Yes, even with a failed marriage your life after divorce can be successful (and happy).
I can hear you now. “Success? Who the crap can think about success or happiness when their marriage just ended in divorce?”
Although you might not initially believe me, you should think about both happiness and success right now – not from the standpoint of how you don’t have either, but from the standpoint of how you can achieve both.
Look, your life is happening right now and the only way to make sure your life after divorce works for you is if you make the effort to start getting some things in order as quickly as you’re able.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being flip about the pain you’re feeling.
Your divorce is probably one of the lowest points of your life. (It was for me.) Not only is your old life stripped away, but you’re faced with really hard questions about how to make your way through life on your own (maybe even as a single parent).
You’re going to have to continue the hard work you’ve already been doing to set yourself (and your kids) up for a successful post-divorce life. Transitioning from married to single isn’t easy. And believing that your life after divorce could ever feel good seems almost impossible right now.
But I know you can do it. How? Because you (and your kids) are worth it. You’ve got too much life ahead of you to call it quits now and settle for miserable.
So what do you do? You start small by developing some habits that will form the foundation on which you can build a happy and successful life after divorce.
Below are the 5 habits you need to develop to build your life after divorce into one that feels successful and that you love.
- Make your health a priority. I’m talking a holistic health here. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. You have to take care of you first so you can have the energy to take care of those who depend on you.
- Don’t get distracted by what your ex is (or isn’t) doing. Unless your ex is doing something egregiously wrong, you need to let them live their own life so you can live your own. I know it’s not easy to let go after all the years you’ve spent together, but letting go is exactly what you need to do so you can move on with your life after divorce.
- Stay inspired by reading, taking classes, having new experiences. Getting and staying involved in things that make you feel good and even challenge you will keep you motivated. And when you feel motivated to have more fun experiences and think new empowering thoughts you’ll be easily able to make the next habit happen.
- Live each day to the fullest. Yes, squeeze every last ounce of wonderful out of every day that you can. I know that things may not seem all that wonderful right now, but start looking for what’s good about each day. I actually keep a journal and write down everything that I’ve really enjoyed each day. It might be the sound of the birds singing early in the morning or playing with my dogs. Wonderful isn't always something big. It is just something you’ve noticed and appreciated.
- Plan the next day the night before. This tip is last because it comes easiest after you’ve started working on the other habits. Taking the time to lay out your clothes, plan the next day’s tasks, and layout the things you need to take to work (or the kids need to take to school) the night before will make your morning go much more smoothly. And we both know that if your morning goes well it’s easier for the rest of the day to go that way too.
I’ve listed these habits in this order for a reason – to give you the most critical one first. Taking care of you has to come first. If you’re not taking care of you, you can’t do much else for long.
So don’t worry if these 5 foundational habits seem like too much right now. Just work on the first one.
And when you’re ready, start picking up the others so you can build your life after divorce on a solid foundation that will easily allow you to have the happiness and success you both want and deserve.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who want to survive and thrive after divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re ready to take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.
Looking for more support as you re-create your post-divorce life? You’ll find the help you want in Life After Divorce.