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New Year

We often hear the concept “new year, new me.” With every new year comes the tradition of New Year’s resolutions, vision boards, creating a new version of oneself; out with the old, in with the new. New Years don’t require a new you, but it is a great opportunity to achieve a better you.

Life is full of trial and error, but in order to succeed in future attempts, it’s best if we each take time to self-reflect re-assess. Re-assess what you do, how you’re doing it, but more importantly how your current self and habits are impacting you and those around you. For example, perhaps in your co-parenting history, you never fully grasped when your parenting time actually is scheduled, what to do during your parenting time, much less what your obligations for co- parenting are. Moving forward, a great assessment strategy may be to review the parenting plan, perhaps write it out in list format, or add it to a physical calendar for the entire year.

Another great tip is setting up child support payments on auto pay to avoid forgetting.  Perhaps you can also plan your parenting time activities in advance for the year and discuss with the other parent to avoid conflicts or later objections. You can even create digital calendars and reminders. When in doubt,  schedule a consultation with an attorney who can help you interpret the terms of the order.

Some positive change can also be done to revert to a version you once were— before you were a parent, before co-parenting tension rose, before life got hectic and you lost track of time.  For example, for me, I used to love playing the piano as a way to blow off steam, aside from convincing myself I was going to be the next Alicia Keys. As the New Year approached, I promised myself to bring back portions of the old me, the one who had better balance, one that was filled with so much joy, and healthy habits. So, I purchased sheet music, began watching videos and tips to re-learn reading music, and have been shopping keyboards.

It is common that we say never look back, but sometimes there was more joy in past versions of yourself that you can tap into once again. The difference is, you’re reviving healthy portions of the past self and merging with healthy portions of present and future you.  Some revive portions of themselves before marriage or before divorce, some revert to the parent they were before litigation made the parenting experience sour. With a New Year, the possibilities of change are limitless— but be sure they’re realistic so those goals don’t slip away over time.

As I said, life is overall trial and error, so if you created a plan or habit that is no longer working out for the best version of you, you don’t have to wait until a new year to reassess, reset, and reformulate a different plan. You don’t have to wait until Monday, you don’t even have to wait for a new month, nor new year to try a new route.  However, with the excitement of the New Year, this is the perfect time to work off of that momentum to get new habits going.

Whether its change to self, or change to relationships with others, it is always the perfect time to revamp and pivot. For this new year, start with small goals, don’t be afraid to start over, and remain positive.

Renee Richardson