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Life After Divorce - Redefine Yourself

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 23-Sep-2012

You now have the divorce decree in hand and the reality of life as a divorcee has sunk in. This is one of those rare moments in life that you have the opportunity to redefine yourself. You don't have the excuse of your spouse not wanting to do something, so go ahead live your dream life – you owe to yourself.

Lists are a helpful way to start. Make an immediate list of things you can do to start your new life after your divorce. Some of the suggestions we have are:

  1. Book a spa day or weekend;
  2. Clean out your wardrobe;
  3. Get a stylish haircut (it worked for Princess Di);
  4. Travel (what about that trip to Italy you've always wanted?);
  5. Join a support group;
  6. Redecorate your home (this could be as simple as hanging up a newly purchased picture or creating a display wall of your child's art work);
  7. Sign up for a new hobby (places to look include Meet Up – found online, community colleges or community centers); or
  8. Give yourself plenty of time-outs (turn up the music and dance, have a movie night with some friends, play in the snow with your kids – you get the idea).

Your immediate list should have items on it that help you regain your self-confidence in your post-divorce life. When going through an uncontested divorce you get a lot of negative messages, including some that come from yourself. It's time to forgive and move on. Think about what will make you feel good. Are the clothes you are wearing telling of the year you were married in? Bring out the positive features in your body by adding some new stylish clothes to your wardrobe. Feeling good on the outside is a great way to start feeling good on the inside.

Start a post-divorce challenge list:

  1. Get a college degree;
  2. Shed those extra pounds;
  3. Find a life or divorce recovery coach and make a firm commitment (some coaches offer a free introductory session);
  4. Do that one thing you always wanted to do but never have (yoga, vacation, schooling, swimming lessons, etc.)
  5. Health fitness challenge. This could be anything from joining a gym to changing your eating habits; or
  6. Commit to a financial counselor for long term economic security.

The post-divorce challenge list is a way to start defining your long-term goals. What do you want for yourself in the future? What will you value as move forward with your new life?

Both lists are a wonderful way to start building happy and positive memories. Don't worry about how silly an idea seems, and don't judge it- just write it down. You can always change your list as you move through your post-divorce life. We would love to hear some of your ideas! Please share them with our readers in the space provided for comments. Thanks.