THE BLOG
01/06/2015 08:50 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2015

Divorce Is Your New Beginning

Getty

Just as a brand new year is upon you, after divorce you have a new life in front of you.

It's true that you may be overwhelmed, stressed, sad, frustrated, excited, enthusiastic, full of anticipation... or all of the above.

There are some powerful ways to make the most of your new life and this new year, and I'm sharing several of them with you here:

1. Put out a BOLO.

It can be easy and/or tempting to dread what could come next. I mean, seriously, you've just been through quite an ordeal and it's a challenge to put on some rose-colored glasses. I get it.

Instead, try expecting positive things to happen. BOLO is police slang for "be on the lookout," as in "we put out a BOLO for the suspicious character." I suggest choosing to put out BOLOs for miracles, magical happenings and positive outcomes.

2. Work it out.

Release the heavy baggage from your previous relationship and lean into your new life. Find a way to work through the lingering emotions from the end of your marriage by talking out your feelings with a therapist, divorce coach or support group, and focusing your energy on a healthy activity you enjoy.

If you find yourself resisting the idea of therapy or coaching, you might want to keep in mind that neither means you have a problem, something is wrong with you, or that you're in crisis. Each can be a way to work toward your new and better life, with those who have no agenda but the agenda you set!

3. Learn to love yourself.

The idea of loving yourself may sound cheesy or ridiculous, and it's a fact that many people feel a dip in self-esteem and lot of self-rejection after a divorce.

If you think there must be something wrong with you because you couldn't make your relationship work, you're not alone. It's important to work on increasing your self-confidence and faith in yourself, and recognize you're just fine and on the way to getting better and better.

Let this time, and this year, be the year you really fall in love with yourself.

4. Rediscover who you used to be, and discover who you want to become.

If you were married for a long time, you may have stopped doing some of the things you enjoyed as a single person. Maybe you loved to go out, but your wife was a homebody. Maybe you always loved going to the theater, but your husband hated it.

Make a list of the hobbies and interests you had before your marriage, and give them another whirl. You might find renewed interest in them again, or even discover new ones you like better. Both are important to rebuilding yourself after divorce.

5. Discover your new self.

The great news about a life-changing period such as divorce is this: you get to shake things up and try new things, go new places, and meet new people.

Get a new haircut, wardrobe, or occupation. Try new sports, places of worship, or go back to school. You might even be able to move to a new city, or spend a year living somewhere amazing like Paris or Tuscany.

You can't completely just lose your mind, turn your back on real-life obligations, and throw caution to the wind (although that sounds fun and exciting, doesn't it?). Chances are you have some very real considerations like kids, a business, and a budget {one that may have been seriously impacted by the divorce}.

I'm going to bet there are some real changes and opportunities that are well within your reach. As long as the changes you make are healthy and constructive, go for it!

6. Go it alone. For at least awhile.

Being alone doesn't mean being isolated and never seeing anyone. It just means not being in a rush to get re-coupled up.

Many newly-singled folks jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. Without taking the time to get to know yourself again, heal your wounds, and find your new equilibrium, you run of the risk of finding yourself right back here {on the other side of a divorce or break-up} in short order.

Take the time it takes to find yourself again.

7. Meet new people ... of the opposite sex.

Just because you need to spend some time alone doesn't mean you need to spend all your time alone.

This isn't about rebounding. It's about considering dating (once you feel ready) outside your comfort zone {try someone who's not your type} without thinking that it has to head toward a permanent relationship.

Turn your usual preferences inside out and stretch your dating horizons a bit. Dating is supposed to be, and can be, loads of fun.

8. Embrace your new life, and this new year.

You are going to have the opportunity to learn new things, go new places, and meet new friends.

Married a long time? Your spouse probably handled certain aspects of life and even household responsibilities. Now it's all up to you, and it's likely to go less than perfectly. News flash: that's a-okay!

If your partner was always the one responsible for the money, such as earning it, managing it, investing it, then suddenly you have a whole new realm of learning and responsibility. Learning something new can give you confidence in your own ability.

You don't have to figure it all out yourself. Create a team to help you make smart decisions and wise moves. If you don't have a financial advisor and CPA, start there. Find new advisors or rely on the ones who have served you well in the past.

Divorce, like every new year, brings with it the opportunity for amazing personal growth and transformation - it is just disguised as an awful period of time that seems to last forever. Hang in there, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and expected unexpected moments of fabulousness.

Honorée Corder is the author of If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, and creator of the Divorce Transformation Coaching Program. You can learn more at HonoreeCorder.com.