Ahhh, the beginning of the new year. 2023 represents a fresh start, a clean slate, a new chapter. We’re so used to the frantic lifestyle that has become a trademark of our times that we automatically catapult into the new year. We’re always looking ahead, not even taking a moment to think about all that happened in the past year. However, one of the best ways to change the future is to reflect on the past and make intentional changes. At the end of each year, I like to use my reflections from the previous year to set my goals for the next year.
Forced Family Fun
One year, I was in Nebraska visiting my family at the end of the year, so I “strongly encouraged” my whole family to fill out reflection sheets for the year. By strongly encourage, I mean that the no-nonsense teacher in me appeared, and I made them all sit down at the table, handed out pens and paper, and told them to get started. If someone tried to slip away, I looked at their partially completed paper and guided them back to their chair. In the beginning, they were joking around—trying to look at their neighbor’s paper, shuffling their papers around as they were trying to come up with ideas for each of the categories. After they finished, I asked each person to share one section of their sheet.
As we went around the room, listening to each person share, I realized that everyone was present. Fully present in the moment. They were really listening to each person share. Smiles broke out when someone mentioned their name as part of their best family memory. Before long, they were wistfully reminiscing about their memories over the past year and laughing about some of the lessons that others learned. The best part was that we all learned something about each other (and ourselves) in the process.
Benefits of Reflecting and Goal-Setting
My point is you might have to “strongly encourage” or force your family to participate in reflection and goal setting. However, once you do it, your whole family will reap the benefits. In fact, one study discovered that people who reflect regularly are happier, more productive, and less burnt out than those who don’t. Furthermore, according to researchers, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
That’s why I created doodling pages to help you get started. Start with 2022 and do some reflecting. Afterwards, move on to 2023 and set goals to get a strong start on the new year. I’d love to hear about your best family memory from 2022. Share yours in the comments below!
For more ideas on how to start a practice of Intentional Reflection, click here.
Free Printables: 2022 Reflection and 2023 Goal-Setting Sheets
Click on the sheets below to download them!
Ready for a Challenge?
If you are ready for a change, join a 21-day challenge with Stepmom Bootcamp. Stepmom Bootcamp will help you transform your stepmom life. By completing readings, daily challenges, and reflections, you will gain a better understanding of yourself as a stepmom. You will walk away with inner peace, greater clarity on your stepmom role, and a vision for your life in the future.
About the Author
Elizabeth Mosaidis is a Certified Resilience Professional through the Trauma Institute International. She is also a Stepfamily Foundation Certified Coach and an author. Her books are available here.