I Want To vs I Need To: Finding the Cause of Someday Syndrome

  • Someday Lesson: Although no one has only one Someday, there’s usually one that’s bigger than the rest.

Marco Bellucci on Flickr.comNo one has only one Someday. As complex beings we all suffer from Someday Syndrome to greater or lesser degrees in a wide variety of areas in our lives. Each week as I go through the results of the Lab Rats’ worksheets, I will choose one particular issue for each person. It likely won’t be the same issue each week, instead touching on all their issues at some point during the process and looking at progress in their Someday Journey.

This week we start off by exploring what I see (from what they sent me) as the Someday that most challenges each Lab Rat. It comes from an exercise in which I asked the Lab Rats to look at the goals in their lives through two filters: “I want to” and “I need to” in relation to their family, their work, their relationships and their health.

With six Lab Rats, I saw a wide variety of issues but one thing was common to all: a lack of motivation to pursue even things they wanted. This lack of motivation is the exact reason why I created the I’ll Get Around To It Someday ebook and worksheets – to give people passion to carry them through the periods where they can’t get themselves to do something even when it’s a goal they want with all the passion their body, mind and soul can muster.


Helen has everything else more or less in great shape but for her she procrastinates like hell over her health. To her it feels like hard work without any fun. And working hard on her body doesn’t produce the same sense of self-validation and self-reward that working hard in business or in other less personal areas of her life.

As someone with similar health problems that Helen has I know exactly what she’s going through – this too remains one of my few Somedays – and will work along with her so that we both clear out the procrastination.


Johnny’s big passion is music – but he knows his skill puts him at hobby level and he’s tired of just putting in time at work to live for the evenings and weekends. His great procrastination comes from finding that job that excites him enough to break free of his procrastination habits.

Some gurus say to find your passion and then the money will follow, while others say work doing whatever you need to and find your passion elsewhere. Johnny’s tried both and neither has worked so far. He’s therefore taking this Someday Journey to try to merge the two extremes and create or find work that includes enough passion to not procrastinate and to produce results but at the same time leaves him energy for his family and hobbies outside of the office. He hopes to find it in becoming an expert in the green-economy.


From Joyce’s first worksheet, I saw a strong distinction between things she wants to do and things she has to do. Although all the Lab Rats looked at their need-to-do stuff versus their want-to-do stuff, with Joyce the former is blocking the latter. For example work-wise she wants to get paid to teach seminars, but knows to do so she needs to promote herself. And because the promotion is a need instead of a want it won’t happen no matter how much she wants to do seminars, promotion just won’t happen.

I used to suffer from a similar strain of Someday Syndrome and learned what works best for me in this regard. Joyce however is not me, so before I start tossing out suggestions, we’ll wait a bit and see what direction the next few worksheets take her.


Combining her lack of interest in her job with her recent pregnancy, Kristin has pretty much checked out. Her focus right now is on her body, her baby and her relationships. She sums up everything about her job with:

  • Things I want to do:
    • Develop my writing career.
    • Spend more time building up my blogs
  • Things I do because I should:
    • My day job.

Since the baby situation is temporary (as all pregnancies are), we need to focus on what Kristin will do once she’s given birth and finished her maternity leave. Clearly she has no interest in returning to her day job, so over the next few months we’ll create habits for Kristin where she does indeed build her writing career.


Facing a crisis of past choices, Marie’s not sure she wants the profession that comes at the end of her dissertation. She’s found that many people in her field are bitter, backstabbing and negative and that’s not who she is or who she wants to associate with.

Not surprisingly therefore, what was once a passion has become a chore and even though she’s supposed to write on her dissertation every day, nothing happens and she stresses herself out about rival studies or other situations that might render her work invalid.

She’s reached a point in the dissertation where there’s no going back. The only option is to finish it but the big questions blocking Marie from continuing are: Why and How.

I think many people who devote so many years to something like a dissertation can identify with Marie and I’m certain her journey will touch the lives of many readers.


Michelle lives for other people. It’s not what she wants, but it’s a habit she’s created with good intentions and now can’t break without causing chaos in the lives of those around her. Her sister relies on her to keep her from feeling lonely. Her colleagues rely on her to hold their hands instead of focusing in her own work. And her boyfriend’s mother relies on her for transportation and a clean house. Plus Michelle puts the opinion of her extended family concerning her health and eating habits before her own.

This problem is a common one, especially for women. Society socializes women to put themselves after everyone else but it’s not healthy. Think of all the women on valium in the 60s and 70s and all the women on Prozac now. Instead of medicating herself until she accepts the situation, Michelle’s made the decision to find what she really wants and then learn how to implement the changes without creating too much chaos.

Your Guided Tour

What Someday are you not getting around to? Don’t you think it’s time to stop putting off your dreams and time to start pursuing them?

With a Guided Tour of the I’ll Get Around To It Someday ebook you get a more detailed version of the Lab Rat experience, with all the accountability and none of the public exposure of all your Somedays.

Buy NowClick here to find out more about what the ebook can do for you, or click the button on the left to order your Guided Tour today for only $199US – that’s nine weeks of email coaching for half my usual coaching rate.

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5 thoughts on “I Want To vs I Need To: Finding the Cause of Someday Syndrome

  1. Great post and thanks for posting those sheets. It reminds me of writing, its called one day writing

    One day we will write.

    There day will never come, we just have to begin and then revise.

    great post
    .-= Fearless Living – Jon´s last blog ..Messages from The Fearless =-.

  2. Really great article! I loved the whole want vs. need concept.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..kicking ass with kindness =-.

  3. Alex Fayle says:

    I used to live that way with my writing – so caught up in being perfect that I never got started. Now I’m happy with my imperfect writing because I know it’ll get better with each word I put down on paper.

    @Positively Present
    Thanks! I like looking at problems from different ways to help show us what’s really going on.

  4. Kristin’s baby situation is temporary – LOL! She’s in for a shock if she believes that 🙂
    .-= Melodee Patterson´s last blog ..Name My Company Contest! =-.

  5. Alex Fayle says:

    Well yes, that’s true – temporary in terms of maternity leave and such…

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