Is New Years Another Groundhog Day?

It’s that time of year again!

The holidays have snuck up on us and January is right around the corner.

Where did the time go?

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. The expectations of family members and the formalities of celebration are hardwired into our nervous system. Holidays are emotionally driven and we get pulled into old patterns of obligation and agreements stemming from childhood, inherited from our families. There is a lot of shame that can surface around the holidays which can reinforce old patterns of behavior, making lasting change elusive.

What happened to the resolutions? The commitments to losing weight and getting “healthy”?

In the movie Groundhog Day, meteorologist Phil Connors, a bit of an egotist, gets trapped in a time loop. No matter how he tries to escape from the small town of Punxsutawney, PA, he still wakes up to the same day over and over. Groundhog Day.

His attempts to leave stem from his ego-centered perspective. Frustrated, he tries to change everyone and everything around him, never considering that maybe he is responsible for his dilemma.  Blaming his situation and frustration on others is his usual pattern and approach.

The seminal moment comes when he tries to save a man from dying and no matter what he does, he cannot change the outcome. Perhaps this is the moment he realizes that life is short and final and perhaps the answer lies within himself.

How does this story have relevance?

It is said that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

Every year we have goals of losing weight, starting an exercise program, getting healthy. We strive for change in the most immediate of surroundings, our bodies. The problem cannot be solved by repeating the same pattern every year. The problem lies deeper.

Why is this so dang difficult? If we continue to find ourselves back in the same situation, with pretty much the same problems, it is an indication that we have a value conflict. We want the results, but are not willing to make the internal changes and take the action required. Our actions inform us of where our values truly lie. Not in what we say, but in what we do.

Phil's actions came from a place of fear, as do our New Year’s resolutions. We will lose weight for a wedding, a graduation, for the high school reunion, bikini season, to look good for others or when the doctor says you must! These motivations are based in fear. Fear of what others may think, fear of being alone and fear of death.

The best motivation is to do it for yourself, do it so that you have the best life. To live and to give. Otherwise you will keep reliving your version of Groundhog day whether you are aware of it or not.

If you feel some resentment about these statements, that they are judgmental or shaming, or if you’re jumping to excuses of “it’s not the right time”, “I have work”, “the kids...”, “it costs money”, “I can’t because...” The becauses will continue to show up, if you let them.

These are fear based reactions, signs that you are caught in the pattern.

I challenge you to be the change.