Many people look to a new year to start a clean slate, with plans for changes and rebuilding. If you are ending this year with a change to your family dynamics, you can use the coming new year to rebuild by following our tips and suggestions for a happy, successful new year:
1. Focus on YOU:
This is a great time to spend some effort focusing on what you want or need in life. As many people use the new year to set goals and plans for the year to come, create a strategy that takes into account the changing you that you want to achieve. Everyone has changing needs after a divorce. The exciting thing about ending one part of life is that you have a new start or new beginning. This is a new year where you get to focus- maybe for the first time in a long time- on you and your individual needs. Take advantage of that! Whether you need some alone time, an opportunity to travel, a relocation, more time with family and friends, an opportunity to focus or re-engage in your career, reflect and determine what your new priorities are and make a plan for how you can set yourself up for success to achieve your goals in the coming year!
2. Learn to be an Individual Again
For many people, becoming uncoupled, especially in a long-term relationship, the changing dynamics can be unknown and therefore, scary. You may need to “rediscover” yourself. For example, do you really know the foods you like to eat or have you been eating what your spouse likes for so long, you’ve gotten the foods that you individually enjoy. Some people forget their own, individual needs and interests in favor of the interests of the couple or even in favor of the other spouse’s needs by putting them above their own. If you have unexplored passions or dreams, now may be the perfect time to pursue them. You can take up a new hobby, career or even take a trip you’ve been dreaming of. If you are having a hard time dealing with or processing your emotions, you may find journaling helpful. If you are having a significantly difficult time, starting the new year with a therapist or other professional help may allow you to flourish and find the coping mechanisms you need for the year to come!
3. Work on your finances
Many people feel that there finances are in chaos after a divorce. This can be the first time in a long time that you are solely responsible for both, earning the income in your household and paying or covering expenses. Take a hard look at your expenses and make sure they are necessary, as well as that you can account for where all of your money is going and how you will meet your budget each month. If you are struggling to get a handle on these things, a financial advisor or credit counselor may be helpful to your ability to move forward.
4. Find Opportunities to Make New Friends
Often people who are a part of a couple have many “couple friends” while sometimes not having many single friends. This is your opportunity to meet new groups of people and find new friends. If you have been interested in gardening, join a gardening club and meet some friends who share this interest! Join a sports league, a volunteer organization or whatever would be an interesting and enjoyable use of your time. This is your time to reinvent yourself. If you have not had significant time in the past to meet up with co-workers, maybe now is the time you can participate in some activities. Your next best friend may only be one activity or volunteer session away! Put yourself out there and find ways to connect with people so you can enjoy rediscovering your interests and meeting people who share those interests.
5. Get Comfortable with Yourself.
For some people, this can feel like a real challenge. While maintaining and building new connections with family and friends are important, it is equally important to spend time with yourself without actually feeling as though you are lacking or “alone.” Be brave, experience and try new things on your own, even if it is going to a movie or getting something to eat on your own.
As you look to a new year, it is a fresh opportunity for you to build and grow and thrive. At Pingel Family Law, we are excited about the year to come and particularly, the privileged opportunities that we are given on a daily basis to help positively impact the families we serve. If we can help your family plan for the future for the coming year, please call us today at (816) 208-8130 to schedule your consultation.