Every year I write New Year's resolutions for couples. This year, I've posted my 2011 New Year's Resolutions for Your Marriage as a very cool poster over on the Divorce Busting Blog. But sometimes, when your marriage is on the rocks, you start to wonder how relationship goals that require two people's active participation apply to you. That's why I decided to write Ten New Year's Resolutions for Divorce Busters, those people who don't have the luxury of their partner's support. Here are ten goals that you can accomplish yourself in 2011.
1. Envision positive outcomes
There is no way that you can begin to accomplish positive change your marriage if you don't believe it is possible. Start by imagining what your life will be like when your marriage truly turns a corner. The more you can picture every detail, the easier it will be to eventually step into this picture at some later date.
2. Act as if you expect miracles to occur
Once you can imagine positive outcomes, reflect on how you will be behaving differently when they happen. Then start doing that right now!
3. Be kind, even if you think your spouse doesn't deserve it
You may be angry, disappointed, or even devastated by your spouse's choices and actions. However, rather than react to unsettling behavior, assume your spouse is lost and confused. Be patient, kind and steady and your efforts will pay off.
4. Focus on small, positive changes
Don't expect big changes overnight or you will be disappointed and it will make it hard to stay on track. Imagine the smallest change possible that would signal a shift in how things have been going. Then focus on that.
5. Promise yourself this will be a great year, no matter what
You can not control what your spouse does, but you can control what you decide to do with yourself and your children , if you have them. Take a deep breath and envision how you are going to make this a good year regardless of your spouse's choices.
6. Exercise your worry away
The most popular New Year's Resolution is to join a health club and exercise to become more fit. That is well and good. For you, exercise will be a lifesaver. It will help to assuage worries, feel good about yourself and increase feel-good hormones like endorphins. Go for it!
7. Do one new thing you enjoy
Don't become stale just because you are having a shaky time in your marriage. Novelty will stimulate your brain and maybe even your heart and help you have a more positive outlook about the future.
8. Make sure you have quality time with your children or other loved ones. Be present.
Many times, when people are teetering on the brink of divorce, their pain makes them become self-absorbed and staying the moment becomes and challenging task. You will never be able to do your children's childhood again, so do your best to be with them mentally when you're with them.
9. If you get off track, get back on quickly without self-blame
What separates the winners from the losers is not whether or how many times you get off track, it's how rapidly you get back on track. If you've veered from the Divorce Busting plan, hop right back on track without self-recrimination.
10. Do activities that help you rediscover serenity
Meditate, pray, hike in the mountains or watch a sky full of shooting stars. On a regular basis, do whatever it takes to bring you back to yourself. You and everyone around will benefit from your peacefulness.
Michele Weiner-Davis is the founder of the Divorce Busting Center and best selling author of "Divoce Busting", "The Divorce Remedy", and "The Sex-Starved Marriage". Subscribe to the Divorce Busting Newsletter to get exclusive marriage saving offers and first access to Michele's latest work.