I wanted anything to take away the heartbreak I was feeling. A magic wand or a miracle solution was my biggest wish.
As the months dragged by (and it felt like this process was going to be endless), I eventually accepted that there was no magic rescue. I also realised that “not feeling like this” wasn’t a big enough goal to stretch me to move on. I had to have something more satisfying to work towards.
Initially I set my goal simply at “happiness” but didn’t know what that really looked like. It was a deeply uncomfortable time – reflecting, ruminating and constantly overthinking.
Decide clearly what you want
Happiness was too vague as a goal. I needed to specify what happiness really meant for me and I eventually recognised that I wanted to:
- feel confident and in control of my life
- help my kids come out of the divorce as unscathed and secure as possible
- rebuild my sense of self-worth
- find love again
- be able to financially support myself and my kids
Making my divorce goals tangible was a vital step to moving on. Rather than longing for an abstract “happiness”, I had finally named what I wanted. This meant that I could at least start to create a plan to get there, even if I didn’t have a clue how I would achieve it.
However, looking back I realise something else was occurring from my goal-setting. It’s a concept which many motivational leaders teach but I was not aware of at the time : what’s more important than reaching the goals themselves, is who you have to become to achieve them. If we set the right meaningful goal it forces us to become different in order to achieve it. Magic might be the ideal, quick, pain-free way to results, but we are actually lucky that it’s not an option. Because the divorce goals we set are not always about whether we get the result, but the positive changes we make in ourselves to get there.
Why the process is as important as the result
It’s human nature to want to just feel better right now, but let’s look a few of my divorce goals and see how the journey was equally important.
Understanding the roots of my lack of confidence taught me far more than simply reaching an end goal of “feeling confident”. Taking steps to overcome my low self-esteem pushed me out of my comfort zone, and into situations which stretched me, over and over again. A magic confidence pill would have been quicker, but would not have taught me self-compassion or self-love. It would not have helped me learn valuable lessons from my past, in order to see and do things differently the next time around.
The goal of giving my children security and consistency, meant I had to learn to set boundaries with my ex-husband. This radically changed the previous dynamic between the two of us. The person I became because of this change made me a more confident mum and it was as valuable to me as it was to my children’s wellbeing. The magic solution would have been for my ex to change, but that wasn’t within my control. In going for that goal, I gained strengths I would never have had, if I simply sat and hoped for change.
The self-awareness I had to acquire to be ready for a new relationship, was bigger than the end result of finding someone new. I had to learn to love myself and believe myself worthy of someone else’s love. I had to open myself up to trust again. Using my marriage as a lesson, I had to reassess the kind of person I was willing to be with; what I would and would not endure in a new relationship. The amazing journey to achieve that goal (which I describe in this post!) was invaluable. Yes, I got the result I wanted; I found love again, but there was a much bigger gift in the process: I had become a person who had the self-worth necessary to attract a happy healthy relationship.
“Easy” is not always best for us
What we gain from the learning process cannot be substituted by an easy fix, as much as we would love it to be the case. Yes, growth takes longer than a wish immediately granted; but unfortunately, you are not going to get that magic wand. However, when you decide to set divorce goals and take action, the speed of healing rapidly increases. Consider how much time you spend waiting and wishing for things to be different. Why not put that time to good use by working towards a goal and making the magic happen yourself?
If your intention is to move on from your divorce, think about what that actually means for you. Setting your goals is the first step towards creating a new future. Get specific about how you want to feel, what you want to do and who you want to be.
Then ask yourself: “How/what/where do I need to change to make this happen?”. Find the answers (where? Break Up and Shine blog posts are a great place to start!) and take the required steps. Notice how your life takes on new meaning as you aim to achieve your divorce goals.
With love and support,
“This book helped me see my divorce in a new way”