Don’t just survive on your own … THRIVE!

Here are six success strategies for living alone and finding contentment

By Gwenn Voelckers

Do you live alone? If so, here’s a follow-up question for you: Are you just surviving or are you thriving? There’s a huge difference, of course.

Merriam-Webster defines surviving as “continuing to exist.” Thriving means “to grow and develop well and vigorously.”

Fear of change or the unknown can keep you stuck in survival mode. Or perhaps it’s lethargy or out of habit that you find yourself just putting one foot in front of the other to make it through your day.

That was the case for me after my divorce, until I got tired of the same ol’ same ol’ and wanted to get more out of life. I wanted to experience more, to feel more and to connect more with others. I wanted to find meaning and purpose in my life.

Is there something bigger and better out there for you? Inspired by the word “THRIVE,” here are six success strategies for living alone and finding contentment.

1. Think differently

Your beliefs determine the life you have. If you don’t like the results you are getting in your life, take a look at changing the beliefs that are producing those results. You have a choice.

Choose to focus on your strengths, your gifts, and this unique opportunity to define what you want out of life and then to create a life that is consistent with your goals and values.

2. Help yourself

When you live alone, you need to become your own “nudge,” your own motivator and cheerleader. Setting goals is a wonderful and very effective way to give your life direction and purpose.

Goals can put passion into everyday existence. Goals should be written down; expressed in positive, affirming language; assigned a deadline; be achievable; and reviewed regularly.

3. Rediscover and reconnect

A key to living alone successfully is to determine who you are and what you really want for your life. No “shoulds” or other people’s agendas.

Identify those things that fully engrossed you as a child or that today completely consume you — those things that make you feel whole, as though nothing is missing. These are your “loves” and they reveal your true self. When you live your life consistent with these loves, you’ll feel less alone, more energized and alive.

4. Invest in your future

On your own or with help, there’s no time like now to find out where you stand financially and where you want and need to go. Start today to align your spending with your values, to “find your stuff,” and to create a plan to protect your future.

Peace of mind and a sense of empowerment are the rewards for those who come out from under the covers, ask for help if they need it, and get their financial house in order.

5. Vow to banish negative thinking

Negative thinking can get in the way of your goal to feel better and to have the life you want. Take deliberate action when negativity creeps into conscious thought: (1) just turn it off, or (2) give yourself a limited amount of time to dwell on a negative thought and then move on, or (3) replace a negative thought with a positive one or (4) repeat a personal and positive affirmation.

Letting go of old ways of thinking, of a negative self image, of anger, of regret or any self-limiting thought or behavior will free you up to embrace your new life and the possibility of feeling whole and complete on your own.

6. Embrace the possibilities

You have an opportunity in front of you — an opportunity that many people never have the chance to experience. Today you can, perhaps for the first time ever, fashion a life that reflects your dreams, your style, and your true self.

It can be a precious gift — this time of rediscovery and renewal. Embrace it. When that happens, living alone becomes secondary to living fully. Surviving becomes thriving!

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon. To purchase her new book “Alone and Content” visit For information about her upcoming workshops or to invite her to speak, visit, call 585-624-7887, or email