“I’ve Had It”
We’re now starting the third week of January, how are you doing with the goals you set for the start of the year?
Two weeks ago I wrote about Setting Goals that Stick. We talked about how part of the reason that none us know how to interact with our goals is that we set goals we aren’t actually passionate about. We feel pressured by society, our family, or by our own insecurities to set goals because we think they should be important to us. As a result, we don’t put the work in. We talked about how instead of setting goals based on where we feel we’re failing, we should focus on what we love, become great at that, become the best. These are the type of goals we tend to stick with, it’s where we are able to joyfully invest our time.
In my experience, this is the only type of goal-setting that actually works. If we define goal-setting as sitting down at a set point in time and writing down goals we want to accomplish, we will only achieve the goals that are bettering something we’re already good at.
So how do we improve ourselves in areas where we’re maybe not winning? Is there no hope to ever lose weight, get out of debt, stop smoking, or make other significant life changes?
What I’ve seen over the years is that there is only one scenario where this type of goal sticks and I call it the “I’ve had it” moment. Until you’ve had your “I’ve had it” moment, you will most likely struggle to stick with any plans to make significant change. This moment can’t be planned, though we can lead ourselves there by intentionally assessing our lives, but the moment itself needs to happen organically.
You can see evidence of this moment in most significant weight loss stories. People can point to that one moment when they “knew I needed to make a change.” For some people it’s a health scare, for some it’s a moment where they were embarrassed, for others it’s a comment made by their kids. For people who stop smoking, they can often point to one moment in time when they finally committed to quitting. Whenever people have made significant change in any area of their life, there is almost always that one moment.
The consistent thing is that the “I’ve had it” moment is always centered on something we already know we should do. There’s already a part of us that wants to make change, but we’re just missing that driving force, the internal motivation that will keep us committed. For me, it was an old back injury.
I had back pain for years. Sometimes it was manageable, sometimes it wasn’t. Over the years I saw doctors, physios, chiropractors, surgeons, and back specialists. I had MRI’s, X-Rays, and CT scans. I would often have to wear a back brace just to be able to leave the house. But then it would pass and I’d have a few weeks (or months if I was lucky) of manageable back pain. However, over the years, the bad days happened more often and the good days weren’t as good. One day, while getting ready for work, I was sitting on the bed as my husband put my shoes on for me, because I couldn’t do it anymore. I realized that at 28 years old, I was practically crippled and I had my “I’ve had it” moment.
I spent the morning on my computer, searching for something I could do. Looking back now, I realize that not only did the “I’ve had it” moment bring me motivation, but it caused me to take ownership of my situation. I wasn’t trying to find a doctor to fix me, I wasn’t looking for a quick-fix, I was ready to put in the work. I found an exercise program geared towards injury recovery, called DDP Yoga. It’s a mix of traditional yoga and other core-strengthening exercise. I started doing it six days a week and within three months my life had changed. A year later, the bad days were few and far between, and now, two years later, I no longer describe myself as someone with a ‘bad back.’
The thing about the “I’ve had it” moment is that you can’t schedule it. It’s most likely not going to hit you on January 1, or at the start of the new quarter. It’s going to hit you in the middle of your crazy life. But don’t miss it! This can be one of the most powerful moments of your life. If you let it, it will ignite a part of you that you didn’t know existed, you will be more driven than you ever thought possible and you’ll wonder why you didn’t implement the change earlier.