A 20-Second Transformative Practice

On my computer, there is a document.

It’s filled with this acronym: STRV. It’s not a common acronym, I haven’t seen it around. But for me, it stands for Spending Time as a Reflection of Values.

And every night, I open up that document and write down a few ways I spent my time as a reflection of my values that day.

From a few weeks ago: wrote a love note to a friend, treated my father to dinner, got seven hours of sleep.

It’s a practice that takes all of 20 seconds. But it’s been 20 transformative seconds for me. There are 1,002 pulls on our time, our minds, our hearts. This little exercise helps me see if I used my time, mind, heart in service of what matters to me.

Usually, it’s a mixed bag: in some ways, I did and in some ways, I didn’t. But it gives me a sense of where I landed this day and where I want to point towards the next day.

One other thing: when I find that the balance of my day was not spent as a reflection of my values, self-flagellation doesn’t help. What does help is acknowledging it and gently repositioning myself in the direction I need to head.

This STRV document has become a wonderful accountability tool. Because for me, it’s good to know my values. But it’s what I do with them that matters most.

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