Setting Goals After You Divorce-The Right Way, According to Science

Goal-setting is a natural response to divorce. Equipped with more time and, perhaps, a better budget, you hope to embrace your new life in a way not possible while married. Exercise caution; the wrong goals or approach could harm your post-divorce well-being.

Ready to get started? Follow these steps to develop realistic goals that deliver true satisfaction once achieved.

Focus On Fewer and More Meaningful Goals

Research indicates that we take ownership of goals much in the way that we think about tangible objects. In other words, metaphorically speaking, when we fail to achieve a goal, we feel as if we’ve lost treasured jewelry or our beloved iPhone. To reduce this sense of loss, limit goals to a select and realistic handful. Psychologist John Norcross recommends that these few goals be clearly defined, measurable, and relevant to your personality and long-term ambitions.

Use Positive Language

The more positively you frame your goals, the more likely you are to follow through. Focus on the qualities you want to enter your life, rather than the things you want to avoid. Develop a simple mantra you can repeat whenever you feel discouraged.

Adopt a Growth Mindset

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck recommends adopting a “growth mindset.” Rather than thinking of your abilities as fixed, regard them as malleable, given time and effort. The less you rely on natural ability and the more you emphasize hard work, the more likely you are to stick it out when the going gets tough.

Plan For Failure

Realistically, you will not stick to your goal 100 percent of the time. Failure is practically inevitable. It sounds cliché, but what really matters is not whether you fail at some point, but whether you pick yourself back up and begin anew. As the ancient saying goes: fall down 7 times, get up 8. Improve your likelihood of getting on the wagon by developing a Plan B. Determine ahead of time how you’ll forgive yourself and get back on track, no matter how discouraging your failure. Remind yourself that a single disappointment will not determine your long-term success, or lack thereof.

You’ll find it far easier to focus on goals if a qualified Virginia divorce attorney handles the legal complications of your divorce. DiPietro Law Group can help you pick up the pieces and move on with your life. Get in touch today to learn more.

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