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Feb 02 2015

Doing the same things over and over

On this day in 1887, the first Groundhog Day is observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

On this day in 1887, the first Groundhog Day is observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:15

 

The 1993 movie Groundhog Day Bill Murray plays a news reporter, who is more than a bit of a jerk, is stuck in a temporal  loop in Punxsutawney where he lives the day over and over.  He finally figures out what is happening and works to improve himself and ultimately wins the love of Andie McDowell.

It’s a great movie.  Funny and romantic all at the same time.

It’s also practical in a way.  It tells us that by practicing or repeating an action over and over, we can improve our skills, and sometimes even become better people.

But what about those habits that aren’t helpful?  Those things we do repeatedly that don’t move us forward, but rather hold us back?

Why is it that we keep doing them?  For example:

Why does one stay up late surfing the Internet when work comes early?

And after staying up late, why does one keep hitting the snooze alarm instead of getting up to go to the gym?

Or why would one rationalize that just one more cookie couldn’t be that bad?

Or just one more glass of wine?

Or maybe why does one keep hitting refresh hoping that someone else will comment or someone else will email?

Those, of course, are just random examples I found on the web.

Or maybe it was on my Facebook page.  Sometimes the research gets fuzzy.

What is it in our human nature that keeps us doing the things that aren’t good for us, or perhaps avoiding the things that are?

Create your own list.  Trust me, mine has more than what’s listed above.

Breaking a habit takes discipline.  It takes work.

I’m not sure I know the answer.  But I do know that I’ve told myself when I screw up I just need to put that behind me and start over again.  Sort of like Bill Murray in the movie.

See the problem doesn’t really come when we do something we know or at least think we shouldn’t be doing.  The problem comes when we don’t recognize that and continue on doing the same thing.

Diet, exercise, work, relationships.  Pick your area of concern.

We’re human.  We make mistakes.

Sometimes we make them over and over.  Hopefully, we’ll learn from them.

In putting together this post I learned that for several years on Groundhog Day I’ve posted a recipe for cooking the varmint.  I’m not repeating that by posting it again today.

See?  I’m already learning.

I hope the groundhog behaves today because I’m ready for spring.

I’ll have no problem breaking the winter habit.


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2 comments

  1. Beth Dunnavant

    I loved this. It’s so true, and made me step back and take a look. I like to think I try to improve myself pretty consistently but yeah, the bad habits, some of them happen over and over again. I’m reading a book called “The Miracle Morning” in it the author suggests (insists) that hitting the snooze over and over is like saying “I hate my life and I’d rather lay here than get up and live.” Yup. I quit snoozing, of course I quit caffeine too some might call me radical. Happy Ground Hog Day!

  2. Vanessa Fletcher

    Too true about all of us, I assume. But especially resonating with me today. Can “fresh starts” get old?

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