5 Ways to Make This Year Your Happiest Year Ever

The New Year is an inspiring, hopeful time of year – a new landscape is ahead of you, fresh and full of potential. You've already taken a giant step toward the life you truly want.

Although it might not seem like it now, you're on the path to personal fulfillment and success you might not even be able to picture quite yet. To help you embrace 2024, here are five ways you can get excited about the New Year and quickly make progress toward your goals.

Schedule more time for fun

You schedule all the necessary tasks and responsibilities you need to take care of. You make time for the people you love. You might even set aside time for meditation, exercise and other forms of self-care . But what about just plain silly FUN time?

Think about the times when you reconnect with your carefree inner child. Maybe it's laughing out loud while you watch a favorite movie or show. Perhaps it's playing a game. A solo dance party? Maybe it's simply skipping down a path. Make time for it every single week (or better yet, every day).

Be more selfish

We know you can't just abandon your commitments and that you're busy doing all the things you have to as the adult you are. But everyone can do little things to make their personal time a bit more productive, rewarding and satisfying. If you can't spend a whole afternoon at a spa, can you go for a 20-minute massage – or even apply a facial mask while you tackle some other to-do. It's OK to indulge yourself, especially if no one else is taking care of you.

Seek support

Seeking the help of a life coach, therapist, support group or guided journal is critical when life feels heavy, confusing or otherwise stressful. If your divorce is your main concern, a divorce coach can be incredibly helpful and can help ease some of the weight off your shoulders.

If your mental health is otherwise rocky, a life coach, support group or therapist can give tips and advice to achieve more peace and strength. If you can't afford to pay for something, there are lots of online support groups and guided journals with no required fees (some ask for optional donations, though).

Find a place to settle your thoughts

Know the feeling of inner peace and clarity you get in those little "aha" moments? Where are you and what are you doing when the world just clicks into place? Go there, and as often as possible. For many, that's quiet time out in nature, during a yoga or meditation practice, a moment of bliss on a vacation or a deep conversation with a friend who fills you with positive energy.

Whenever you feel settled, clear and positive, make a note of the conditions around you – the physical place, who you are with, how you feel physically, etc. Return there as much as you can.

Make a divorce game plan

If you're still going through your divorce, lay out all the possible outcomes. Which ones look best, and what actions can you take to get there? Pretend you are in full control. Maybe you have more control than you think. Would consulting a mediator, legal coach, therapist or lawyer help you have that control? Make a plan that will start to work more in your favor if you feel like your current one isn't ideal.

If your divorce is already finalized, lay out all the possible "next steps" and see which ones feel most appealing. Create a strategy around getting to each, giving yourself at least a Plan B, if not a C and D. Allow yourself options and the right to change your mind or to go with the flow if one plan doesn't quite work out. Know that it won't go perfectly as planned, and that's OK. The result can be even better.


Senior Editor
Communication, Relationships, Divorce Insights
Melissa Schmitz is Senior Editor at Hello Divorce, and her greatest delight is to help make others’ lives easier – especially when they’re in the middle of a stressful life transition like divorce. After 15 years as a full-time school music teacher, she traded in her piano for a laptop and has been happily writing and editing content for the last decade. She earned her Bachelor of Psychology degree from Alma College and her teaching certificate from Michigan State University. She still plays and sings for fun at farmer’s markets, retirement homes, and the occasional bar with her local Michigan band.