Obviously, you’ve heard of New Year’s resolutions. They’re those little promises you make to yourself on January first each year that you rarely follow through on. You have great intentions, but they tend to evaporate toward the end of January or beginning of February when life goes back to “normal” again.
But that’s one of the really great things about divorce. Your life doesn’t go back to “normal.” In fact, it will NEVER be that “normal” you had while you were married ever again.
And that’s exactly why making post-divorce resolutions is so powerful. You already have to change how you live, so you might as well make your life after divorce as great as you can make it right?
What resolutions should you make?
Well there are the typical New Year’s resolutions:
Lose weight – You’ve probably already lost enough weight because of the “divorce diet,” so this resolution won’t work.
Stay fit and healthy – Staying fit and healthy is never a bad idea and might even be extra important if you lost too much weight on your “divorce diet.”
Enjoy life to the fullest – Absolutely! This is one of the best resolutions you can make at New Year’s or post-divorce. But it’s problematic as a resolution because it doesn’t say how you’ll know you’re living life to the fullest.
Spend less, save more – You’ve already had a crash course in this because of your divorce and learning to live on less than you were before.
Spend more time with family and friends – Chances are you’ve already spent so much time with your friends and family getting through your divorce that this really isn’t much of an opportunity right now.
Get organized – Either you’ve moved or your ex has moved out of the marital home. So, you already had to get organized to make that happen.
Don’t make any resolutions – Seriously? Resolutions are about making good, positive life changes and making a fabulous life for yourself post-divorce is an amazing reason to make resolutions.
Learn something new/new hobby – This popular resolution is really inspiring to most people who are recently divorced. You might choose to go back to school or rediscover a hobby you had prior to marriage.
Travel more – Travel doesn’t have to cost a lot. You could just do day trips on the weekends. If seeing and experiencing more of the world is exciting to you, then traveling more is a great post-divorce resolution.
Read more – Reading is a great way to learn new things. And if you read fiction, at least every once in a while, there’s research to show that you could wind up happier, more creative, and more well-rested! (Seriously, who wouldn’t want more of that in their life?)
Although most of these typical resolutions are great, they fit into a “normal” life. When you’re creating a new life for yourself after divorce, you can more easily make and keep more expansive and profound resolutions than the typical ones. So, try one of these on for size:
Become even more aware of who you are – THIS is an amazing resolution to make post-divorce because it means that you’re going to take responsibility for your part in your failed marriage and learn from it so you can guarantee yourself that you’re not going to wind up in another unhappy relationship (or at least, not for long.)
Eliminate complaining – Once you realize you’re the only one who can change your life, you’ll realize that complaining won’t ever make anything better. Instead, talk about and process your emotions, come up with a plan for making things better, and get into action to create what you want in your life.
Learn the difference between dating and being in a relationship – After being married, most of us forget what being single and dating is like. Dating disaster is a real threat if you don’t figure out the difference between being in a committed relationship and having fun meeting new people. Setting a post-divorce resolution to learn how to date again is a great way to learn a ton about yourself (and have a lot of fun, too!)
Don’t worry if none of these resolutions feel quite right to you. That just means that you’ve got something else you’re needing to focus on to help you make sure your life after divorce is as fulfilling and happy as possible.
Whatever you choose for your post-divorce resolutions, know that they will be much easier to keep than the typical New Year’s resolutions. That’s because divorce has thrown your life into chaos. It’s forced you to change your life in a lot of different ways.
Now that your divorce is over, you can choose to make resolutions for good, positive changes in your life. The excitement of having more control over your life will provide you the energy and belief you need to follow through on your decisions and create a wonderful post-divorce life for yourself.
Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach and divorce survivor herself. She works with clients who are looking for help to move forward post-divorce. You can join her newsletter group for free advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with Karen directly in her Time Trade calendar.
A slightly different version of this posts was originally posted on drkarenfinn.com.
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