aha_momentI am a firm believer in “aha” moments. Most times, it takes one instant to realize something big enough to make a lasting change. I had mine in college.

I was a sub 5 min mile entering into college. I didn’t keep up my working out when I entered college. The freshman 15 hit me a few times and I very quickly got out of shape and overweight (a little over 200 pounds for my 5’10” frame. I was running late for a class one day and had to park in the bottom parking lot at San Diego State University. The only way up to the campus was climbing a significant amount of stairs. I finally found a spot to park, checked the clock and had approximately 2 minutes to get to class. I started running. I hit the first of many staira, no problem – I got this. Half way up I was walking. When I reached the top, I had to sit down because my heart was beating out of my chest and I couldn’t catch my breath. Needless to say I was late to the class. As I sat there trying to catch my breath and bring my heart rate down, I kept thinking “what am I doing? How did I get like this? I am a fitness and health guy and I can’t climb stairs? How am I suppose to preach health and wellness if I am overweight?”.

That was my “aha” moment. It was at the moment that I decided to turn it around. I start working out, eating better, dropped weight and changed my entire lifestyle so I can now talk the talk while I walk the walk.

Most people need that “aha” moment. Some people it is waking up and realizing you cannot see your feet because your belly sticks out. Others it is sitting in the doctors office with the doctor telling them if they don’t lose weight, they are going to die from Type 2 diabetes or heart attack.

It is my opinion that in order to make a lasting change, people need to have that “aha” moment. If people don’t have that moment, they just go through the motions. The implement changes that don’t stick. There is something psychological about an “aha” moment that makes you want to make a change. This is how you will make a change. Sure, you can make changes without an “aha” moment. Those people are determined to make a change. But I bet if you chat with most people that make drastic changes, there was something in their mind that clicked.

Dig deep down inside of you an find your “aha” moment. Find that one thing that makes you realize that you need to make life long changes in you life, whether it is to lose weight, live healthier, or change a bad habit. If you acknowledge the issue (the “aha” moment”) you will be able to find the determination to actually make the changes stick.