Sometimes I feel that I have encountered just such a recalcitrant sheep when I try to make a change. I may think I want to change, but inside there is a steady resistance. The new year is a time many make resolutions about change. You rarely hear of anyone wanting to watch more television, spend more time on-line, eat more, exercise less or waste more time. These habits seem to sustain themselves! Resolutions usually target these patterns and propose reversing them.
“There’s the rub!” All those entrenched behaviors, like the sheep above, are perfectly content to stay put. They challenge me with the same expression of that animal–I dare you to make me move! I am reminded of a terrific song by blues master Keb Mo: “I like the old me better.” As he says “I had a lot more fun” before you got me on a self improvement campaign.
A body at rest likes to remain at rest. Sadly that rest results in less than ideal health consequences, hence the impetus for change. But let’s be real–there’s a lot to like about those unhealthy habits. You can tell that when 12 step speakers talk lovingly about their “before” self. Despite losing their jobs, their families, their self respect, they have a certain sentimental nostalgia about those times.
So change is hard, the rewards often pretty subtle and the sheep stares out at my resolutions challenging me daily. Nonetheless I plow ahead, one grumpy step at a time. The path to health needs to be paved with more than good intentions!