According to recent studies, reflection has a positive impact when used on a regular basis. In fact, researchers from Harvard Business School found that employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. Furthermore, another study of UK commuters revealed that those who used their commute to think about and plan for their day were happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who didn’t.
What is Intentional Reflection?
We can also apply intentional reflection to our stepmom life. Intentional reflection is simply making a plan to reflect on a regular basis. If you create a habit of reflecting on your stepmom role, it will improve your stepmom life in a few key ways.
Benefits of Intentional Reflection
- 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. If you think back to when you first got married or first started dating, until now, you’ll realize how many changes your stepfamily has gone through.
- 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 one.
- Reflection is a time to be still 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 what I like to call small victories in your stepmom life. Small victories are anything that made someone in your family feel good. It could have been a fun family game night, a sincere thank you after dinner, or just a hug.
How to Practice Intentional Reflection
After hearing about the benefits of intentional reflection, you might be wondering how to put it into practice. Here are a few simple steps to get started:
- Get a journal or a notebook to dedicate 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 will try in the future in your stepfamily life.
- Read through it at the end of the week. Congratulate yourself on the small victories and make a plan for changes. 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, you will be able to apply what you learned to your stepmom role, transforming yourself into a stronger and more resilient stepmom. If you would like structured, in-depth support with using intentional reflection, look into our resources.