“Resisting Change”

Highland sheep 1974

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!

20 thoughts on ““Resisting Change”

  1. I never make resolutions. But I am still walking every day without fail. Mainly because I have to, for my dog. Two hours today, at a brisk pace despite the mud. At least 5 miles, maybe closer to 6.. It’s not a gym workout, but it’s better than nothing. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m smiling indulgently about your reluctance to change. When you are grumpy with yourself, lift your lips in a smile, even if it begins with a grimace. I’m pulling for you, and so are lots of others.


  3. I hear you. I don’t normally make resolutions but they are always there just beneath the surface ready to be thwarted; hopes for more exercise, healthier food choices, less sugar, blah, blah, blah.


  4. I like your fantasy list of resolutions, enough so that I may have to borrow a couple. Waste more time—that’s a classic!


  5. This is true, Elizabeth. It is hard to change behaviours and habits. I am already getting wound up about work and I only start back tomorrow. I must get those ear plugs for when I go to internal administrative meetings [smile]


    1. When faculty meetings got too much for me I used to take my cross stitch to keep my mind focused. That probably wouldn’t work in your case. Discreet earplugs will have to do.


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