February 2nd is Groundhog Day. The tradition is that if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.
The 1993 movie Groundhog Day has Bill Murray playing a grumpy meteorologist who covers a story on Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Murray hates the town and its cheery residents, so when he gets struck living the same day again and again, it’s somewhat of a nightmare.
The interesting thing is that many of us experience our own Groundhog Day effect. We live out the same day after day. We repeat things again and again, even if they make us miserable and unhealthy. We want change and even promise ourselves, “Okay, so tomorrow I will do…” But actual change doesn’t happen because habits are so entrenched in our lives. Creating new ones feels particularly impossible, even though in our head, the new ideas look and feel great.
Four years ago, I knew there were some BIG changes I needed to make. I thought about them for months and finally I changed one thing. I moved offices from a shared space to my very own. Once I made one big change in my life, the resistance to change had been broken. That same month, I ended a long-term relationship and moved houses. While these changes were big ones, yours don’t need to be. Take a few minutes now to think about what changes you would like in your life. What changes in your life do you need to make so you aren’t experiencing your very own Ground Hog Day? More exercise? More fun? Less stress? Start a new hobby, get a new job, meet some new friends?
If making changes in your life is really hard, start small. Making a big change, such as finding a new job, can be scary, particularly if you have been in the same position for a long time. Start to shake things up, but in a gentle, non-threatening way. Don’t do anything about moving jobs until you feel inspired or excited. Start making changes in your life that are completely unrelated to the new job. Move some furniture around at home, try a new recipe, mix up your routine at the gym, order a different meal at your favourite restaurant, read a book by a new author. This way you are building up your “change muscle.” Your body and mind will become used to new and different things and then bigger changes will become easy and often fun and exciting.
Change is revitalizing, refreshing and it boosts your self-esteem and confidence. It can also make us happier and more youthful?
What small change are you going to implement tomorrow to break out of your Groundhog Day?