Well, it’s already the second week of January and all those
resolutions you vowed to stick with last week may have already been thrown to the
If that’s the case, don’t panic or be hard on yourself.
But that is not an excuse to just throw your hands up, give
up, call it a day, and resign yourself to the fact that you’ll never fully
recover from divorce. Or become financially secure. Or quit feeling guilty. Or
take better care of yourself. Or quit living in the past.
But there is one small thing you can do to stick to your
It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. And when we’re looking
to change what we don’t like in our lives, especially during divorce, starting
small can seem kinda worthless. But I’ll tell you why it’s absolutely crucial.
Starting small means
you will no longer be overwhelmed and hard on yourself when you’re trying to
reach a big goal.
Let’s break this
Say, for example, you want to move the hell on from your
divorce. That’s pretty admirable, but impossible to obtain if you don’t get
more specific. So, let’s see what starting small looks like.
Instead of This Big
But Overwhelming Goals: I want to move on.
Try These Small Steps
- Define what moving on means to you…and be
- Break it down into categories
- List those small objectives in each category
- The more specific the things you list, the more
tangible the tasks become
- Focus on just doing one of these tasks today.
Then repeat tomorrow with a different task. And the day after.
Let’s see what
starting small means when it’s put into action:
- Define what “moving on” means. If you can’t
be specific, there’s no way in hell you can attain it. So, let’s take a crack
at defining it for ourselves
- Moving on means being independent, regaining
confidence, not feeling stuck, and not living in the past
- Break it into categories
- Getting Unstuck
- Not living in past
- List smaller, more tangibles objectives in
each one of these categories
- Independence—this can mean a lot of things to a
lot of people, but for now, but many of you have said this means financial
independence, so let’s drill down on that
- Financial Independence…what does it mean to you?
- Moving Out and getting your own home
- Re-entering the workplace
- Formulating your own budget on your income alone
- Confidence…what does it mean to you?
- Learning how to say “no” when I’m overwhelmed
- Learning to be okay with being single
- Establishing better boundaries with my family
- Strengthening my support system
- Taking better care of myself
- Repeat these steps with Not Feeling Stuck and
Not Living in the Past. Make a list of what those mean to you.
- The more
specific things you list, the more tangible they become. Remember, Specific=Tangible
- Now that you’ve started to break down these task,
pick one—just one—that you can start working on. Many of you have mentioned
how hard it is to deal with loneliness and feeling like you don’t have a good
support system, so let’s hone in on that for a second. If you can’t remember
were we listed it, it’s #4 under the Confidence section. Here’s what it will
- Strengthening my support system
- What does that mean to me? List the ways you
would like to strengthen your support system. A good place to start is the
- Do an internet search today to see what type of
divorce support groups are in your area
- Go to meetup.com and see what groups they have
that you would be interested in—book clubs, hiking, learning to dance, the list
is endless. Pick one today to
research and RSVP to one of their events
- Call up one of your friends today to talk.
- Go to a class at your gym. Say hello to three
people and ask who they’re doing.
- Focus on
doing just one task today. Then repeat with a different task tomorrow. Then
repeat the day after.
- What small thing are you going to work on today?
- One of my goals this year is to establish a more
person-to-person presence of Surviving Your Split in my city. So today, I will
sign up to two wellness networking events.
- And tomorrow, I will make a list of the business
in my town who may be interested in working together.
The purpose of this exercise is
not to make you feel overwhelmed, and is not to send the message that “holy shit omigod I thought I just had five
things to do and now I have infinity things to worry about! To hell with trying
to attain any type of goal, I’m never going to get anywhere!”
All you need to do is start small.
Think of the big goals you have, then
break them into tiny, bite-sized pieces. And do just one of those. And it may
not seem like much, but I promise you, the more consistent you are with doing the manageable bite-sized
stuff, the faster and easier it will be to attain those big overarching goals.
Before you know it, those New Year’s
“to-do’s” will become “have-dones,” with no problem.