I love the new year, which for me is an opportunity to reflect on the past year and an opportunity to assess new habits and set goals for the coming year.
And for those suffering through the pain of divorce, this is a time to both look backward and to look forward to a positive year. What does reflecting on the past year allow?
- The backward lens allows you to consider the events that brought you to where you are today.
- An ability to remember (and appreciate) some of the positives in your life that you may overlook during periods of stress.
- Seeing things from this perspective teaches us. Circumstances we considered “life or death” at the time aren’t so bad in retrospect. This perspective helps us deal better with trying events in the present.
So take a few hours this upcoming weekend and look back on the past year. Don’t ignore the painful memories, just don’t dwell on them. In doing so, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What were my successes?
- What did I learn?
- What am I grateful for?
- What could I have done better last year?
- What did I learn last year that I can apply to next year?
Now with the insights gained from last year’s memories, determine what habits, goals, practices, or attitudes you intend to implement in the coming year. Perhaps you will adopt healthy lifestyle habits or let go of the bad attitudes from last year. Consider some of the following:
- What are three small changes I can make that will improve my life?
- What am I holding on to that I can let go of for me and my children’s benefit?
- What are some things I can get rid of in my life that will make me happier? (no, your spouse doesn’t count)
- What type of person do I want to be for my children?
- What are three things I enjoy doing that I don’t do anymore?
Use your past and present insights to rebuild your life this year.
Divorce is a terrible time but it doesn’t last forever. Start planning for a new life while the old life is being unwound. Like a dead body, a dead marriage needs to be buried and properly mourned. Dwelling on how miserable you are doesn’t help. Reflect, learn, and grow. Plant a flower on the grave of your dead relationship this new year, and spring back to life as a new and better person.