I’ve had so many people contact me looking for a specific action plan to move on after divorce. And I’m working on something along those lines. Something big. And also something time-consuming, so you’ll have to be patient:)
In the meantime, here’s something to get you started if you are finding yourself paralyzed with inaction. I’ve broken it down into six steps. I know that sometimes moving on feels impossible; just focus on one step at a time. And then the next.
Hope. Faith. Trust. Whatever you call it, it starts here. If you believe you won’t be able to move on, your thoughts will help to keep you anchored. If you have conviction that the best is yet to come, you open the door. The way you feel right now is not the way you will always feel. What seems of such critical importance right now will in time, feel inconsequential. At this step, you do not need to know how you will get there, you just have to believe that you will.
The Secret isn’t enough. It takes more than positive thought to create change. You have to make your “hope” an active verb. This is a difficult step and a critical one. It’s easy to bypass and then get stuck further along. At this point, your job is to make the decision to move on. Make it your mantra. Don’t just say it, feel it. Be so committed to moving on that you won’t let anything get in your way. Channel your inner bull and use that stubbornness to take the next step.
I’m assuming your basic goal is to feel better, put this behind you and be happy again. Awesome goal. Now, break it down. Even smaller. This step can feel overwhelming if you are focusing on something too big. Small and doable is better than big and overwhelming any day. Baby steps will still get you to the finish line.
Start with one or two specific areas you want to change. Problem solve and brainstorm some potential solutions.
Tired of the crying that keeps you up at night? Maybe purge your thoughts in a journal before bed. Or redirect your thoughts with a funny show. Or take a walk to reset your brain.
It matters less what it is than that you have identified an area to focus on and thought of something to try. And make sure those plans are in writing; it helps with the next steps.
So, you believe you can move on. You’ve dug in your heels and declared you’re going to do it. And you’ve even identified one or two changes you can make to help get you there.
Now do it.
Change is hard. And when that change is all mucked up with emotion? Yeah. Not impossible. Not by a long shot. But definitely harder.
So, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Start by making your plan highly visible. Track your progress. Share your journey with others.
You cannot outsource healing; you have to do it yourself. Be careful not to fall into the trap of, “I’ll do … as soon as (anybody that you cannot control) does …” You’ll be waiting a long time. And remember, you’re too stubborn to let anybody or anything hold you back.
So you’ve made it this far. Maybe you’re thinking, “Cool. I feel better.” Or, more likely, you’re more, “I’m still kind of sucky. Maybe it’s a bit better, but I’m not sure.”
Remember how I said the way you feel now is not the way you’ll always feel? Well, we often also believe that the way we feel now is the way we’ve always felt. So dig into that journal. Look back at emails or posts. Evaluate your progress. Have you taken a baby step (or two)? They’re hard to see until you look back.
How is your action plan working? Does it need a tweak? Do you need a new focus? No problem. These steps for moving on aren’t linear. Take them as many times as you need to.
So believe you can. Decide you will. Plan your approach. Take the steps. Accept responsibility. And welcome perspective.
You got this.