12/29/2011 12:14 pm ET | Updated Feb 28, 2012

How To Make 2012 The Start Of An Exciting Life

Starting over after a divorce can be tough. We know because we've interviewed lots of women who have had to re-make their lives, and the idea of making New Year's resolutions on top of that feels like climbing a mountain. The Garter Brides want to help you make 2012 a new start to an exciting and fulfilling time in your life. We have tips for making realistic resolutions that will bring positive changes in your life and will be easier to keep than last year's resolution to lose thirty pounds in thirty days!

Don't let people feel sorry for you. Get out there and Resolve to pay it forward.
Expand your circle of friends and acquaintances. You need new people in your life. People who don't see you as so-and-so's ex-wife, but know you as the unique individual that you are. Be active! It's an election year. Volunteer for a candidate you feel passionate about. Serve dinner in a homeless shelter. Your local hospital always needs someone to help run the book mobile. You never know who you're going to meet there. Life is full of surprises.

Get out of that comfortable rut you're marriage put you in. Resolve to try something new every month. It doesn't have to be a major undertaking. Read a book you've always wanted to read. Take a class in investing. Try a new adventure in eating. Learn to bowl, or play bridge, study a foreign language. When you develop new interests you'll find that you're open to meeting new people and that "get out there and do something" attitude attracts people. Who knows who you'll meet...maybe Mr. Right!

Are you scared about money and your future? Resolve to feel more secure by understanding your financial situation. We know that if you have kids you're probably living on less than half of what your income was when you were married. Hire a financial advisor, but if you can't afford that, ask a friend who has "financial smarts" to help you create a budget. Figure out how to prepare for a vacation as well as an emergency.

Don't use "I'm too busy" as an excuse. Resolve to take care of yourself. Many of you are single moms caring for everyone else without an extra pair of hands. Commit to making time to do something for yourself. Go to a department store and get your make-up done.. Have a weekly manicure or take a yoga class. Feeling good about yourself is important and that confidence will be communicated to those around you.

Are you still living in the home you shared with your ex-husband? Resolve to make that home "Yours." Shake it up! Even if it's just moving the furniture around or hanging a couple of new pictures, the important thing is to stop thinking of yourself as half a couple. Make your home a haven that fits the lifestyle you have now and the future you hope to attain.

Remember that you're on a new adventure. Opportunity is out there, just be open and keep looking! Many of the Garter Brides found the loves of their lives after they got divorced. They all took chances and tried new things, met new people and made happy changes in their lives. You can too!