Simon Thomas
Posted on 6 Jan 2016

A New Year: A New Start

A very happy New Year to all our readers. 

A New Year: a time for reflection?

It is often said that a new year is the time for a new beginning. That may be with: 

  • a new job
  • a relationship
  • a different house or
  • just a more peaceful and less stressful life. 

You may say “That is all very well and much easier said than done”.  That may be true. However, it is highly unlikely that your problem, although the first time you have encountered it, will be so unusual as not to have been experienced by others. A new year is the time when many people find themselves thinking about their lives and what they want, expect and need. 

Nowhere is this more important than in our relationships. 

Nurture relationships

Most people will recognise what is good about their partner, their children, their work, and their lives. It is equally important to think clearly and honestly about what changes we might want and how these can be brought about. 

It is positive to recognise that there may be a better way of organising and living our lives. It is almost certainly true that if there is something in your life that is so worrying that you find yourself thinking about it most of the time, then the time has come to face that problem and try to deal with it.

Perhaps one of the greatest threats to relationships is falling out of the habit of taking enough time to nurture them. It is easy to lose the art of just “being” with another person or people, whether it is your partner, your children, your wider family, your work colleagues or anyone else who is important to you. For many people, the great enemy is that we can easily convince ourselves to believe that there is no time. In busy lives, the time never seems right to address these issues that are worrying us. The result is an increase in stress and anxiety. We can find ourselves dissatisfied because we feel that nothing or little changes as another year comes and goes.

Identify problems

If relationships are to be successful, they need constant time and attention. We need to ask questions of ourselves such as: 

  • Why are my children badly behaved or upset?
  • Do I spend enough time with them and do I talk to them?
  • Do I make time for my partner?
  • Do we spend enough time together as a family?
  • Do I take care of my health?
  • Have I got to grips with my finances as I promised myself last year I would?

These and many similar problems are common and can become overwhelming if not addressed. 

Finding solutions

The next question is, of course, “What can I do about it?”

It is easy to say but the truth is that we must take, not only the initiative, but also the responsibility to fix such problems. We can only begin the process of making things better by working out what is really wrong.  

We can often face problems and deal with them ourselves or we can seek help from a trusted friend or, perhaps, an expert. Many find counselling very helpful and there is no stigma nowadays in taking advantage of this sort of help. There are many available resources and there is no shame in seeking it out. If we feel really unwell, we go to the doctor, if the car breaks down, we have to take it to the garage. Why would we treat differently a difficult personal problem that might end up with far reaching, possible disastrous consequences?

Do I need legal advice?

Sometimes, particularly with relationships, there is a legal side to the problem. In that case, you might do well to take some legal advice. Don’t overlook the fact that solicitors nowadays are very experienced in most “lifestyle” problems. You will not be alone. We have an expert team of family law specialists: they have seen most situations before. Confidential advice can be given and a helpful word from an experienced advisor is sometimes all that is needed.  

A good solicitor will never rush you into legal action. At Michelmores we will always tell you right from the start what your legal position is and the available options. We will discuss the financial implications in a straightforward way.

As we go into the New Year, if things in your life do not seem to be right and you have been worried about them for some time, let your new year's resolution be: 

“I am going to do something about it in 2016”.

If you want to discuss your situation in more detail please contact Simon Thomas, Head of the Family Team, by telephone +44 (0)1392 687630 (direct line) or by email