Groundhog Day: Time to Break Out of the Loop

Let’s talk about Groundhog Day. No, not that one; the movie version, of course. And of all the days in the year, today is perfect for getting yourself out of the loop your life may have become. Perhaps you’ve fallen off of the New Year’s resolutions wagon, or maybe you didn’t even get started, which, too, is perfectly alright.

But since today is an iconic day, here is some inspiration we can take away from Bill Murray’s portrayal of Phil in the classic Groundhog Day and apply to our own lives: 

Let go of being “stuck” in your ways – While habits and convictions are great and help ground us as people with specific interests and clear desires, we should examine ourselves from a critical standpoint from time to time. Are there habits that don’t bother you but are somehow damaging to your body and mind? If you can, identify some areas in your life where being comfortable has set in a bit too much – it’s time to shake things up. Don’t shy away from areas that need improvement, and break out of your hibernating mode or complacent way of being. Set goals for yourself to grow, take risks, challenges, and don’t be afraid to fail. If you wanted to lose the weight but didn’t get to do it yet, start today. Free yourself from the habits that have turned your life into a repetitive rut. 

Your actions matter, and they have consequences  While stuck in a perpetual loop, Phil realizes he doesn’t suffer from any impact his actions might have on himself or those around him. This, in turn, leads him down a path or recklessness and (at times absurd and amusing) mayhem. The same analogy can be applied to our own lives: We need accountability. It may be tough for many of us to set goals for ourselves we actually stick to (because let’s face it, we can always fudge our own deadlines and due dates), and that’s why finding someone to help us along in the process is crucial. Phil doesn’t just keep going doing whatever he wants nonstop; after an interlude, the repetition gets him down. He turns to Rita, a romantic interest, to get sympathy, understanding, and, ultimately, the strength to get him out of his endlessly recurring cycle.

Patience…and the art of being less frustrated – I know that not getting immediate results once you set your mind to something is incredibly discouraging. And while not seeing the outcomes we desire right away is daunting, it’s important not to view that as a setback. After all, great things come to those who wait – and give their all – in the process. As Phil learns, being surly, dismissive, and rigid in his daily life doesn’t get him anywhere productive. In fact, it’s the learning from the relentless, endless repetition that gets him to see the downside of how he really is, and he finally becomes ready for change. 

So regardless of whether or not today is the day we’ll have another six weeks of winter, don’t wait until winter’s end to break the loop!

Oh, and one more important message: “Don’t drive angry!”