Resistance to healthy routines is natural and normal. Especially when it's time to go back to work or school after enjoying summer vacation, a plan can get you started, but resistance is a reliable rebel that covertly shows up to derail even the most solid plans and routines! Learn how to identify the unsuspecting ways resistance causes interference and get tips to help stop the sabotage so you can maintain momentum with your healthy habits and routines!
Resistance is an opposing force that shows up whenever we move from a lower level to a higher level when we are ready to rise. Thoughts in our heads are at work, trying to defeat us because our brain works to defend the 'status quo.
Our brain works to protect our current lifestyle and how we've been living. Essentially the brain is content to continue living with the limitations we've unintentionally created for ourselves.
That's what keeps us stuck in a loop on repeat. Current habits and routines are familiar, predictable, and, most of all, comfortable.
The worst thing that can happen is to stay trapped in a risk-free, comfortable bubble because we never realize our potential and what is waiting for us outside our comfort zone.
"You worked hard today; you deserve a break! Take the day off!"
Sometimes this is true, but on repeat, this type of self-talk is resistance disguised as "self-care." It's the pushback to what's easy, familiar, and comfortable: like comfort food and the comfort of the couch, both have a strong pull.
It's normal to look for a "magic pill" or procedure to get us the desired results. The "pleasure-seeking brain" wants to avoid the work it takes. It demands the "answers to the test" instead of learning the material. But the learning and training of the brain are all essential and part of the process to achieve and maintain permanent change. Unfortunately, shortcuts are sabotage in the long run.
Procrastinating and postponing are resistance to action. I can always find something else I'd rather do than work out. It's easy to waste away the day keeping busy with other things. Competing priorities require a choice. Not making time to prioritize healthy habits are all forms of resistance too!
Waiting, hesitating, and searching for the "best plan or program" isn't action; it's procrastination. Don't let it fool you!
Resistance also seeks certainty. It creates doubt and causes us to second guess if we're making the right choices by asking questions.
"How long is this going to take? How much work is involved?"
These questions challenge our enthusiasm and motivation as we continue to repeat the challenging work of healthy habits because they conjure up self-doubt and uncertainty.
"Is it worth it? Is this worth the time, money, and effort? Is this working?"
We've all been conditioned to look for a guarantee. If we're going to "suffer" or experience discomfort or pain, or if something is going to require us to "spend" energy, time, or money, we want a guarantee. We want to be sure we'll be better off. That's why, when there isn't certainty or a guarantee, it's normal to lose interest. It's not as appealing.
Businesses commonly guarantee satisfaction, which is a feeling, not an outcome. Because we can't control outcomes, we only control actions. It's a universal truth we all know. That's why there aren't always guarantees. And we know that results commonly depend on our effort and other variables we can't always control.
That's why we stay in the job we hate; with a boss, we can't stand. Because we know that if we leave and go somewhere else, it might not improve; in fact, it might be worse. But when it comes to taking action to improve our health, one thing that is guaranteed, "no action or change" will lead to further decline and perpetuate continued dissatisfaction.
The best strategy is to shift away from uncertainty and self-doubt to confirm what's true. I tell myself:
"I'm not stuck in my body; I am free to take action to improve. Action requires a consistently repeated and maintained effort to result in change. I'm patient because positive changes aren't always visible and can be imperceptible. I'm confident that every positive choice and action is valuable to my health and happiness."
Commit to taking action and commit to yourself. Decide in advance to "burn the boats" so there's no going back.
"No matter what happens today, I'm worth it, and I will make this investment in myself to improve and progress. No matter what happens, I will find a way to keep working and make healthy choices."
The commitment to stay determined pulls you forward past resistance. That's freedom! When you surrender to every obstacle, then you lose your freedom to create the life you want for yourself.
Your brain will rely on the fact that in the past, you'd "give in and do what's easy and comfortable and go off-plan. Which is why the brain will push and persist. It will magnify and amplify the feelings of resistance to the point where it feels intolerable. Just like a pesky toddler throwing a tantrum, it's normal to want to give in to make the complaining and whining stop.
Resistance will reappear. I'd say, at least once a day, I experience complaints from my brain.
"I don't feel like …whatever…working out, eating healthy…you name it."
When these thoughts and ideas show up, I know why it's there and how to respond. A big clue: "I don't feel like..." is the universal signature of resistance.
There's nothing wrong with you. We are all programmed to avoid pain and seek pleasure at a biological level. Knowing these facts about the certainty and control we seek makes it easier to keep going when we feel the struggle. It's real. And it's okay; accept it.
Determination requires reinforcement and practice. Every time you decide to be responsible and stay on plan, that's a "win"! Now you're one step closer to breaking the habit of giving in. And you're one step closer to gaining positive momentum and making progress. Over time, you'll start to see the results and ultimately regain your health.
When you give in…because, on occasion, it will happen; don't give up. Don't quit. It's a moment. A mistake is a moment. The transformation will bring turbulence, but it doesn't need to result in a free-fall crash. Never quit, never surrender your freedom to choose change, and never give up on yourself or your health.
As a coach, that's what I do! I provide support and encouragement to help you along the way! Watch this short video to learn more about how I work for you as your coach!
Listen to these episodes of my podcast for FREE and learn more about Healthy Habits and Routines, Let's Go! Episode 13. Episode 14 is all about how to Push Past Procrastination to Get Results! Episode 20, Start Your Day off Right, and Episode 23, Maintain Motivation.
Members: NEW Resource! Learn "How to Plan & Prioritize Daily Routines."
Members learn more and watch the videos in the Program Video Library for Members to help build Motivation with Proof & Evidence to help make grit and determination. Take the workshop to build the skills you need too! Then move on and watch the rest of the videos in this section in the order shown: Motivation Reasons Why and Motivation 3 Small Wins!
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