Reviewing your year of Divorce
The mayhem, or stillness, depending on how it went for you, of Christmas Day is over. Now is a time to rest. And it’s also a time for gentle reflection. Reviewing your year of divorce is beneficial. Here’s why. As the year, and indeed the decade draws to a close, reviewing your year of divorce may feel like an odd thing to do. But looking back at just how different life is now from this time last year doesn’t have to be the stuff of heartbreak and tears. It can, if you let it, be rather empowering. And it can set you up for a bright 2020.
What were your hopes for 2019?
If you look back at the beginning of 2019, where were you? How did you feel? You might have thought you were blissfully happy in January 2019, and divorce hit you square in the face. You genuinely didn’t see it coming. This is rare, though it can happen. Most people, when they let go of the denial, can accept that things were not ‘right’ in their marriage for a long time, even if they didn’t think it would come to divorce.
If you genuinely had no idea at all then 2019 will have been particularly hard for you. If your soon-to-be-ex was living a double life or doing a great job at pretending to be happy with you then your world has been thrown upside down. You may well be wondering how ‘all this’ could have happened so suddenly. Don’t panic. You won’t feel like this forever. You can take control of what happens next.
If, on the other hand, you knew at the start of 2019 that it would be the year you initiated divorce and you got it going, despite your worries and fears, congratulate yourself on how far you have come. Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step helps.
What did you want to achieve in 2019 and has it happened yet? Make a list and look at it.
What still needs to be done for your divorce and what is your part in that?
Own what is yours and leave the rest
Not everything that needs to be done with your divorce is under your control. Some of it will be your soon-to-be-ex’s responsibility or the responsibility of the court. The courts around the country are currently experiencing huge delays in the sealing of Consent Orders (December 2019). There is nothing you can do about this, so let that go.
Don’t procrastinate when you have action to take, but if you’ve done everything you can do, there’s no point in stressing about things moving slowly. You can still feel good about what you’ve achieved even though you may feel frustrated.
Re-focus your energy
Frustration is an energy source. You have the chance to refocus it towards something positive to yourself. When was the last time (if ever) that you revisited your values hierarchy? Your values hierarchy is the list of those things that are important to you, in order. Yes, I know, there are always so many priorities, but if you had to limit it to three, what would they be?
It’s worthwhile getting super clear about this. It will help you re-focus where you spend your time and energy – not just in divorce but generally too.
One of the easiest ways to understand your own priorities is to do the following exercise. Write a list of things that are important: they may be activities, feelings, relationships with people. You might choose to do this exercise in categories such as family, health and money to get really detailed. Or if you want to keep it simple, just write ‘What’s important to me?’ at the top of a page and get scribbling.
Your values hierarchy
For each category, write 5-10 items that are important. Take the first two items on the list and ask yourself “If I could only have item 1 or 2, which would I choose?”
Take that item and item 3 on your list, and ask the same question: “If I could only have the item I chose or item 3 which would it be?”
And so on. You will ultimately have a list of items in the order of priority for you. Once you have this list, you can focus on what’s most important. That means when you think about how you spend your time, energy and money, you don’t neglect your top priorities.
Notice how this influences the decisions you make in your divorce now.
Work that divorce plan
What do you mean you don’t have a divorce plan?! If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that in my opinion, having a divorce plan is the key to having a successful divorce. Divorce plans aren’t rigid and set in stone, they are clear guidelines but they can be flexible where necessary. Your divorce plan keeps you grounded in the things that are important to you. It’s amazing how easy it is to get sidetracked by other people’s opinions – and not just your ex’s. With friends, family and the butcher’s dog pitching in with advice on what you should be doing, a divorce plan keeps you on track and helps you move forward, step by step.
My father always said “Plan your work and work your plan”. It’s sound advice. Do I always do it? No! But does life work better when I do? For sure! It’s never too late to get a plan together so if you haven’t got one, start now.
I’ll be talking more about creating a divorce plan at #GetDivorceReadyLive in London on 18th January, so if you’ve already got your ticket, know that it’s one of the things that you’ll be able to create from attending.
If you don’t have a ticket yet, you can get one here.
Decide that 20:20 is your year
You can decide at anytime that 2020 will be your year to achieve goals, realise ambitions, tick off juicy bucket list items. It starts with the decision and then your unconscious mind will start seeking out ways to actually make it happen – magic! You can be CEO of your life, just as you can be CEO of your divorce. Here’s the thing though, you do have to decide!
You might decide that 2020 is the year you are going to get this divorce done by focusing. How? Going to mediation (if it’s appropriate), issuing proceedings if it’s not and taking control back. If the truth is you’ve been letting things slide because your soon-to-be-ex has let things slide, you can decide at any time to get in the driving seat and get this divorce back on course.
Get Divorce Ready Live!
The best way to reignite your divorce in 2020 is at Get Divorce Ready Live. This specialist event for women like you is happening on Saturday 18th January 2020 in London at the beautiful Allbright, Maddox Street W1 (5 minutes from Oxford Circus).
It’s for you if you are ready to get your divorce done.
Even if you’re just getting started, it’s for you if you don’t know what to do first or next!
It’s for you if your divorce has been idling in first gear and you’re sick of going at snail’s pace.
If you want to meet like-minded ladies in a safe space, Get Divorce Ready Live is definitely for you!
And it’s for you if you want inspiration and answers.
Not just from me, from other experts too, including Cady Pearce from Kingsley Napley Solicitors (experts in high conflict divorce), Peter Long Wealth Manager on the questions you should be asking your financial adviser, James Evans on the benefits of using Our Family Wizard and an expert on dealing with pensions on divorce.
Lunch and refreshments are included and there will be a Q&A session.
This is not a large-scale, one size fits all event. There are a maximum 25 places available (several have already gone). This means you will have time to sound out the experts on your specific divorce issue, you will get to know some other fantastic women in similar situations and you will make huge leaps on your own divorce plan.
So, if you’ve got legal or financial questions you’d love to ask an expert then from less than the price of an hour with a solicitor, you can!
Find out more about Get Divorce Ready Live and get your ticket here: Get Divorce Ready Live!
Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is author of the Amazon best selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com