Mom Writes First

68: How to Use Reflection and Wonderment to Power Your New Year

December 30, 2022 Jen Larimore
Mom Writes First
68: How to Use Reflection and Wonderment to Power Your New Year
Show Notes Transcript

Before you hit “GO” on 2023, take some time to pause and reflect on 2022 using the 5R Framework, plus an added twist of “wonderment” to take your mindset to the next level. 

In this episode, Jen shares with you how you can use a reflection framework from adult learning, called the 5R framework, to reflect on what the past year was like for you and help you make decisions about where to go from here. 

This 5R framework can be used to reflect on what this past year was like for you and help make decisions about where you go from here. The 5Rs stand for 1) Reporting, 2) Responding, 3) Relating, 4) Reasoning, and 5) Constructing. 

But you can next level this framework and your own reflection, by adding wonderment to the mix. Wonderment is a state of awe and admiration that can be used to empower oneself. Use powerful and insightful questions to create the feeling of wonderment for yourself. 

The 5R framework is from Bain, et al., and more information can be found here:

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Its the end of the year and the perfect time for reflection, as you prep for cultivating a life of joy in 2023. In today’s episode I share an uber practical framework for reflection. This framework is based on a model of adult learning, so its well vetted. And, we’ll add our own special twist by looking for the wonderment that is already present in our lives. You can use this framework of reflection and wonderment to consider where you’ve been in 2022 and where you are going in 2023. Are you ready? Let’s go! 

Hi, I’m Jen Larimore, I’m a lawyer turned life coach and the Host of Mom First. The podcast that empowers working moms to ditch the overwhelm and lead with joy. If you’re ready to go from frazzled and barely surviving to fulfilled, joyful and thriving, then you’re in the right place. 

Its the end of 2022. Can you believe it? 

This is a time that can bring up so many feels. If you have time for that! Its the week between Christmas and New Years, and i know for many of my listeners, this week can be a bit of a scramble. With the kids out of school, filled up with sugar, and maybe even cooped up inside, everyone can be in need of a bit of a break. 

Well guess what my loves. Turn on the Disney Plus. Give the kids the wifi password. And let’s take a moment for you. 

Because you know what, you have earned it. 

Another year in the books!


Now I know some of you may be so busy getting kids to activities or completing up those end of year goals at work. And some of you may already be planning ahead to next year, 2023, trying to think, hey, what can I do differently in 2023 or what goals might I want to set. I get it. Its that time of year after all with New years resolutions. 

But what I want to encourage you to do here actually is to take a break and take some time for reflection and wonderment at all that the last year has brought. Whether you’ve survived or thrived. Whether you’ve achieved every single goal you set for yourself, or are simply grateful to have got through the days…. This is the perfect time to reflect. 

When we reflect on something, we give it serious thought or consideration. I like to use a reflective framework that can take this work a bit deeper and make it more purposeful. 

So, today, I want to provide you with an adaptation of a framework that is often used to evaluate adult learning. Its a super practical exercise, that can help you fully consider this past year and make decisions about where you go from here, especially as we approach the new year… 

The framework I’m going to provide you today is actually one that is often used in education to evaluate and consider student learning. It is developed by J.D. Bain and colleagues to create a framework in which we can reflect on learning. 

This framework is called the 5Rs. This 5R framework can be used to reflect on what this past year was like for you. When we use this framework, we consider not just what was positive or negative, or good or bad, but what we’ve learned. So, let’s get started. 

I highly recommend you do this exercise with a pen and paper. There is a lot of research that substantiates how important and helpful written exercises like this can be. So if you are exercising or driving right now, that’s fine, just listen carefully and make a note to come back and do this exercise at a later time. If at all possible though, grab a pen and paper right now. And let’s begin. 

So, what we are doing here is using a reflective framework to consider 2022 and think about what we have learned from it. Its super practical and is an important and necessary assessment that can help you figure out where you go from here. 

  1. The first R in the 5R framework is reporting. So, let’s start there. What happened in 2022 for you. What were the key highs or lows in your year. What did you do? What goals did you achieve, what did you miss? We’re engaging in a reflective process, so its fine to write in the past tense. Explain what happened in as neutral and straightforward terms as possible. Think of yourself as literally being the news reporter here and simply reporting on the events of 2022. 

  1. The second R in the 5R framework is responding. How did you respond to what happened in 2022. Did you give up when faced with adversity? Did you double down? Did you power through? Did you focus on surviving? What did you feel, think, and believe? 

  1. The third R in 5R framework is relating. Your life is bigger than just 1 year, so go back and look at what you wrote for the first and second Rs. How has what you written down shown up before in your life? What does it remind you of? What are the strengths and weaknesses that show up here for you and how have they shown up in the past? What patterns do you see in your life?

  1. The Fourth R in the 5R framework is Reasoning. Here’s where we begin to make sense of what happened. Explain what happened. What can you understand from what occurred here? What is the most significant or important takeaway or lesson from this past year?

  1. And Finally, the fifth R in the 5R framework is reconstruction. Here’s where you take what you’ve learned and apply it to this situation. What changes can you make? What can you do differently? This is where you develop a future plan of action based on your understanding of what happened. 

This is the basic 5R framework for reflection. This framework is a great way to learn and make sense of what is happening.

Now, if you want to level up this framework, from a mindset and empowerment perspective, you can add a special twist, I call “wonderment.”  Wonderment is a state of awed admiration or respect. I have found both in my own life, in coaching, and in my work with women, especially working moms, that we lack admiration and appreciation for all that we have achieved. I mean, come on, when was the last time you had awed admiration for something you did. But if you are a working mom some days just getting through the day itself is worth of awed admiration. And if you are going after and chasing down your dreams, creating the life you want and showing up with joy and purpose each day, that is so worthy of awe and admiration. So let’s toss a little wonderment our way shall we!

So, here’s how you do that. You’ve done the basic 5R framework. Now go back through that framework. 

Look at what you reported on and how you responded. 

Now add the wonderment. 

  • When it comes to all that you went through and all that you achieved, what there is impressive? 
  • When would someone else have quit?
  • When did you show up with joy, kindness, and love–even though let’s face it, others may not have. 
  • When did you show up with vulnerability and open heartedness, when it would have been safer and probably easier to show up with a closed and cynical heart.
  • When did you choose the courageous act of love and empathy?d
  • When did you keep going, despite being knocked down? 
  • When did you show up as an incredible mom, even though the cards were stacked against you? 
  • When there were difficult circumstances that were beyond your control, how did you respond? 
  • What special qualities did you have that helped you to keep going? 
  • What past experiences prepared you for the challenges and successes of this past year? 
  • As you look forward, what could you develop or create in yourself, that would help you further? 
  • Now imagine if you were to approach this year or your specific goal or situation from a place of compassion and curiosity and empathy for yourself and others, and you could create a result that you were proud of, what would that look like. How would you do it? What does it look like to lead with joy in this area of your life? What does it look like to lead by example here for your kids? What would you need to do to make this next year or this area of of your life one that felt worthy of wonderment to you? 


My friends, you and your life are worth taking the time to reflect and explore with wonderment all that you have done and gone through this year. Whether you achieved every single goal you set out to this year, or whether you simply made it through. The fact that you are still here, still trying to grow, still trying to lead with joy is worthy of wonderment! Right now, you are listening to a podcast that calls you to lead with joy so that you set the example for your children. In this podcast, moms go first. We lead the way. We do the hard things. We show up, try hard, fail, and get up and do it again. We keep going even when it is not easy. We choose to lead with joy, even in a world that is fraught with cynisms and criticism. If that isn’t worthy of wonderment, then I don’t know what is. You are incredible. I will see you next time. 

Okay, my friend, thank you for checking out this episode. Hey, if you liked this content and you’re ready to take this work to the next level, then I want to invite you to get coached by me. I offer 1:1 coaching and group coaching, too! Imagine what it would be like if you could finally enjoy this season of life that you are in and set an incredible example of fulfillment and joy for your kids. That is possible for you. And I’m here to help you. All you have to do is head over to to find out more. 

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