The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.

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A New Year, A Smarter You

Welcoming in the New Year as newly single, divorced or separated, brings new meaning for many.  Some feel free and happy, and others might still be grieving the many losses experienced through separation/divorce. Despite how you may feel, divorce is rich in opportunity to learn and grown from.

What can you do change how you feel, shake it up…. feel optimistic and start rebuilding your life? Setting goals, and reflecting on what you have learned will help to move forward with focus, hope and confidence.

Think about what you want out of life and the things you need to do to get you there — then create your wish list, and start following your goals to reach your objectives.

§  Set realistic goals of what you would like to accomplish this year.

§  Make a top 5 list of your objectives.

§  Take your list and write out what you need to do to get there.

§  January 1 – start doing one of the things on your list now, to begin achieving your objectives.

Wishing you much luck and happiness for a smart, wonderful and fulfilling 2011

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Home alone for the holidays?

“It’s the holiday season and once again, I am dreading the feeling of being alone.” I hear this sentiment expressed all too often from many divorcées—be it at the beginning of their separation, or from those that have been divorced for years. 

Is it possible to embrace the feeling of aloneness and actually do something positive about it?  You bet it is.

Who says you have to celebrate those days the traditional route or the way you celebrated when you were married? If you find yourself alone, create new meaning for these celebrations and enjoy them on your own terms. Here are some tips to get you through these celebrations.

  • Make a special effort to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Don’t try drowning your sorrows with alcohol or food.  Doing anything to excess when you are sad or worried is rarely a smart move.
  • Be good to yourself. Go for a manicure or massage, buy a great CD, catch up on your favorite hobby. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend or family member. 
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, speak with a trusted friend, therapist or someone in your support group.
  • Plan ahead. If it looks like you’re going to be spending the time on your own, find an interesting activity or a place to travel so you can be with other people.
  • Surround yourself with people, whether from your support network, your family, your church or synagogue. You may even be able to attend a special support group holiday function.
  • Contemplate how you would like your life to look like post-divorce and write down what you need to do to get there. Start doing one of those things now.
  • Stay in control by making lists of what you need to do and checking each item off as you accomplish it.
  • Use any time alone to do the things you’ve been putting off — catching up on paperwork; catching up on sleep; reading the great book that’s been sitting unopened for weeks or months; calling the friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect with.
  • If putting on a dinner or party in the family home doesn’t feel right, try doing something for others off site. For example, you could visit a retirement home and read to those whose families can’t be with them during the holidays.
  • Continue to make the holidays special for your children. Include them in developing new traditions. Ask them how they would like to celebrate. 
  • Plan ahead how your children are going to spend the holidays. Avoid the stress of figuring things out last minute. This will give you a sense of comfort, relief and control.
  • Be creative and flexible. If your children are not celebrating the holidays with you, think about making another day during holiday time a special day together.
  • If your children are going to be with their other parent, phone them and wish them a happy holiday. Let them know that you are thinking about them.
  • Don’t make your children feel that they have to take care of you during this special time. Send them the message that the holidays are a special time and you want them to enjoy themselves.
  • Spare the occasional good thought for your ex.  Your marriage likely had some good moments. Remembering those times occasionally will help you lift yourself out of your bitterness about your current situation.


Wishing everyone good health, happiness and prosperity; peace and love.