Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Why Ground Hog Day is a Lesson in Better Planning

In 1993 comedian and actor Bill Murray played a cynical TV weatherman in a movie that would embed itself into the cultural arena. Murray’s character found himself reliving the same day over and over again as he attempts to film a small town’s report about their annual groundhog day.  That term groundhog day would go on to be applied to any movie or film in which a repetitive timewarp scenario takes place.  In these films the main characters are stuck in one reoccuring day (think Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow, or Adam Sandler, 50 First Dates).

The reason why this movie resonates with us as individuals is because life sometimes feels like a “groundhog day”.  A repetitive cycle where you wake up, run around, go back to sleep and then repeat. If we are lucky, we will have accomplished those things we need to get done before the next day starts.  This is the reality about the cyclical nature of life but also what gives us a greater advantage to better planning our lives.  The chance to do the same day over again but with better results.

Daily Planning is Pausing to Reflect

One of the key aspects of preventing ourselves from repeating the same mistakes is the ability to reflect.  To properly stop and assess what was achieved and what was not achieved on a daily basis.  Many corporate teams are familiar with these concepts (think SCRUM) within the world of work and usually implement daily group meetings where team members meet to discuss the problems that they faced the previous day and what they plan to improve.

If we are to be productive in our personal lives,  we need to consider that it is essentially important to utilize these same practices for the purpose of bettering oneself.  To live a life where you never contemplate the mistakes you made yesterday, is a life that moves forward very fast to a ground hog day scenario.  We become that main character trapped in a never ending repetitive cycle of bad choices with our time, or continual procrastination.  Always unable to make those necessary decisions which will allow us to see better days.

Considering Our Actions

Meditation is not simply the practice of chanting or sitting in a group holding hands and humming.  The very word by its nature means to reflect.  When we stop to consider what we actually achieved the previous day, it becomes a beneficial practice for starting the day on the right path.  Whether this is through sitting down with a pen and paper and making notes on our progress or entering our thoughts in a journal at the end of the day, there is a power in our ability to reflect.

When I spent time working as a volunteer at the Salvation Army, I realized that all of the top organizers would start their day by looking over a master list.  A list of what was done the previous day, and what was still outstanding.  They believed that this gave them a healthy advantage in tackling the problems of their day and hour and included it as part of their prayer routine.

How You Start Makes a Difference

One of the most prolific sayings of many life coaches, is that if you want to be successful you need to start your morning with the thing that is most important to you.  That way, if you get distracted by things later in the day, you will find that you have made a huge difference.  We have all made the mistake of not having a morning routine.  Waking up and rolling out of bed to simply do whatever we feel or responding to whatever greets us,  only to repeat the same mistake on a daily basis.

If we want to make a difference and live a well organized life, then we need to pause and reflect each morning before starting our day.


  1. Daily Planning - Involves pausing to reflect
  2. Consider Our Actions - Contemplating mistakes we made yesterday is crucial
  3. How You Start Makes a Difference - Implement an organized morning routine
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