It may seem impossible right now to imagine being happy again after your divorce. Divorce is a real dream crusher, and it leaves a damper on life. Finding the motivation to forge forward is challenging, especially if you are already exhausted and depleted.

This is a place where many people get stuck. The combination of feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed is a recipe for inactivity, and that inactivity spirals into depression. If you’re stuck in this vicious cycle of wanting to move forward, but not being able to take any active steps toward accomplishing that goal, then read these four initial ways you can get going.

1. Get set up for healing.

This simply means that you lay the foundation for what you need to truly heal. This could be something as simple as buying a new journal that you commit to writing in daily or ordering the supplements you need to help with focus and energy. Perhaps it’s finding something outside of yourself that keeps you accountable, like a therapist, coach, or an online course. Start to create an environment and routine that supports you and what you need to live each day as your best self.

2. Clear away obstacles.

Some of the biggest obstacles you might be facing are both within you and outside of you. The obstacles within are things like self-judgment, negative thoughts, false beliefs, and a lack of confidence. Outside of you are unhelpful friends or family, social media, and your Ex. When these obstacles are mitigated or removed you begin to see more clearly, and suddenly what seemed impossible now seems possible. Start to think about where you need to set clearer boundaries, who you can truly call a “friend”, and find the courage and strength to eliminate anything from your life that doesn’t serve your goals right now.

3. Vision your dreams.

You cannot move forward or manifest anything in your life if you don’t first envision it. This is where you get to dream really big, and really touch into what you want most in life. It doesn’t matter if it’s “possible”, what counts is that you are letting yourself dream. Shattered dreams are a big part of divorce so it’s easy to feel like all dreams have been crushed. But the reality is that no one can take your dreams away except you. This is a time to reclaim them and to truly get to what makes you most happy. Just doing this will already lift your spirits and provide new hope.

4. Find your true north.

Finding your true north, and uncovering your core values and what’s most important to you is are important steps in your healing. Many women lose sight of their core values when in a marriage along with their sense of self. When you lose touch with what matters most to you in the world, you actually lose a little part of you. Core values are like signposts that guide you toward right action. They are your filter for every difficult decision or challenging situation, and they help you stay aligned with your deepest integrity. 

Focusing on these four action steps are enough to get you moving so you can really dive in and claim the life you deserve. Small action steps lead to big change, and you are only one journal away from your journey.

One of the biggest mistakes women make with their divorce recovery is assuming that once the divorce papers are signed they will suddenly be happy and well on their way to a new life. What usually happens is that reality hits them like a ton of bricks and moving forward suddenly feels like trying to get out of a big pile of mud.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. The situation has changed, but the state of mind and emotional pain hasn’t.
  2. New beginnings and unwanted change can be super un-motivating.

Happy is a relative word, and happiness is not a goal it’s a mindset. So, unless you put yourself into the right frame of mind, and physically set yourself up for success, you will continue to stay stuck in the heaviness of the past and your current unhappiness.

Research on happiness is linked optimism, so when we believe what we want is possible we are ultimately improving our health. We create the reality of our lives, and our moods, with our minds. 

In my work with divorce, I focus on mindset early on. In fact, much of my work is dedicated to reframing and reshaping the brain to ensure successful outcomes.

Julia Cameron describes this perfectly with the following quote:

“Think of yourself as an accident victim walking away from the crash; your old life has crashed and burned; your new life isn’t apparent yet. You may feel yourself to be temporarily without a vehicle. Just keep walking.”

This idea of forging forward despite feeling helpless and stuck is the key to achieving happiness. No matter how hard things seem, it’s really just the getting started that is stopping you from having all you desire.