10 July 2012 Guest Contributor

Why, oh why, do I have the same argument with my kids EVERY SINGLE DAY? I mean, there’s nothing remotely novel about them eating their breakfast, cleaning their teeth and putting on their shoes and socks. Yet everyday they draaaaag their little bodies through the motions, kicking and screaming (sometimes that’s just me) every inch of the way.

Ugh. By 9am, I’m exhausted by all the effort.

So why do I do this to myself day after day after day? Why can’t they just ‘get’ that they have to eat or go hungry, wear clothes or get arrested, and clean their teeth lest they all fall out? (My eldest tells me that’s going to happen anyway, so why bother.) What am I doing wrong that makes these tasks such a toil?  

The answer’s simple. I’m too darn consistent. 

Yup. Isn’t the definition of insanity to continue to do the same thing yet expect a different response? So what’s my role in designing this morning ritual? And what can I do differently to put an end to it for good? Perhaps I need ‘time out’ to think up a new approach to these and the many other daily challenges that pop up with Groundhog Day tenacity?

Things like tackling the 100’s of emails and endless phone calls that cut into my day like a hot knife in butter. And staying focused on one thing long enough to actually get it done. (Yup. That NEVER happens.) 

I feel I’m in need of a circuit breaker to ‘re-set’ my psyche to consider a new approach. Perhaps we all do. Maybe trying something a little different might just shake things up enough to inspire an alternative that works. Something like:

1. If you drink coffee, try tea

2. Change your venue to a café, spare room, park

3. If you’re a runner, try yoga. Into yoga? Try a spin class

4. Have a cool to cold shower 

5. Try something new – something you’ve never tried before

Perhaps, like George Costanza, every instinct I’ve had is wrong, which means the opposite must be right. Right? Perhaps not, but maybe somewhere in the middle’s worth giving a shot.