The past year may have been one of the worst years of your life, especially if you just signed divorce papers or decided to separate from the one you once believed to be your lifelong partner. As we head into 2018, it is a time for new beginnings.
But starting over can be daunting, intimidating, and a bit lonely. It doesn’t have to be if you make these after divorce resolutions and keep to them:
Divorce Resolution #1: Establish Healthy Boundaries
If you could never say “no” or you kept letting negative conduct or behavior slide “just this once,” you may have been a people-pleaser in your previous relationship. Without healthy boundaries, relationships or marriages are likely to fail. Both partners should treat each other with respect and like equals. Neither partner should take advantage of the other. Over time, it can become easier to be complacent and keep your silence in order to avoid confrontations or arguments. No longer. You need to, within healthy reason, build new walls.
Make a list of behaviors you won’t tolerate as well as your ideal reactions to each. For example, if your friend frequently blows you off, how do you react and what will you do? Start practicing your new voice now so that you can use it in your new relationship.
Divorce Resolution #2: Love Yourself
As trite and cliché as it sounds, loving yourself is crucial when starting anew. This means being positive and turning down your internal negative critical voice that says counterproductive statements like, “I’m ugly,” “I’m stupid,” “I’m a failure,” or, “How could I be so blind?” Don’t focus on the past. Rather, say, “Well, that was interesting,” and move on. Go to the library or purchase a book about loving yourself to research the best approach for you.
Divorce Resolution #3: Diary or Journal
Keeping a daily diary or journal is a great way to keep a positive mindset. This is about reflecting on the positive and new things that occurred, promises you make for yourself to do the next day, and expressing your gratitude. Your diary or journal should be the place where you manifest your hopes and dreams, honoring who you are.
Divorce Resolution #4: Budgeting or Managing Your Finances
At the end of your divorce, you may find yourself with a lump sum of money or in debt. No matter your circumstances, it is crucial to speak to a financial planner about how you can save and invest your money. Not all planners require a minimum balance to invest your money, but it is important to ask. You will gain extraordinary confidence when you budget and manager your money, especially if you relied on your former spouse or partner to handle your finances.
Divorce Resolution #5: Know Your Truths
After spending years with someone, your beliefs may have become the other’s, or vice versa. You may no longer know who you are, which just means you need to find your own truths again. Start by writing down what you believe and create categories for friendship, faith, worldviews, workplace and romance. This empowering exercise can help you realize you only needed to rediscover your truths.
Divorce Resolution #6: Date for Yourself
Many people can’t be by themselves, wanting companionship and to fill a void left from their divorce. But when you are feeling something lacking, you will find another in a similar situation. If you fear being alone, you will only attract another with the same fear. Rebounding because you don’t want to be alone will only set you back and bring you pain and suffering.
Divorce Resolution #7: Socialize and Make New Friends
After a divorce, you may notice that the friends you had while a couple have disappeared or chosen a side that is not yours. Now is the time to make new ones; not to try to win back the old ones — they are not worth it. New friends are everywhere; you only need to look. You can join a group on meetup.com and meet people with similar interests as you. Speak to neighbors, go to happy hour with your co-workers, or be involved with the community or your religious organization.
Divorce Resolution #8: New Hobby
Where your spouse may have shot down your ideas, now you can freely try a new activity or hobby, such as arts, sky diving, hiking, bouldering or rock climbing, swimming, etc. Not only will you be meeting new people, but also by having more hobbies and keeping active, you are also less aware of being alone.
Divorce Resolution #9: Travel
The best part about being divorced is no one can tell you “no” after you suggest a vacation spot. You can go anywhere, even if alone. Go and explore. Hop in your car and take a drive. Get out there and experience something new, even if it’s only one town over.