7 New Year’s Resolutions for the Recently Divorced

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Now that last year is behind you – and your divorce is final – it’s time to embrace the new year and all it has to offer. This is a great opportunity to reinvent your life, especially now that you can do it on your own terms. The following resolutions are designed to help you navigate the change.

  1. Let it go. It doesn’t make sense to keep fighting the marriage battles in your head, although that may be exactly what you’re doing. Instead, stop thinking about what went wrong and how you might have avoided it. And by all means, don’t plot revenge. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you simply get busy and move on with life.
  1. Be civil. It’s time to leave the bitterness behind you and take the high road. That means no more fighting with your ex – especially in front of your kids. Don’t embarrass your kids by misbehaving at one of their events or activities. If you really must vent, find a friend or family member who’s willing to listen so you can get it out of your system. But generally, you’ll want to start treating your ex with respect, which is exactly what you’d expect in return.
  1. Do something for yourself. You know that class you’ve been thinking about signing up for? Well, now may be the time. Or maybe you’d like to start a new hobby, join a club or learn to play a musical instrument. Whatever you decide, it’s important to engage with something that makes you happy.
  1. Get your finances in order. Now that you’re no longer married, your finances have changed – and not always for the better. Regardless of your situation, it’s important to create a budget, take a closer look at your retirement accounts, and start saving. A financial advisor can help you achieve your financial goals. Once you have a plan in place, you’ll feel better about life in general.
  1. Update your important documents. Since circumstances have changed, you’ll need to meet with an attorney to update your will and financial and health powers of attorney. Take a closer look at any financial, insurance and retirement documents as well. You will probably need to change the beneficiaries.
  1. Start moving. It seems like exercise is the antidote for everything these days. That’s because it really does make a difference. Regular exercise triggers the release of endorphins in your brain, which helps fight off depression. Knowing that, it only makes sense to commit to a regular exercise program.
  1. Be cautious, but not afraid. When the time is right to start a new romantic relationship, you’ll know it. Until then, it’s important not to jump into something too soon, especially if you’re still grieving. On the other hand, don’t let your fear of getting hurt prevent you from getting involved in a new relationship. It may be scary, but you can’t let fear prevent you from a relationship that could bring you happiness.

The new year has arrived, and you can start with a clean slate. It’s time to leave the past behind you, stop worrying about the future, and embrace the present. Start living the life you deserve.

David Lowenstein, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the clinical director of Lowenstein & Associates, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to providing therapeutic services to individuals and families, he offers training and consultation to numerous associations, schools and agencies around the country. Additionally, he is a frequent radio and TV guest and a resource and contributing writer for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. Contact Dr. David Lowenstein at 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.