Identifying Crucial Moments

Crucial Moments:  Sounds ominous.  It is.  But it isn’t.  It’s really as simple as taking an honest look at a variety of aspects to find a pattern so you can make better decisions.


The most important part of identifying crucial moments will be to take the time to examine the patterns and people in your life.

What the heck is a crucial moment?

Well, it’s anything (a time, a place, a person, a specific mood) when your decisions become more difficult and yet more important.  So how do you identify them.  Start by answering these questions:

  • Are there certain times of the day where it’s harder for you to make good decisions?
  • Are there certain places (work, home, a specific restaurant) where it’s more difficult to stay on track?
  • Are there certain people who make it harder for you to continue toward your goal?
  • Are there certain physical states (lack of sleep, injury, etc.) that make it easier to make excuses?
  • Are there certain moods or emotional states that put you at a disadvantage?

Any of these things qualify as a crucial moment.  And they deserve to be scrutinized so that you can exert your control over them instead of allowing them to control you.

My Personal Crucial Moments

When I examined my typical week & work day I identified a fair portion of critical moments that were causing me to much more easily slip up in my goal of making healthier choices.

Restaurants:  Pretty much any time a restaurant was involved, I didn’t have a plan.  Ever.  If my coworkers wanted to go out to lunch, I was just hosed — stuck between the choice of professional development or advancement vs. my goal of a healthy lifestyle.

Planning:  As a project manager using the Agile methodology, I have multiple teams that have all day planning scheduled every few weeks.  I’m fortunate (and unfortunate) enough that my project sponsors will buy lunch for the team.  My project teams rarely pick something healthy.  So then I feel wasteful or ungrateful if I don’t eat the food that my sponsor’s department paid for.

Weekends:  Weekends have always been notorious for bad food choices.  We usually end up going out for dinner but we rarely know where we’re going to go or who we’ll be with until early afternoon or even evening.  It leaves me at a very big disadvantage when I’m trying to be healthy.  I really want to go because I want to spend time with our friends.  But then sometimes we don’t go out and I don’t usually have a back-up plan so we get takeout.

Exhausted (physical / mood):  If I don’t sleep well, I certainly notice that I have more cravings.  Noticeably more.  Also if I’m just generally feeling exhausted by the end of the day and I don’t want to cook, I’m much more likely to just make a bad decision for food and choose the path of least resistance.

Family (my mom especially):  I love my parents and I know they love me.  But sometimes they can make potentially innocuous comments that make me feel guilty for trying to be healthy and make healthy decisions.

Coworkers (especially those who work with the contracting firms):  Working at a big company, we often do the whole “try before you buy” approach for new employees by bringing them on as contractors before we make a final decision to hire.  This means that almost every team has a contractor from one of the major firms around town and each of those contracting firms loves to drop off “goodies” like brownies, cookies, mini bunt cakes, cupcakes…. pretty much any type of dessert you can imagine.  Plus the occasional catered breakfast full of unhealthy things.  And no one wants to let food go to waste so they walk around the aisles offering it to anyone who will take it which doesn’t really create an environment where it’s easy to say no.

Alright, I’ve admitted I have a problem

So, after taking a hard, honest look at our lives and identifying that there is a problem, what do we do?  Well, that will be in my next post.  In the meantime… please, take some time to identify your own crucial moments.


What are your crucial moments and how did you identify them?  How did the concept of “crucial moments” help you?


Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *