A Stepmom’s Resolutions

27 10 2008

For the past five years, two of my girlfriends and I have gotten together for an annual visioning summit. We’ve gathered at a cabin, one of our homes, a hotel room in Santa Fe to spend time working on our professional and personal goals for the future. First we spend time filling each other in on what’s happened in the past year. Then we close our eyes and spend time imagining what we want our lives to look like. Sometimes we choose specific parts to visualize: a relationship, a family, a book deal, for instance. We think about all the things we need to achieve the dreams we see for ourselves so we can accomplish them and live happy, energetic lives right now, too. Then we spend time mapping out the little steps we need to take in order to get to the vision we saw.

When I closed my eyes and saw my name on the cover of a book for stepmoms, for instance, I had to start listing all the action items I would need to take in order to actually publish that book: find an agent and interview stepmoms, stepfamily experts, marriage and family therapists. I had to write down the things I needed to do to give me the energy and courage to start and finish such a project: exercise, time reading good books. Otherwise, A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom would have remained forever a fantasy instead of reality.  

Since that first session five years ago, all three of us have made giant strides in creating the lives we want to live. And it’s amazing to look back and see that the roadmaps we’ve constructed have actually led to the places we envisioned or to destinations even more rich than we could have ever dreamed of.  

This year’s summit was no different. We dreamed, we planned, we applauded each other’s successes. This time, we spent the day enjoying music by Marina Raye that was so relaxing, I felt like I was getting a massage just listening to it. We ate delicious food, talked, and laughed. I always leave with rich insights and fresh enthusiasm. I encourage all of you to give yourselves the gift of time spent dreaming about what you want your life to look like. Then break it down into the smallest possible steps to make that vision come true.  

Some of my resolutions were:

Start each day with ten deep breaths.

Learn something new.

Do at least one thing I’m afraid of.

Tell my husband often that I appreciate all the little things he does for me, for us, and for our family.


Spend time with friends who make me feel vibrant and alive.

See live dance performances because they make me happy.

Take each of my stepchildren out on dates one at a time.

Make a list each evening before I go to bed of all the things in my life I’m grateful for.

Send a wish out to anyone I might have challenges with that they find peace and have a happy life.

Read something enriching every single day.

Savor the food I eat, the feel of the clothes I wear, the aromas I love.

Eat dark chocolate often.

Spend a few hours sitting in a greenhouse.

Play with my dog.

Have lunch with my mom.

Visit a place I’ve never been to before.

Take time to go deeper if one of my stepchildren has a problem they want to talk about.

Pay attention.

Listen to beautiful music with my eyes closed.

Take a vacation from assignments, duties, bills, obligations and just be in the moment with my family.

Give back by helping others have better lives.

So what are your dreams? Where do you want to be in five years? What do you look like at your most energetic, your most fulfilled? How will you make that dream a reality?