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Definition of pop quizzes… An event occurs that triggers a feeling or feelings within you and sets off thoughts that want to reinforce and perpetuate past behaviors and beliefs that keep you stuck.

In school we get the lesson and then the quiz, but in life, we get the quiz and then the lesson…

Pop quizzes, are opportunities to assess how committed you are to making changes in your life. Are you ready to face the curves life throws with new energy and resolve?

As you make changes to take as good care of yourself as you do of others in your life, you will experience some resistance; from within as well as from others. These experiences can be used as moments of growth and change or reasons to stay mired in old habits.

You are here, reading this because some part of you is open to and ready to make a change.

Now it’s Your Turn:

Here are 5 steps to take that will teach you how to process and deal with those pesky and often perpetual ‘pop quizzes’ of life.

Step 1: And We Breathe… First and foremost this is the benchmark step that must be taken in any given situation… It is the one step that will prevent you from reacting, so that you will be able to “respond”.

Step 2: What is My Desired Outcome? This question must be asked and answered, and must fit two requirements:

a) It must be what you want, NOT what you don’t want and

b) it must be something over which you have control.

This question brings clarity and focus to a given situation, and without a goal/focus/direction since it’s so easy to flounder and slip back into old patterns and habits.

Step 3: Will my desired outcome move me closer to my goal of taking better care of myself, or will it keep me stuck in my habits/past? This means being honest with yourself. If you say “who cares, It doesn’t matter, just this once…” or any other phrase that minimizes or diminishes your focus on your goal of self care,  it’s time to reconnect to your commitment to yourself.

Step 4: Am I focused on my long term gain/goal, or short-term gratification, elimination of stress, discomfort or confrontation?  Think about what the consequences/results of your actions will be. Which results are you willing to deal with?

Step 5: Will I use this situation and decision as a moment of growth and change or will I use it to continue to repeat old habits and patterns? Old habits die hard, so while new decisions are challenging, remember you are on a journey to learn, grow and evolve… and take as good care of yourself as you do of the others in your life.

Is your desired outcome loving and respectful to you, or is it self sabotage?