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“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” – Phil Conners, “Groundhog Day”

As co-founder of Handel Group and a life coach for more than 20 years, the truth behind “Groundhog Day” resonates with me to my core. Why? Not just because winters here on the East Coast last forever, but because just like Phil Conners, the arrogant weather reporter played by Bill Murray, we, too, stay stuck in our day-to-day lives until we make the conscious decision to do something differently and evolve into something better.

The moral? Time and circumstance aren’t the great game-changers in our lives—WE are.

We have all gone through a time of personal “Groundhog Days” where we felt stuck in an area of our life. Where we’ve spent months (or years) in a bad relationship, or at a dead-end job, or in an unhealthy body, waiting for something outside ourselves (a groundhog?) to let us know “winter” is over.

Luckily, you don’t have to wait another day or be stuck any longer. I have a quick roadmap to use when determining what is keeping you “stuck” at any time of year, and it has nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with YOU.

The reason you are stuck and have been living on repeat is because you are NOT living with Personal Integrity®, the alignment of your heart (what you want), mind (a plan) and body (actions).

You see, what you say and do MUST align with your highest ideals.

Three key components of Personal Integrity

You can break Personal Integrity down into three components: physical, emotional and spiritual. I’ll elaborate.

Physical: Exercise, diet, sleep schedule, personal space and any actions you are taking in this arena.

Emotional: How those physical actions are making you feel, and how you react to the actions of others.

Spiritual: In a macro sense, how you feel about your life, how you see your path and how you relate to the bigger picture. How connected you feel to what’s going on around you.

All three components are always connected. When looking at your life through the lens of Personal Integrity, you can see at any given moment WHY you are where you are in any area of your life and HOW your thinking is impacting where you are. And guess what? These three factors are already at work in your life right now, whether you know it or not.

So often, we can’t see our patterns because we invented the patterns ourselves, through our beliefs, habits and character traits. Many of my clients come to me fully aware of their space in those three arenas, but totally oblivious to the connection between them. That information reveals the how and why of what’s really going on in our lives, but it’s as if it’s in a little black box.

Changing the message

Breaking into that inner black box is the key to becoming unstuck, but it requires a thorough investigation of your inner dialogue (thoughts).

Most people are hesitant to admit that their inner dialogue is controlled by fear and negativity, or they don’t even realize it’s happening. They continue to self-sabotage and then feel all the worse for dropping the ball, breaking their promises and selling out on their dreams. You can gain insight into your own Personal Integrity by asking yourself the following questions, and being honest:

  • In an area where you are currently stuck, how would you rate your physical, emotional and spiritual integrity?
  • What are you saying to yourself about that particular area, your actions/inaction, and your dreams?
  • Can you spot the pattern linking your actions to the way you feel on a daily basis?
  • How do you think changes in one area would affect another area?

This exercise connects you to the “why” of your promises and to your dream for the big picture of your life. It lets you see how any one thing you’re doing (or not doing) has a ripple effect on other areas of your life, and shows you where your attention is most needed. More than anything, it addresses the voices in your head that are calling the shots, and gives you the opportunity to change the message you are sending yourself.

The good news is that every single day is a chance to experiment with a new plan, a different practice or a modified perspective. “How will I feel if I meditate four days in a row?” “What will happen if I alter this one thing?” Experiment, and then watch the changes as they happen before your eyes.

In “Groundhog Day,” it only took Phil Conners eight years, eight months and sixteen days to break through. Sure, he had a script, but now you have a script.

Whatever you do, don’t wait for spring cleaning to take an inventory of your current situation and do a thorough integrity check. Just as an action plan for “bathing suit season” starts months in advance of summer, an action plan for your life starts today, and it starts with changing your mind.

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Photo credit: Averie Woodard, Unsplash

  • Stephannie Suarez

    Really loved this article!

    • Rachelle Cihonski

      That’s so great to hear! Thanks for reading, Stephannie!