Making New Year’s resolutions after divorce can be stressful. Each year as the calendar turns to January 1st, your thoughts turn to how you can be a better version of yourself. Making resolutions is a worthy effort in an attempt to make lasting change. When you are divorced, what used to be your go-to resolutions now take on a new form. In the past, you may have hoped to be a better spouse in the New Year. Maybe you wanted to lose a bit of weight or exercise more. But now that you are divorced, your intentions for the New Year are different.
Some common New Year’s resolutions after divorce are to make new friends, parent peacefully, and create comfortable surroundings. Maybe you are ready to start dating and explore how you show up in a new romance. There are endless resolutions available to you. But before you name them, let’s take a closer look.
Estimates are that 70% of those who make New Year’s resolutions simply don’t keep them. This year, it’s time that you learn the secrets to making and keeping resolutions that support becoming a happier version of your post-divorce self. When you look at the word “resolution” you see it is a form of the word “resolve.”
As a verb, resolve means to come to a definite or earnest decision about something. But, when it takes the form of a noun, it becomes the word resolution. A resolution is a determination to follow some course of action. Let’s break down the word resolve.
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions After Divorce
As a certified divorce coach, I encourage my clients to not simply make a resolution, but to resolve problems with a new approach.
What would you like to experience in the New Year? When you view your goals through the lens of resolving problems, rather than making a broad determination, your resolutions become specific, actionable, and achievable. There is often a pull toward staying the same.
Staying stuck in old habits can be meeting a need that you are not consciously aware of. Before you declare your resolutions, take a look at what you are trying to solve in your life. For example, let’s say you want to be a more peaceful parent during the precious time you have with your children. A broad-brush determination would be to resolve to stop yelling at them. A way to resolve the problem of being a yeller is to discover how yelling satisfies you and what “not yelling” looks like. You need to find your “Why!”
2. Become Inspired
External resolutions are quick and easy to come by. Losing weight is the most common resolution! Rather than only focus on the outside, take a look within. When you look inside you can connect your resolution to your values. Your values are not goals.
Values are the “Why” behind how you want to show up in the world and who you want to be. When you choose to be more peaceful to your children, and do so in service of your values, your resolution will stick! It takes practice to tune into your highest values and to be very aware of them. Distractions and habits in the moment can derail your resolution. Remember the rewards of delayed gratification. To delay your usual reaction, take a deep breath and pause. In that pause, ask yourself, “What do I want most?” How may you be interfering with keeping your own resolution? What can you do to stay on track?
3. Find the Feeling
Imagine right now that you are showing up as the peaceful parent you only dreamed you could be. Picture in your mind’s eye a scenario that you can relate to from your daily experience. When you see yourself in this picture, what feelings come up for you? Take a pause and really be with this feeling. If you need help naming your feelings, a great resource can be found at Non-Violent Communication: https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/feelings-inventory.
Now comes the fun part, and the part that will support you in keeping your resolution. Let’s say you are feeling serene and centered as a parent. How can you take a moment to feel this way right now? When you embody the feeling of your resolutions, you are gaining traction on the path to achieving them.
In conclusion, the three keys to lasting change begin with New Year’s resolutions. Remember: your resolution is not a wish or a hope. It is an act of determination to create new solutions to old problems. Take inspired action by discovering your “why” behind what you want to achieve. Let your values be your guiding North Star, and feel the emotions of having accomplished your resolution. These are the keys to achieving lasting change!