4 Realistic Changes to Make in the New Year

It’s a new year and it feels like you should get a reboot, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start afresh with a new 12 months.

Unfortunately, just because the calendar turns over doesn’t mean personal problems and family disputes get erased. It can be tough to get optimistic about entering a new year when you’re dealing with the same disagreements or legal disputes.

If you’re facing the coming new year with what seem like the same old problems, you might feel like resolving to turn it all around. Perhaps, instead, you’re saddened by 2019 showing up while you haven’t made much progress.

Check your troubles at the door and find some moderation. You can move into the new year with positivity and hope, while recognizing it’s going to take a while for things to get better.

1. Resolve to reconcile old hurts

Notice that doesn’t say “forget old hurts” or “move on from your painful past.” Jan. 1 won’t take away the pain that lingers from past divorce, separation or other family disputes. It’s unrealistic to expect you can deliberately put this all behind you with one resolution.

Instead, work on coming to terms with your nagging hurt feelings. Without self-blame, identify what’s still bothering you and why you’re having a tough getting through it. Think about ways you can move on from the pain of the past and how you can gradually find relief.

2. Resolve to be kinder to yourself

If you’re struggling to make positive changes, beating yourself up won’t help. Even if you accept responsibility for the predicament, you deserve the opportunity to be free from that guilt. Keep moving forward by remembering that you are a person worthy of love and happiness.

Envision a scenario in which you forgive yourself for past transgressions. What is your attitude like? What would it take to get there? In the new year, practice regular self-care by addressing your needs and treating yourself with respect. Eat nourishing food, get plenty of sleep and find time for stillness.

3. Resolve to be the boat

While everyone around you is celebrating new beginnings, maybe 2019 greets you with a pending court case or in some other life turbulence. You’ll eventually find your way through it to the other side, but in the meantime it can be tough to face more weeks and months of a storm.

This year, focus on being the boat in your situation. A boat out at sea can’t avoid the waves; it can’t even steer clear of on oncoming storm. So it moves and sways and lets the water carry it along.

You can’t help but be caught up in a stormy sea, but you can choose to simply ride the waves. You’re still the captain, but instead of flailing around in panic, you’re choosing to tie down your sails, go with the flow and ride it out.

4. Resolve to work toward resolution

Actively participate in conversations, processes and decisions that will bring your family dispute to an acceptable conclusion. Be a leader in areas where it’s appropriate and be ready to take a step back when needed. Don’t stand in the way of your own progress by refusing to compromise when you can.

Also, resolve to ask for help if you need it. You can build more positive change while working with people you trust and sharing your feelings with people who support you. Develop and nurture your inner strength while you fortify your support system.

In matters of family disputes, the legal process itself is only the tip of the iceberg. More often than not, you will find a multitude of emotions that require a considerable amount of attention. Embracing new resolutions is a great way to cope with those evolving emotions and changes.

For More Information

Please contact our office at 815-600-8950 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

This article does not constitute individual legal advice and is to not to be construed as such.  This article contains general information and constitutes legal advertising.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

Recent Posts

Success Will Look Different For All – A Client Story

Our team received the letter below.  At the request of this previous client, we wanted to share their message as words of encouragement.     You represented me in my divorce years ago.  I recently paid my last child support payment and felt the need to reach out to...

Is Adult Guardianship an Option for Your Child?

As a parent, ensuring the well-being of your child is a lifelong commitment. For some parents, this includes making decisions about adult guardianship when their child reaches the age of 18. In Illinois, there are specific laws and guidelines that can help you...