Groundhog Day Syndrome: Five Ways to Stop Repeating Yourself


I’d like to show you how to stop repeating the same patterns every year, so that you can create new experiences for yourself. Otherwise, you might blow your paper trumpet on December 31st, hug and kiss everyone, and then go back to all the crappy situations you promised yourself you’d get out of. Do you want to live on repeat like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (without the touching lesson and romantic story)? I didn't think so. As a writer, I’m a big fan of writing things down. Ideas fill my notebooks, diaries and journals-as well as scrap pieces of paper and the backs of used envelopes. Even with the advent of iPhone apps I still prefer to take pen to paper. It’s more satisfying and makes things more real. This blog originally took shape in my lined paper booklet—but since you can't logistically come over and read it, I’ve transferred it here.

My favourite scribblings tend to end up in a “this is what I’ve learned” list-perfect for this time of year!

Here is my best prevention method for Groundhog Day syndrome:

  1. Take a blank writing canvas of any kind
    paper, computer, chalkboard, sand—whatever tickles your fancy. The sand medium helps with serious attachment issues. I’m very attached to my words, but have at it if this speaks to you.

  2. Design a heading like:
    What I learned in 2013.

  3. Write down the big situations or topics that come to mind.
    These are major themes, such as—money, relationships, work, etc. Keep these as headings on the page with a lot of space in between them.

  4. For each topic/theme ask yourself:
    In 2013 what was my experience with money (or whatever topic it is)? Did something different happen this year or is it the same experience I had in 2012? This will start to show you the sneaky repeat patterns.

  5. For each theme that has repeated for two years write underneath this topic an extra question
    Why does this situation continue to come up? Notice I did NOT say “Why does this always happen to me?” That takes you straight down the victim track where you’ll spin around in circles. You made the best choices you could. So, what is this situation teaching you? Sit with your eyes closed for two minutes and you may receive an answer or it may come to you in a few days. The point is that you’ve started the dialogue with yourSELF. You’re ahead of the game because you’re willing to listen. You’re willing to open up to your True Self guidance and Ask For Help.

This simple practice brought me out of a pattern of dysfunctional relationships, warped money behaviours and negative thinking. No small feat. So, try these steps to start fresh and have a Truly Happy New Year!

Posted on January 29, 2015 and filed under Uncategorized.