measure.
I think where people get into trouble is by making too many changes all at once. We also set ourselves up for failure if we pick the wrong projects. Or by putting too much pressure on ourselves. And, we can make things more stressful if we create hard, fast deadlines for our goals.
So What Does Progressive Overload Look Like?
In the sport and fitness industry, learning progressive overload is equal to “doing more over time”. It’s similar to the concept posed by “AA”. The idea that we should strive for progress each day, be it big, or tiny. We can not focus on being perfect when it comes to learning goals. We should focus on making some progress each day.
Progressive overload will never be linear because some days you will make miniature gains and some days big ones. But by adding progress, with daily consistency, two positive things happen. One, you maintain a positive mindset toward the activity itself. This helps with motivation and avoiding exhaustion. Two, you build compound interest which allows you to look back proudly on the time and avoid regret.
As humans we will always change, there is no need to worry about that. But, we will not change in a positive direction unless we decide to. If we leave it up to chance we will change in a negative direction. It’s too easy to fall into a comfort zone and plateau, or worse sabotage our goals.
You will face ups and downs. But that’s the fun thing. You need not worry about the results. Simply focus on what is important to you and making some, no matter how tiny, progress every day.