Going to a new mall can be a wonderful experience, except that you can't get to where you want to go quickly-because you don't know your way around yet. So, your choices are to wander around aimlessly until you happen to stumble upon it or use the mall map. The problem with option one is that you see so much along the way that you can easily get sidetracked with going in and out of stores that have nothing to do with your purpose there. Option two-requires humility. You have to face the fact that you don't know where you are or where you are going and you need to stop walking, get your bearings and plot a course.
With a stepfamily..or even as an individual you need to stop walking and get a map that includes both where you are and where you are going. It can be a life plan that you have worked out...or a list of goals or objectives that you wrote at the beginning of the year. At some point, you need to take inventory and be assured that you are on the right track.
When using the mall sign you need to know two crucial pieces of information or it will not be useful at all. You need to know where you are and where you are going. Most of us look for that red dot that indicates "You are Here". Knowing that information puts you in position to see where you are in conjunction to where it is that you are going. Knowing where you are is also important, because you may be closer or further from your goal than you think based on what you see around you. Coming to grips with where you are is important. You can't find where you are on the mall map and whine that Nordstroms is on the opposite side of the mall and just stand there and expect Nordstroms to move. It won't. You need to see where Nordstroms is..see what stores you will pass on the way, see what stores are near Nordstroms so you will recognize it when you are "almost there'....and frankly, get ta walking.
With my family, at the beginning of the year we started with writing individual goals for the year in many areas (faith, finances, family, education etc..). I wrote some specific goals for myself and seeing that the year is drawing to a rapid close, its time to take a look at them and see how far I have come and draw a mental red circle so I know- YOU ARE HERE. It does me no good to run around with dreams and aspirations for me and my family in my head and never get an understanding as to where we are currently. I may be closer....or further from where we need to be than I think. Either way, I won't sit at the sign and whine...I'll just keep on walkin'.