You ever notice how you make a decision to make a change in your life, you make the plan, you feel the love and excitement for what's to come...
Then you then start to feel the bulls eye shaped tattoo appear on your forhead and/or back. It's like every where you turn something pops up that blocks your road, that threatens to derail you, or pull you off course before you even get started.
What is up with that?!
Well, there's 2 reasons:
1) Once you made the decision, you start to become hyperaware of that area of your life.
Things you didn't pay any attention to before - the box of doughnuts on your co-workers desk every. single. friday.; the daily use of you debit/credit card for little things that you didn't need in the first place; the small piles that magically appear around the house that you're trying to clean up - all those things are "suddenly" in sharp focus because that's where your attention is.
2) You really do have a bulls eye shaped tattoo on your forhead/back.
Ok, it's a figurative one, not a literal one, but it's there... It's said that, when you're really committed to something, when you're on the right path to your dreams and goals, the Universe will conspire on your behalf to achieve success.
Sometimes, though, that conspiracy comes in the form of a pop quiz. Those things that come out of nowhere to throw you off course - The surprise lunch for a friend who has great news to share the first week of your "induction phase" eating plan? A test. The chance to go on a once in a life time trip the month you're dedicated to not using your credit cards any more? Sure enough - it's a test. Starting a new ::coughWhole30cough:: eating plan on Valentines day, only to face fancy cupcakes and dark chocolate goodness first thing in the morning? You betcha it's a test.
You can side step the majority of potential tests that can come your way by simply being prepared: Look at the calendar to see if there's any events coming up that could cause you to act in opposition to your goals; practice in your mind how you will act in different situations; most importantly, continually remind yourself of your long term goals, and why it's more important to reach them than it is to have the momentary experience.
Because that's part of the test - planning and preparing for your success.
When life throws something at you that you're not prepared for, you still have a choice in the matter: Decide what IS worth the momentary experience, the temporary detour, and what's not, and if you're ok with the decision you make.
That's also part of the test - learning to live with the concequences of your actions.
Sometimes you'll sail through the tests with flying colors without missing a beat.
Sometimes you'll fall flat on your face. But sailing through doesn't mean you passed, and falling down doesn't mean you failed.
You sometimes can fail by skating through because you didn't really see what was going on.
You pass by picking yourself up one more time.
The only time you really and truly fail is if you missed the lesson of how to do better next time, or you let it stop you completely.
This morning, with working through at least 3 tests before the sun came up, I was rewarded with this gem from Greg Laurie:
The Devil says, "Play and enjoy now... pay later."