Guest blogger: Claire Black

Claire Black Divorce Coach

When your divorce is finished legally, and the Final Order lands in your inbox, what then?

Some of my clients describe themselves as feeling lost or uncertain as they approach the end of the divorce process.  One recently described it as feeling like he was standing on the edge of a cliff, unsure what was at the bottom.  Others have described feeling relieved that the legal process is now over, and they can get on with life.

You don’t need to wait until the Final Order arrives to start planning for your future.

There are things you can do before that, to start to imagine, plan for and create your new life post-divorce.

Know what really matters to you

It is easy to lose bits of yourself in a relationship, to lose sight of what was your interest and what was theirs, to merge your lifestyles so that you forget what was you and what was them.

So start to get back in touch with you, and what matters to you.

Some questions to help you:

  • What do I value?
  • What is most important to me in my life?
  • What makes me feel really happy?
  • What makes me feel really fulfilled and proud?
  • What really irritates me, and what value does that trigger?

Try new things

Perhaps you now have weekends when your children are with your ex-partner, and you find yourself with time on your hands for the first time in years.  Rather than spend those weekends feeling down, make a conscious choice to focus on YOU in that time.  Work out what you enjoy, who you want to spend time with, and what brings a smile to your face.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What can I do now that I couldn’t do before?
  • What am I good at, and would like to do more of?
  • What makes me smile and laugh?
  • What gives me joy?
  • Who would I like to spend more time with?

Create your post-divorce bucket list

Building towards a goal or dream can really give you focus, and motivation.  Take a big piece of paper, and allow yourself to daydream:

  • Is there anything you have always wanted to do/see/experience but couldn’t before?
  • What might you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and wake up tomorrow in your ideal world, what would it look like? Who would you be? What would you be doing?  How would you feel?
  • If you found a genie in a bottle, what 3 things would you wish to be, do or have?

Let your imagination run free. Imagine yourself achieving that dream in your mind – what will you see, hear, feel?

Recently a client and I were doing this exercise, and she started off by saying she might plant some colourful pots for her garden. Ten minutes later, she had moved onto walking the Camino de Santiago on her own and applying for a new promotion at work.  Another planned to set up her own candle making business.  And another wanted to redecorate her home to make it exactly how she wanted, to suit her, and to get a puppy.

It doesn’t matter if the goals seem silly or crazy – these are your dreams!

Ask yourself what’s the next step?

Perhaps your dreams feel out of reach right now – so ask yourself:

  • What 3 small steps could I take right now to move just a little bit closer to that dream?

Now commit to taking those 3 small steps. They can be small steps – my Camino de Santiago client, for example, decided on these steps:

a) start researching the Camino and decide how far I want to walk

b) search for local walking clubs to see if I can train with other people, and

c) take a few basic Spanish lessons so that I can ask for coffee and bread!

Once you have decided on your steps, write them down and commit to a time by which you will do them.

I have been divorced twice now and am practiced at redesigning my own life!  Since my first divorce, I have learnt so many new skills – I road bike regularly with my local club, I cold-water swim in the sea, I have taken my children on numerous holidays on my own, and I have grown a business born out of my desire to help others recover from divorce and create new lives afterwards.

I am yet to holiday entirely on my own, and that is number 1 on my current Post-Divorce Bucket List!

Remember, your life is yours to create.

What is the next step?

Guest blogger: Claire Black of Claire Black Divorce Coaching: