Why Do We Resist Change?


Whether its the inauguration of our new president, a Corporate restructuring, or just sticking to a new diet plan, we humans HATE change!  As a health & wellness coach who works to help people tweak their diet and lifestyle habits, I see this all the time. 

Change is scary and people do not like to feel a loss of control, a feeling that they are losing power. For a new health and wellness plan to work it MUST leave room to give you choices. A diet plan that is extremely strict and rigid, will eventually lead you to break into the chip bag, if it doesn't give you some flexibility to have power over what you eat. Thats why I always offer my clients healthy alternative options to their deepest cravings: frozen banana "nice" cream to replace sugar filled brands, spiralized veggies with meat sauce to satisfy those heavy pasta cravings, and morning smoothie bowls filled with veggies, berries and topped with nut butter to resemble the taste of their childhood PB&J. 

We also hate uncertainty, and as they say, "Better the devil you know, than the devil you don't know", so, for example, my client who drinks 3 diet Cokes a day would rather stick with that, than deal with the uncertainty of substituting in some green tea. Only when the doctor diagnoses a problem related to drinking too much soda, will the fear and uncertainty of the illness push them to change this habit.

Routines are very comforting, we are on auto-pilot. Change makes us stop and consider what is going on. Too much change all at once causes too much chaos and confusion in one's mind. Thats why I don't have a client give up gluten, sugar, and dairy all at one time. If your nutrition plan requires too many changes to your routine, you wont stick with it. Make one change, stick with it until it becomes automatic and a habit,before you introduce a new one. Stop grabbing a bagel to go for breakfast, and instead bring a yogurt and granola to eat at your desk. Start there, once that becomes natural them you can add more changes to your lunch and dinner meals. 

Find support during times of change, a friend, a colleague, your spouse, your religious community. Accepting support will strengthen your resilience and commitment to any changes your are going through, and having people to share our successes, struggles and fears with, makes it easier and less intimidating. 

Harmoniously yours,