What is Intentional Reflection?
Intentional reflection is making a plan to reflect on a regular basis. By making a plan and being intentional about reflecting, you will create a habit of reflecting on your stepmom role, which will improve your stepmom life in a few key ways.
Benefits of Intentional Reflection
1. Reflection allows you to measure your progress over a period of time. Sometimes you may feel like you’re not making progress in your stepmom role, but if you reflect on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see how small steps have led to improvements. This will help you to see how far things have come, even if you feel like nothing has changed. Those small steps can be easy to overlook, and that is how intentional reflection helps you to see how things have changed.
2. Reflection helps you process what happened. When you’re reflecting, you think about what went well and what you would change for next time without getting caught up in the intensity of your emotions. This allows you to step back and think about the situation in an objective way. You can then use these reflections to be better prepared the next time this situation comes up. For instance, if your last family vacation was a disaster, you can reflect on that experience to figure out what you can change for the next vacation.
3. Reflection is a time to be still and be with your thoughts. All of us can benefit from being intentional about taking some time to reflect on our stepmom life. Instead of always looking forward, take some quiet moments to yourself to simply think and reflect. This also gives you an opportunity to appreciate the small joys in your stepmom life that you might have missed.
How to Practice Intentional Reflection
After hearing about the benefits of intentional reflection, you might be wondering how to put it into practice. Here a few simple steps that you can follow to get started:
- Get a journal or a notebook that is dedicated to your reflections. You might want to decorate the outside of the notebook to motivate yourself to use it. Or you can always buy a special one specifically for your intentional reflection practice!
- Set aside 10-15 minutes at least 3 times a week to check in with yourself. Try to set aside a regular time and add it to your calendar so you will stay on track.
- Make a list or keep a journal. This list or journal should cover what went well, what you would change, and what you would like to try in the future in terms of your stepfamily life.
- Read through it at the end of the week. Congratulate yourself on what went well, prepare for what you would change, and make a plan for what you would like to try in the future. You can do this on Sunday evenings as part of your routine to get ready for the next week.
The most important step you can take today is to make a commitment to start practicing intentional reflection. Once you get into a regular rhythm of reflecting and reviewing your reflections, you will be able to apply what you learned to your stepmom role, transforming yourself into a stronger and more resilient stepmom.
Elizabeth Mosaidis, MA, is the founder and author of The Stepmom Project. Elizabeth is a Stepfamily Foundation Certified Coach and has been a professional educator in several countries for over thirteen years. Her lifelong passion is to empower others through knowledge, self-exploration, and coaching methods. Elizabeth conducts workshops for stepmoms and coaches stepfamilies over the phone and in person. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, stepdaughter, a small brown dog, and a distinguished cat. To find out more information, visit www.TheStepmomProject.com.