Reflect. Prepare. Enact.
What do these words mean to you? If you think of a typical day in your life – how much time would you estimate spending in each space? How much time would you like to?
If you’re like many of us, you probably find yourself multi-tasking – responding to that email instead of planning your day over coffee or planning dinner in that meeting – what’s the impact of this choice on your physical health? Mental health? How effective and efficacious at honoring those committed time estimates?
Reflection is important as it allows us to learn from our mistakes, to discern what to hold on to or let go; without reflection there can be no memory; without reflection we voice our cognitive processing of intention. Reflection is what allows us to create and build meaning that ultimately creates a life story full of character, relation, and impact.
Preparation is a necessary tool that grounds intention and realizes it. It’s possible to complete the same action time and again and, by chance, experience a different outcome; but it’s more likely if you plan for it. Preparation provides a sense of security through which confidence can grow; without a goal there can be no pride of achievement.
Enactment is doing AND being IN THE MOMENT. What I love about this word is it’s duality – the ability to be 100% focused on an activity or task, which may be the absence of one! Action and repose; work and relaxation – they will both happen regardless of intention but how great would it be to feel empowered to decide when and how and how much!
There’s such a power in planning (one of the reasons it’s an important part of the therapy process!) so I totally get why folks set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. I think the challenge becomes when we forget to check in on those commitments, when we fail to reflect on how our actions and inactions impact our best intentions.
What if, this year, instead of reflecting in December, preparing in January, and enacting the whole year through you committed to the whole process in a micro-dose? To allow each day, or each week, to have committed periods of reflection, preparation, and enactment?
I’m curious what that experiment might reflect back at this new year’s end!