The 2nd Reason People Don't Change


“Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change,

not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.”

(George Leonard, Mastery)


I'll make this one brief: We try to change too much too soon.


Boosted by the prospect of actually entering the new life we've always craved, we launch into a whirlwind of changes. This is never more tempting than at the beginning of the year.


Three weeks in, however, and we're shocked by the level of resistance we encounter in nearly every area of our lives. Even the people who wanted us to change seem to sabotage our efforts ("Are you going to the gym again?" says the spouse who wanted you to get fitter.)


This is not because life is out to get you; it's because life ALWAYS seeks equilibrium. My first day in graduate school for Marriage & Family Therapy I was introduced to the word homeostasis. It is a process in the natural world of life constantly seeking balance, even as everything is constantly changing. It is a process bigger than any of us, and therefore makes us all susceptible.


James Clear rightly calls this the paradox of behavioral change, and he's got scores of articles that say more on this. Here's the gist: whenever we try to change too much too soon, we naturally wake up the powers of homeostasis, rising to resist our efforts and return things back to the way they were.


This doesn't make change impossible; it just makes it smaller and slower than we'd like. If we want to make a change, it usually has to be one single change done at a slow but steady pace. This will upset the equilibrium of our lives, but at a pace we can tolerate.


This is why I coach people through a 91-day process, focused on making just one change. (And tomorrow, I'll tell you more about the special opportunity, only available to Daily Pausers, to do just that.)


Peace begins with a pause,

Hal


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