person silhouetted standing on the top of a mountain above the clouds, concept for new life after divorce

Claire Black, specialist divorce coach and friend of our Family Law team, shares three of her top tips for creating a new life after divorce.

I remember the day in June 2009 that my divorce came through, and the decree absolute fell on the door mat. The day it became real, and I was officially and legally “single” again. It was a day of very mixed emotions.

Maybe you feel relief that the legal process had come to an end. Or sadness that the marriage really is now finished and over. Maybe regret about how things have panned out. There might be anger or bitterness. Whatever you feel, it’s likely that there will be a mix of emotions.

I also remember thinking “who is this new single person?”. I wasn’t quite sure who I was anymore, or what I wanted the future to look like, and it was daunting.

If this is you, here are three tips to help you start to imagine and create your new life post-divorce.

Three tips for creating your new life after divorce

#1 – Be open to possibilities

Your divorce might give you the time and opportunity to try new things. If, like me, you have children who spend chunks of time with their other parent, you could take up a new hobby, or spend time visiting friends. Trying new things, meeting new people and finding new things you enjoy opens up new possibilities and choices.

Ask yourself:

  • What can I do now that I couldn’t do before?
  • What am I good at, and would like to do more of?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What gives me joy and pleasure?
  • Who would I like to reconnect with?

#2 – Dare to dream

Having a dream or a big goal can really help you to move forward into your new life.

First, take a clean fresh piece of paper and brainstorm all your ideas. Here are some questions to get your creative juices flowing:

  • 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?
  • If you found a genie in a bottle, what three 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 decorate her bedroom. Ten minutes later, she had moved onto learning Mandarin, climbing Kilimanjaro and learning to sail a yacht. It doesn’t matter if the goals seem silly or crazy – these are your dreams!

#3 – Take it one step at a time

Perhaps some of your dreams feel out of reach right now – so choose a couple of them to look at more closely. For each of your chosen dreams or goals, ask yourself:

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

Now commit to taking those three small steps. They can be small steps – my Kilimanjaro client, for example, decided on these:

  1. Start researching companies who organised trips to Kilimanjaro;
  2. Search for blogs written by other people who had climbed Kilimanjaro; and
  3. Arrange a trip to Wales to climb Snowden to see if she really did enjoy climbing mountains!

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

New life after divorce

I have done and achieved so many things since my divorce. I can dance modern jive. I have ridden my road bike for 87 miles through the Welsh mountains. I have taken my children on holiday by myself. I have sailed on a catamaran around the Whitsundays in Australia. I have nurtured and grown a business that was born out of my desire to help others recover from and create new lives after divorce.

I am just an ordinary person, with an ordinary life. If I can realise my dreams, you can too! As Karl Jung says, “you are who you choose to become”.

Your life is yours to create.

Claire Black helps individuals through break up and divorce, supporting them to redefine themselves and create a new life after divorce. To get in touch with Claire, please visit her website. For legal advice, please get in touch with our Family team.