Ditch Your Resolution Day: A Better Path to Personal Growth Following Divorce

January 15, 2024
Alexandra Cutler

Article written by Alexandra Cutler

As the new year unfolds, you may find yourself with an endless list of resolutions. This holds particularly true for those navigating a separation or divorce. In the following article, learn how you can avoid falling into the New Year’s Resolution trap and discover why ditching your resolutions might just be the key to personal growth post-divorce! 

Understanding the New Year's Resolution Trap

The New Year’s Resolution trap occurs when people set unrealistic goals or else try to make too many changes all at once. Inspired by the idea of a fresh start, you aren’t the only one returning to old habits due to the pressure of exceedingly high standards. Just remember, healing from your separation or divorce doesn’t have to come in the form of monumental resolutions. To avoid falling into this trap, set realistic and achievable goals rather than trying to completely overhaul your life. We love a blank slate; however, don’t forget that your new chapter can’t all be written in a single day.

African American single mom feeling overwhelmed with rowdy children in the background

The Importance of Acknowledging and Grieving Your Divorce

While January 1st marks the start of a new year, the changing of the calendar doesn’t shift where you are in your own personal divorce journey. Everyone heals from a separation or divorce at their own pace. It is important to acknowledge and grieve your divorce before moving forward to embrace your fresh start.

Let’s be clear. Grieving your divorce does not mean you need to dwell on the past. It means allowing yourself to feel all the emotions that come with the end of your marriage. It means giving yourself permission to heal one step at a time. Maybe in your journey, you are ready to take on a bigger resolution. If you aren’t there yet; however, setting smaller and more sustainable resolutions can be exactly what you need to help you move forward.

Setting Smaller Resolutions for Sustainable Personal Growth

If your New Year's resolutions sound something like "Achieve Complete Financial Independence," "Establish a Conflict-Free Co-Parenting Dynamic," or "Post-Divorce Reinvention,"  then you might find yourself disappointed when you don't meet the mark. These types of milestones take time following a separation or divorce, so consider replacing these goals with something a little more attainable:

  1. Create a Realistic Budget: Instead of expecting to achieve financial independence immediately following a separation or divorce, focus on the smaller steps you can take to eventually get there. Start by making a realistic budget, setting the foundation for your future financial stability. 
  2. Improve Communication with your Co-Parent: In a perfect world, we would all have conflict-free co-parenting relationships. However, even when this is possible, it isn't achieved over night. Instead make it a goal to put in specific efforts to improve your communication with your co-parent. 
  3. Explore a Hobby: Following a separation or divorce, you may feel like you've lost some of your identity. Instead of aiming for complete rediscovery, explore a new hobby that can help you reconnect with your own personal interests and passions. 

New year resolution, New goals, Start new year, planning and setting goals for the next year. Woman in white sweater writing handwritten text My Goals in open notepad on the table.

Celebrating the Little Wins along the Way

As you work towards your resolutions and personal growth, it is important to celebrate the little wins along the way. Recognizing and acknowledging your progress will help you stay motivated and inspire you to keep going.

Celebrate each small milestone you achieve. Whether it's going a full week without straying from your budget; or else, having a productive conversation with your co-parent while dropping off the kids, you deserve recognition. Remember that personal growth is a journey. It's important to enjoy the process. 

Finally Ditching Your Resolutions 

The pressure of the new year to completely overhaul your life is exhausting. While it is healthy to set goals for yourself, this Ditch Your Resolution Day we hope you recognize that there is a more sustainable path to personal growth following your divorce. We are here for you!