Don’t Be a Groundhog

Repetition and routine are normal (and healthy) parts of daily life. But if your days are beginning to mirror scenes from Bill Murray’s film Groundhog Day, it may be time for a revamp.

What could possibly be stopping you? Deep down, you know: You’re afraid to do something that might make you uncomfortable. Also, it’s hard to change old habits.

But consider your rut as being more like a plateau, suggest authors Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, Ph.D. Beyond making life more interesting, you’re hindering yourself from achieving all sorts of goals—from losing weight to deepening your relationships to gaining greater success in business and more—by doing the same things over and over, they write in The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success.

Sullivan and Thompson define eight factors that contribute to these plateaus. In one instance, we simply stop growing because our minds and senses are dulled by sameness and routine. They call this example “immunity.”

So, what’s the solution? Try to recognize when you’re repeating the behavior and make a conscious choice to go for a different approach or technique, or just do something completely different. Take periodic breaks. Avoid perfectionism. Breathe. And get out of that rut.

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