By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Ever hear of, or watch, the classic movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? It’s pretty old school so let me catch you up if it’s in the foggy recesses of your brain or, perhaps, you have no idea what I am talking about. The premise of this movie is a weatherman with a bad attitude, played by Bill Murray, is reluctantly sent to cover a small town Groundhog Day festival; in a strange twist of events, he ends up reliving the same day and events over and over and over again. The cyclic redundancy starts to drive him bonkers, which is rather entertaining.
Here’s the food for thought...do your goals ever feel this way? Well, maybe not the goal but the steps needed to get that goal? That you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again? This hamster wheel of will I ever get there?!?
We like to keep it real here at SoulShine Life Connections. If you have felt this way, you are doing everything right. Huh? Thanks, that was rather uninspiring. Stick with me a second! Here’s the thing, a well-orchestrated plan towards your goal should consist of simple steps or actions that you repeat over and over again so that they become a habit. Once they become a habit, you no longer have to think about them...they are just what you do and are just who you are.
Let's pause a second to play “would you rather” to help illustrate the point here. Would you rather have to think about choosing a healthy beverage or just turn to water? Would you rather have to think about exercising or just have it be part of your daily routine? Would you rather meticulously pick and choose healthy alternatives or just know what fuels you best? You get the point, right? A good goal with a well-executed action plan puts you on a repetitive cycle to not only get you to your goal but also create the necessary habits to keep you there. You aren’t trying to be healthy...you are a healthy person. You aren’t trying to exercise...you are an athlete or runner or yogi. You aren’t trying to read more...you are a reader. The goal is achieved...you just are these things you used to dream to be!
On the flip side, I also understand that it can get b-o-r-i-n-g in the process or, worse yet, in the maintenance phase after you have attained it. This boredom, especially without evidence you are gaining on that goal, may lead you to giving up or returning to unserving habits. And, that’s the last thing any of us want!
Back to Bill Murray and Groundhog Day...know what he did? After he realized he was stuck in this potentially maddening cycle, he started to mix it up a bit and went off-script. He tried different things...sometimes even crazy things. I can only assume for two reasons. One, because he was getting bored with the monotony. And, two, because he knew no matter how badly he screwed up, he got a do-over the next day. And, guess what? He found some new actions and behaviors that produced results that he enjoyed more than others...actions he never would have known existed if he didn’t just try.
That’s what you need to do on your quest towards your goals, DreamChaser! Get creative and mix it up a little with your action steps. Try new recipes or new foods. Try new workout routines or apps. Listen to a book or watch a favorite show while on the treadmill. Find an app to track that new habit. Schedule inspiring or funny reminders to pop up on your phone. Spice it up! Some of these trials will end up in failures...that’s okay because you get a do-over tomorrow! But, I guarantee that some of these trials will end up being those sought after “ah-ha” moments where everything comes together and it just clicks. Guess what? The good news is you can do those over, too!
Here are the takeaways I don’t want you to miss…
Remember, the point of your goals is to become that which you seek to improve. This is done best by establishing new habits. But, you can’t forget to infuse the fun, which is the key ingredient to keeping these going long term. Your habit may be to exercise every day but you can change up how you exercise to keep it fun, fresh, and interesting. There’s nothing wrong with the Groundhog Day goal cycle as long as you ditch the drudgery of monotony and embrace the freedom to try new things. Either way, you get a do-over...might as well make it fun and interesting in the process!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.