2016 is well underway and many will look at the new year as a new beginning. While it’s important to have a positive outlook on the year ahead, sometimes the changing of the calendar year can create a false sense of promise. Pressure to set unrealistic goals such as being healed from your divorce this year, or that you will fall in love this year. Sometimes while going through the difficult path of grieving your divorce it may be helpful to consider that January 1st is nothing more than the day after December 31st. The changing of the year will bring a bit more healing and personal growth as each day passes, however it is imperative to understand that things can’t, and won’t, change overnight, which is why creating realistic expectations of the new year is essential to your healing. All the talk about new year’s resolutions, goals, “new year, new you,” that come with the month of January can leave you feeling overwhelmed, which creating realistic expectations, even if that means lowering or having no expectations at all can be a healthier way to navigate the healing process. Setting lower expectations allows you to be gentler on yourself. Creating a sense of balance in your life can be far more important than checking something off of an overwhelming, or unrealistic, to-do list. As you gradually adjust to your new normal, you may feel that everything in your world is now different, yourself included. You will have days of triumph, days of defeat, and plenty of temporary setbacks throughout the year ahead, but it’s crucial to remember that these temporary setbacks are just that – temporary. They happen to everyone and are a normal part of the process of healing from your divorce. It’s natural to have days where you hope and pray for everything to go back to the way things once were, but it is unrealistic to expect for that to actually happen. As you begin to accept your new normal, it might require a new approach to life, and maybe your biggest goal for 2016 will be to learn that approach and how to navigate it. Find the joy in life, which is more important than checking something off of a list. Reconnect with old friends, find new hobbies, look for the joy in everyday, but don’t feel the pressure to have a timeline on your healing, your happiness, your life, or finding new love.