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How Having Bad Habits is Like “Groundhog Day”

The terrible cycle of bad habits, and a good resource for breaking them.

Next Tuesday is Groundhog Day, and it’s got me thinking about my bad habits. Like many other people, the holiday reminds me of that old movie with Bill Murray. You know the one. The movie where the guy wakes up to the same exact day over and over, and nothing he ever does make a lasting difference. He relives the same day over and over and over… is absolutely miserable most of the time.

This kind of sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?

Remembering that movie got me thinking: Why does this sound so familiar to me? And not in the way where I’m thinking “Oh, yeah! I know that movie!” No, it’s more like that feeling is familiar… the feeling of waking up to the same day over and over again without having made any progress.

For me, this feeling reminds me of how my bad habits make me feel. I wake up feeling groggy because I stayed up too late reading blogs or looking at TikTok. Then I eat a quick but not-so-healthy breakfast because I am in a hurry to start working. I chew my nails because I am nervous about something and I end up with achy skin on my fingertips. My stomach starts feeling bad because of the unhealthy breakfast, so I don’t eat for the remainder of the day… leading to me getting shaky from low blood sugar. And then I end the day by going to bed too late…

And so, the cycle of bad habits continues… 

I tend to give in to these bad habits almost daily… and when I sit and think about it, I get to feeling down about myself. On the days that I give in to chewing my nails, I lose all the progress I have made towards having manicured nails like I have always wanted. Or when I don’t eat like I should, I lose the progress I had recently made towards having a healthier body and more energy.

Just like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day,” I wake up each day and haven’t made any lasting progress on the world around me – but in my case, the lasting progress I want is progress toward becoming my “best me.” I want to get closer to becoming the best me without setting crazy, unrealistic goals for myself. I’m sick of reliving the Groundhog Day movie!!!!!

So how am I working on this? 

Recently, my husband Chase purchased an audiobook called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and we have been listening to it together. I’m really glad he did, because I’m starting to see some small improvements in my bad habits since listening to it. The more I listen to it, the more I realize that my bad habits kept happening not because I needed to change, but more so because my way of thinking about my habits was what needed to change.

James Clear’s book has been helping me work on how I think about my habits and help me figure out a way to break them in a realistic way. And I can see the change in Chase too! The progress is slow, but little progress is better than no progress at all, right? If you are like me and you are trying to improve on your habits, you should give the audiobook a listen. I highly recommend it.