When you’re going through separation or divorce, New Year’s resolutions can take on a whole new meaning.
I think the reason so many of us look forward to January 1st every year is because of the alluring promise we make to ourselves that the future will be “better.” Depending on where you’re at in the divorce process, you might be ready to craft yourself a whole new story, or just managing to get through today.
Our advice? Be kind to yourself and take a moment to take care of you. Our D-Squad has already given some great suggestions on little ways to give yourself a boost. Today we're thinking about taking stock and looking at the year ahead.
With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to offer you some thought starters. These are not about getting J-Lo’s abs or learning a hobby or Marie Kondo-ing your closet… we’ll save those for another time. Pick one of these to commit to -- or make your own.
1. Resolve to…. get your career back on track.
Many women put their careers on the backburner at some point in their marriages. Maybe you scaled back to part-time to be more available to your spouse. Maybe you stopped working altogether when your first child came along. Whatever you did, you made the decision you felt was best at the time.
(And if stepping back from your career still is the best decision for you, or if your career is already exactly where you want it to be, congratulate yourself and skip right on past this part!)
But if you either need to ramp up your career for financial reasons, or want to for personal reasons, what can you do next year to further your goal?
If you’ve been out of the workforce for years, take baby steps. Like taking an online course, asking a friend to help you update your resume, or buying a laptop that wasn’t made in 1999. Or see a career coach or find a recruiter who specializes in your area. If you don’t even know what you can or want to do with the rest of your career life, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper.
One of the best career books of all times is What Color Is Your Parachute. Another great read that covers career and more is Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life.
2. Resolve to… take better care of your health.
I’ve never met a woman who said she needed to take less care of herself. And when you’re going through the stress of divorce, it’s especially important to consider your health. Many women I’ve counseled lost or gained weight, and stopped sleeping during their divorce.
Taking care of your health doesn’t mean forcing yourself to go on a run at the crack of dawn even though you only got 5 hours of sleep, or cutting back from 4 to 3 glasses of wine a night. It does mean scheduling your annual doctor appointments to get a physical, check your moles and your lady parts. It means drinking enough water. And getting enough sleep on a regular basis. It means eating foods that fuel your body and emotions instead of weighing them down.
You know what you need to do, it’s just a matter of committing to doing it. Seriously commit to your health next year!
3. Resolve to… move your divorce along.
You’ve been hanging out in the “ing” land for a while now. As in “separating”. Or “divorcing”. Your friends are asking when it will be over, and you don’t have an answer. If this is you, resolve to do your part to move your divorce along.
You can’t control the process, but you can control your end of it. Ask your lawyer what needs to be done and what you can do to help her get it done. If you haven’t been as responsive as you should be, vow that next year you will be.
If you’ve been avoiding dealing with it because it’s too painful or you’re scared, resolve to face those feelings and move forward anyway. Because you can’t truly begin to heal and move forward with your life – and neither can your kids – until you turn your “ing” into an “ed.” And there is immeasurable value in closure.