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Ep. 68 – Future Goals

In this episode we discuss why goals are important and what you might want to consider when setting them for yourself.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends, and how are you? So today we’re gonna talk about goal setting. I’ve spoken about this in the past and I am like a firm, firm believer that you need goals. If you don’t have goals, your life is gonna be flat and you’re likely not gonna be happy because as human beings, that’s what we do. We have goals, big goals, small goals, medium goals. So if you’re ready, just set some goals after divorce and move on to your best life. Then let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Hey everybody. Hey Jeff.

Jeff: Hi, how are you?

Doreen: Good. This is different.

Jeff: I know we’re in different rooms in the same house.

Doreen: Right? Because we’re having some technical difficulty, so we’re recording this by Zoom. Kind of interesting cuz I can, you’re right next door to me.

Jeff: Well, our goal was to get it done.

Doreen: Get it done right. Sometimes you just gotta get it done. And let me talk a little bit about that. And I should probably do an episode, we should probably do an episode on that. And you know the episode is, you know how people, many people, I shouldn’t say people in general, but many people, they have to have perfection. They don’t wanna get things done because it’s gotta be perfect.

And that’s a whole other issue. So I’m like, get it done. Reach your goals, even if it’s not perfect. Right? Even if it’s B work or C work, getting it done is really more important than having a work. Does that make sense?

Jeff: Absolutely. You know, a lot of people’s B work is other people’s A work.

Doreen: Well, and a lot of people stay stuck trying to get to that A work, and they never get it out in the world.

Jeff: It’s never good. Yeah, it’s never good enough.

Doreen: Well, and they never get it done. They never get it done. So today we’re gonna talk about goal setting. One of my favorite, favorite things, and we’re gonna talk about, you know, whether you’re going through a divorce right now or getting over one. Your future can depend on your focus and determination on what you really want, what we call goals.

And the best way to get what you want and to have the clarity needed is to turn whatever that is into that goal. So let’s start with you have this, little thing that you like to use. Right? I’m gonna let you explain it.

Jeff: Well, I firmly believe in positive affirmations. So every morning you wake up and you say, goals we set our goals we get. Or a goal is just a dream with a deadline. I mean, I’m sure the goals we set are goals we get are something you’re probably sick and tired of hearing. Cuz I’ve said it for 14 years now. I’ve said it quite a bit. But it’s true. You’re letting your subconscious know that you’ve set this goal, you’re gonna get this goal.

Doreen: Yeah. Be your own best cheerleader. Right?

Jeff: Absolutely. I like the way you looked at it. That’s a good.

Doreen: Right?

Jeff: Yeah. I like that.

Doreen: Look yourself in the mirror and, you know, basically say, Hey, listen, you know, I am my best cheerleader. I am, you know, I read a book by Mel Robbins, R O B B I N S, called the High Five Habit.

It was a really good book. She’s interesting. I think she was a lawyer and then she turned into an author and a coach but she talks about looking in the mirror and giving yourself a high five. You know how when you give somebody a high five, I see this happen with Megan and you know, in sports and each other, high fives.

You know, when you give somebody a high five, it’s like, yeah, you can do it. And it just gives you that extra push even when you’re not feeling so good. So give yourself a high five and set those goals and go for it. Look yourself in here. Give yourself a high five. So if you see me doing that, don’t laugh at me, Jeff.

Jeff: I always do.

Doreen: All right, let’s talk about you use the word smart.

Jeff: Yes, your goals have to be smart. And smart is an acronym, and I’m gonna go through each letter and it’s very, very important that when you set a goal, it must be smart. The S stands for specific, and I’m gonna use the example of let’s say, losing weight.

Some people growing out, I need to get in a better shape, or I need to lose some weight, or I want, and, but that’s not specific. You know, let’s say I wanna lose 20 pounds. That is specific. It’s a measurable number cause that’s what the M is. The M is it has to be measurable. How do we measure weight and pounds?

So you know that if your first goal is to lose three pounds in this week, you can measure that goal. Get on the scale. It’s measurable. The A is attainable and attainable might be, well I wanna get down to 175 pounds. No way. And you know, where am I ever gonna get down to 175 pounds? It’s not realistic. It’s not attainable.

Doreen: Well, let’s just tell everybody, cuz you’re what? Six three?

Jeff: I’m six three and 220 pounds.

Doreen: If you were gonna weigh 175 pounds, that would be because something’s wrong.

Jeff: Yeah, I’d be in the hospital. I’m sure.

Doreen: Yeah. So you’re saying it has to be attainable?

Jeff: Attainable.

Doreen: Like for example, I’m never gonna play volleyball. Right.

Jeff: Well, to a certain level.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: If you wanna, you know, go out on a picnic and play volleyball, you might have a great time.

Doreen: Right?

Jeff: But you’re never gonna play collegiate volleyball.

Doreen: Right. Right.

Jeff: Or you’re not gonna play for the Olympic, US Olympic team.

Doreen: Right. Well, that probably falls into the next one, which is what?

Jeff: Well realistic might be I wanna lose my 20 pounds in a month. You know, so it is a great goal, but doing it in a month is not realistic.

Doreen: No, nor would I think that it would be healthy. So we certainly wouldn’t, you know, losing weight, slow and steady and really just changing your lifestyle and not crash dieting is a whole different subject, but I’m in the middle of that right now. We could talk more about that, but what’s the next one?

Jeff: Well, the T stands for time dated and that goes along with the measurable, but it has to have a deadline. So let’s, and there’s quite a few deadlines within the goal, so it could be the three pounds this week, but your ultimate goal is by New Year’s to lose this amount and go into the 2023 with this much, you know, so you have measurable goals that are attainable, realistic, specific, and of course time dated.

Doreen: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And then breaking down those goals and what that takes. We’ll, we’re gonna talk more about that and having that time date for those breakdowns is also important. Like you said, maybe I think three pounds a week is a lot because just, you know, doing my research, you know. But if you said I’m gonna lose one pound a week, that’s realistic. Right?

Jeff: That’s, well, it really depends on where you’re at. If you’re very overweight three pounds might be nothing. But if you’re in, let’s say my kind of shape losing three pounds might be too much. You’re right.

Doreen: Well, it might not be healthy. So yeah. Let’s talk about, I wrote down and getting ready for today, I wrote down the seven tips on setting and achieving your goals. And, you know, we’re talking about, and we coach people during and after divorce and our focus is divorced for a number of reasons.

You know, because we really understand where you are. We’ve been there. Each of us has been divorced. Each of us had very different experiences with our divorce and post-divorce, and we’ve talked about that I think at nauseum, as I would say. But we get it. You know, we get where you are and you may not wanna have a goal.

You’re like, I am exhausted. I am just like so tired and emotionally drained from this divorce that I don’t wanna think about a goal right now. And so what I would say to that, my advice to that would be pick yourself up. Know where you are emotionally and work through that emotion first, but don’t get stuck there.

And then really start to make those goals. And we’re gonna talk about what those goals look like because you know, goals don’t have to be some big thing. They can be a small goal. Goals are goals. Okay, so we’re gonna talk about the seven things. The first thing is, pick one goal to focus on. Now, I am bad at this.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always had two or three goals going on, and I would suggest that it’s probably not the best thing to do. Focus on your one goal. If you’re going to focus on more than one goal, then stagger them, you know, stagger your goals and focus on them in a way that makes sense. So you’re not overwhelmed. Right?

Jeff: I also think that we’re talking about setting a goal after divorce, so they’re in a different situation than you are, and one goal at a time, going through a divorce or after divorce might be the smartest thing to do.

Doreen: Exactly the whole thing is just to have a goal. You know, I tend to be the type of person, and I’m working on this myself with my own life coaching or life coach. I do have coaches. I have a business coach. I have a life coach because I understand how important it is to have those people in my life. And it really just helped me tremendously to get to my goals, to have these people. But you know, I know that focusing in on my goals, no matter how big or small they are, is really important.

So, what should they do next? Like the, the first thing is to focus in on one goal. Okay. Right. And it doesn’t have to be huge. What’s the second thing?

Jeff: Well, I think that your goal should come from a more of something you want to do or that you enjoy. Not that I should lose weight or I have to lose weight. It’s something that you want to do when it’s something that you enjoy. It’s easier to stick to the goal.

Doreen: Excuse me. I’m sorry. Let me talk about that a little bit because I am dealing with that myself right now where most of my goals have been business related, right? Or driven by some of something other than personally for me. Most of my goals in my life, and I think I’ve been relatively successful.

You know, the goal of becoming a lawyer, the goal of opening a firm, the goal of having a life coaching business, the goal of, you know, various goals, right? But they’ve really been, not specifically for me. And I wanna suggest to the listeners, especially after divorce, do consider, consider a goal that’s for you, that is going to bring you personally, not for your, you know, family, not for your kids, not for your business, not for financials, but for you personally.

It’s gonna make you happy. It’s gonna bring you joy. So I started a new goal. I have a new fitness program. And it’s only the first week, but I’m super excited. I’ve been going to the gym every day, working out with weights, which I used to do when I was younger, and I just feel like it’s my hour or hour and a half.

That’s just for me and my goal. It’s for myself. Period. So, listen, listeners. Listen listeners. It’s okay to have a goal just for you. I know that a lot of you feel a lot of pressure or guilt, especially around your family and your kids, that you wanna have goals that are gonna be all in for everyone. And that’s fine if you wanna do that. But there’s nothing wrong after divorce with having something just for you.

Jeff: And little side bonus too, that when you’re doing something just for you, it does build your self-esteem and your confidence.

Doreen: Not only that, I have to tell you that having that time out, because I’m not good at that. I’m usually doing for everything else, everybody else.

Just having that one hour or one and a half hours where I get to focus in without being with anybody else, without doing anything, but just for me, lifting weights, focusing in on that, listening to the music, you know. It makes me feel better in everything else that I do. Right?

Jeff: I get it. That’s why I saw that face when I showed up at the gym the other day. When you were there.

Doreen: Yeah. Right.

Jeff: I turned around and left.

Doreen: Why are you here?

Jeff: Why am I here? Interrupting your time, and I get it. It’s your time.

Doreen: So I guess, number two was yours, right? Number three is mine, which I kind of talked about.

Number three is focus on yourself. But I wanna bring it a step further. Don’t, if you have a goal, my recommendation is don’t try to change the behavior of other people by setting goals for them. For example, if you say, I would like my kids to get A’s in school, and here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna get a tutor, I’m gonna spend time with them at night, we’re gonna, you know, I’m gonna make a schedule.

That is not a goal for you. That is dependent on another person. And when you have a goal that’s dependent on another person, the likelihood is because we cannot control other people. And that’s more in one of my episodes, that’s called the manual, and I would really, really suggest the listeners go back and listen to that.

But the goal has to be something that you have control on over. Okay. Right? Because having a goal that involves somebody else, you gotta rely on them. And we all know that we cannot control the actions of someone else. With children? Yes, to some degree we understand that, but I’m talking about with adults, right? So focus in on yourself and your goals and what you have control over. What’s number four?

Jeff: Number four is recognizing that it’s the goal is a project and you need to break it down into smaller pieces. Like a recipe where you’re cooking something. There’s little ingredients that make up the entire dish.

Same thing with your goal. If you break it down into smaller pieces, smaller goals, like for an example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, your goal is to work out this day, eat this type of food. So you’re breaking the goal down into smaller pieces. It makes it much more easier to attain the goal.

Doreen: And I don’t wanna go fast over that because I do this a lot with my team and I do this a lot with our clients, is you really have to think about what that goal requires.

If you wanna lose weight, Then what does it require? Well, it requires a specific type of, I don’t like using the word diet. But let’s just say an eating plan because my belief is that you should have a sustainable eating plan, right? Not just something where you crash diets.

Jeff: Nutrition plan. Yeah.

Doreen: Right? So you gotta have a good eating plan. You probably wanna incorporate exercise into it. You wanna figure out on your calendar, When you’re gonna do your exercise, that’s part of the goal, right? Breaking it down, right? Putting that on your calendar. If you’re going to have a specific eating plan, doing your shopping, probably putting your meals on a calendar so you know the day before what you’re gonna eat so you can follow it without any problem.

Right? You just pen up your, I use MyFitness and I just put it all in, and then my day is already there, my meal prep is done. That’s another part of it. So break it down into specific tasks and ask yourself, you know, what is the next thing that I have to do to get there and reevaluate them from time to time, right? Reevaluate them. The next one is to do a check in point. You know, men and you talked about the time. I think that was part of it, right? Time dated when?

Jeff: Time dated deadlines? Yes.

Doreen: When you talked about smart, your last thing was time dated. Right. Many of us have been taught to set a deadline or a target date for our goal, and that’s what you’re talking about.

But I, you know, I suggest not to beat yourself up too much about that. Could we possibly call it a check-in point? Right?

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: So I think you said by the new year you wanted to, let’s say that was your date, you wanted to lose 20 pounds and get in good shape by, let’s say, January, the end of January. January, you know, pick a date, 15th, let’s say the middle of January.

If you haven’t met that goal and you haven’t lost a 20 pounds, that’s a little harsh, right? And then we end up beating ourselves up. So maybe consider it just as a check-in point, how am I doing? How do I need to break down my goals or the, you know, what we just talked about, which is breaking down the goals and then putting them on your calendar and figuring ’em out.

What am I doing wrong? What do I need to figure out better? You know, it’s like a check-in. So if you lost 15 pounds, That’s okay. But if you call it a check-in point as opposed to a deadline. I think that makes some difference, right?

Jeff: Yeah. There has to be some flexibility in the, in the time dated and the deadline because if you get, you can easily get discouraged and give up on the goal altogether when your body type might be different, your, you know, whatever the case is. You just need to do a little bit of adjustment to the deadline and stay motivated.

Doreen: Right. Well, let’s talk about the next one, because that’s number six is really important. I think it ties into number five.

Jeff: I think number six is probably the most forgotten of all, and that’s to celebrate your successes. Most people, they move on to the next thing and they forget to celebrate. Now you gotta be careful. You don’t wanna celebrate losing 20 pounds and gain 25 celebrating. But you have to give yourself an attaboy or an attagirl and take some time.

Doreen: High five.

Jeff: High five yourself. I like the high fives. Yes. And celebrate. Give yourself a little kudos.

Doreen: Exactly. If you wanna lose, and we keep using weight, but if you wanna lose that 20 pounds and you lost five in let’s say 30 days, give yourself a high five and celebrate that. Like you really did great. And you need to be proud of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know what? I did that I’m five pounds down. I’ve got 15 to go, and I’m gonna celebrate the five right now and keep going. It kind of motivates you. Right? To keep going.

Jeff: You know, when you talk about your coaches, so you have a business coach, you have different coaches. I know you now have a fitness coach. I think one thing that’s gonna, they’re gonna help you to celebrate and they’re gonna also hold you accountable. So I think that, having that backup person to remind you to celebrate is important.

Doreen: You know what? I need that. That’s why I have coaches in my life, and that’s why I decided to become a life coach. Because I like that accountability. I like having that cheerleader in my corner just like we do for our clients going through divorce and post-divorce. Like, Hey, you got this? You know, if you’re feeling a little down, like I’m feeling a little down, maybe I tried an exercise and I just couldn’t get it right.

Right. She wanted me to do X amount of weight with X amount of reps and I’m like, Ugh. She’s like, don’t worry, you did three. That’s great. Like, keep going and I need that. And I would venture to say that a lot of our listeners could really use a coach as well. Why not? Listen, we spend so much money on things that don’t move us forward. Don’t make us better. Don’t propel us to our best self. Don’t help us to entertain our goals. Think about it. The money that we spend, I mean, just going to Starbucks or eating out every day, you know, it’s, and I love Starbucks and I enjoy eating out, but what I’m saying is that spend your money on things that are gonna make you better. Right? For me, it’s having a coach.

The next thing is number seven, and that’s about being flexible. You know it’s okay to change your goal, but I want you to be aware of why you’re changing your goal. If you have a goal and you are working towards that goal and you’re like, just not feeling it, eh, don’t really like it anymore, have decided I would prefer to have a different goal.

It’s okay to change your goal. There’s nothing wrong. You don’t have to be critical of yourself. You don’t have to feel that you are a failure. But I would suggest, because remember, we have that primitive brain. That’s gonna tell us all the reasons why, why, and everybody has to be aware of this. Our goal is not a good idea.

It’s like when I woke up this morning, cuz we’re going on a trip this afternoon or this evening. We’re gonna be on a flight. So I usually work out in the evenings. It’s my thing, I like to go there after work, it’s my time and I like to, you know, it’s quieter at the gym. But this morning I got up and I knew I had to do it this morning. What do you think my primitive brain said to me Jeff?

Jeff: Get back in bed.

Doreen: It said, why are you up so early and what are you doing? Get under the covers and just enjoy lying in bed because I like in the morning to read and spend a little time, you know, by myself. It’s kind of like my way of waking up. I don’t just jump out of bed, but I find myself, you know, doing some things that are more relaxing like reading. And I had my primitive brain is like, no, I don’t think you should be going to the gym today. I think you should be staying in bed and you should be reading like we always do cuz that’s like safe and we don’t wanna go to the gym this early because we don’t know what the gym looks like at seven o’clock in the morning.

And I said to my primitive brain, listen, you go back to bed, I’m getting up. And I’m gonna get to the gym. Because that’s my prefrontal, that’s our human brain. My smart brain said no to that.

Jeff: I kept your primitive brain company.

Doreen: What’s that?

Jeff: I kept your primitive brain company.

Doreen: What do you mean?

Jeff: I stayed in bed.

Doreen: That’s great. But I got up so you did.

Jeff: I’m proud of you

Doreen: And even more reason to stay in bed when you’re in bed. But you know, if you’re gonna abandon your goal, just make sure you’re doing it from your prefrontal, from your smart human brain that really has a good, valid reason. Because I’ll tell you, your primitive brain can come up with really good reasons not to do something, and they’re gonna sound legit. Like for me, you know, for example, let’s say I don’t have children at home anymore, but let’s say I was gonna go to the gym. Let’s say I had a child at home and my child wasn’t feeling all that well.

Right? That would be like a really good reason not to go to the gym. My child has a little bit of a, you know, sniffle, she’s not feeling so well, but the reality is that I need to get to the gym. So my, you, Jeff could take care of the child, right?

Jeff: Absolutely.

Doreen: And it would be fine for an hour. Right.

Jeff: What could you do if you’re newly divorced and you have the kid home alone by yourself?

Doreen: And the child doesn’t feel well?

Jeff: The child doesn’t feel well.

Doreen: Workout at home.

Jeff: Workout at home.

Doreen: That’s it.

Jeff: Exactly.

Doreen: Right. There’s always something you can do, right? So don’t just give it up completely, but you can change your goals.

Jeff: So, oh, let’s do a little change in the subject a little bit. You know, after divorce, you know, one thing that is definitely looked at is it’s kind of an opportunity to work on yourself, you know, and when you’re setting goals, it’s an opportunity to work on yourself without anybody there to whatever bother you or talk to you, or you have to cook dinner for and you have a chance to really, we call that like a broken radar where you can change the patterns in your life and kind of change some things that are gonna propel you forward in your future life.

Doreen: Yeah, and I think what’s really nice about being divorced is, well, I mean cuz you can look at the good and the bad and one of the things that we teach is, you know, your thoughts create feelings, actions, results. Your thoughts about the divorce could be something. I think what you’re suggesting. I don’t have anybody else telling me what to do. I get to make my own decisions on what I want my life to look like and my goals, and nobody gets to tell me that I can’t do that, or I should be home cooking dinner, or, you know, whatever else is going on.

Jeff: This is a perfect opportunity.

Doreen: What a perfect opportunity, right? And sometimes, unfortunately, it takes a dramatic event, something not pleasurable like illness, death, divorce to wake people up, you know, as to taking care of themselves, putting themselves as a priority. Sometimes you’re forced into that, right? Really recognizing what’s important. And yes, my listeners, you are a priority, and you are important, and you need to recognize that.

I know a lot of you are feeling not that way, right? You’re feeling like failures, but you are important. You’re special. You have a lot to offer, and you need to really recognize and own that. So let’s talk now we’re switch gears, right? About how to set goals and what they might look like to 10 goals to improve on after divorce.

Kind of like what I was just saying, that divorce has forced you into certain things that you can use the divorce to really enhance your life. So the first thing I wanna talk about is overcoming the fear of being alone. And getting comfortable with that.

Jeff: And being a single.

Doreen: That is not easy for a lot of people after divorce. I mean, you have been in this relationship whether it was good, bad, or somewhere in between. Right. And you’re used to having this other person to come home to, to talk to, to even argue with, to go out to dinner with, to sit when you’re watching tv, to be in the home with you for security purposes, just to feel comfortable, right?

So many people have fear of living alone for security purposes, or they have fear of going out by themselves. Right. So now this is an opportunity for you to overcome that fear of being alone to really embrace it and be okay with it.

Jeff: We all know what fear stands for, right? False evidence appearing real. So even though it appears real to you, it could be false, and we have the evidence to prove that you can be just amazing. Being on your own and being single again.

Doreen: Yes and believe me, when you least expect it, like within our relationship, sometimes, you know you’re not alone that long, you just don’t. But I can tell you that if you are not confident with being alone and you don’t feel comfortable with who you are, the likelihood of being available or open to meeting other people is probably a lot less. Right. So, what’s the second thing?

Jeff: The second one is reduce your anxiety and your worry about, you know, learning new things and picking out the same type of person and experiencing the same pain. Because if you’re aware of the type of person you’re, let’s say, trying to stay away from, it’s kind of a goal for you to stay focused on what you really want.

Doreen: Yeah, so I think that what you’re saying is that the number two thing, one is the fear of being alone and really embracing that. The second thing is to think about what you do want your next relationship to look about, like, right? It gives you an opportunity after divorce to really think about that. Have I dated the same kind of guys? What kind of guys are those? And maybe that’s not the best person or type of personality for me, or characteristics for me, and what do I really want in my next, you know, companion.

So being aware of what worked for you and what doesn’t work for you in a partnership. It gives you the opportunity to do that. So that’s number two, right? Number three. I’m gonna pull into, okay. No. Actually you were gonna do number three, weren’t you?

Jeff: Well, I’ll do number three. We got a little bit discombobulated there, but that’s fine. And you know what? You wanna improve your self-esteem. Feel confident that you’re worthy of being single. You know, there’s nothing wrong with being single right now, and make sure that you’re confident in yourself and not just only confident around being with somebody else.

Doreen: Right. A lot of times I think that when you’re in a relationship, when you’re in a marriage, you have more self-esteem because you’re with someone. It kind of gives you that extra, I don’t know, like security. And learning to be single and alone even if you’re dating, but you know what I’m saying, like not having that special someone that permanent, somebody, that exclusive someone, that marriage person, but being single and living as a single person and everything that goes along with that will build your confidence and your self-esteem. So divorce gives you that opportunity.

Jeff: And it’s so important cause the marriage could have broken your confidence as well. You know, some people are in a bad marriage and their confidence is so low, they have to take this time to build that confidence back up before they jump into the next relationship. So, I think number three is talking about setting the goal to build the confidence back in yourself and being single is a great thing.

Doreen: Yes. The self-esteem. The next thing is stress management. You know, being a single person and being a single, let’s just say parent is something that can be very stressful, right?

So, you’re going from this marriage into this new life where you are the person, you are the one that’s handling your household, you’re handling the majority of the responsibilities, right? I mean, maybe you have a cleaning person coming in or something, but you know what I’m saying, like you’ve got it all.

And being able to manage that without being stressed and being able to control your brain on what that looks like is a valuable, important lesson. So divorce gives you that opportunity to really learn how to stress manage, manage your stress.

Jeff: Exactly

Doreen: What’s the next one?

Jeff: The next one is kind of letting go, let’s just call it letting go. You have to let go of the past could be the anger that you have from your relationship. It could be ust the relationship in general, but you wanna let go of the past and focus on the future.

Doreen: So again, staying, you know, true to our topic right now, which was the 10 goals that you can improve on, that you’re kind of forced in after divorce. What you’re saying is one of the skills that you can learn is letting go, detaching, forgiving, for letting that anger go. I mean, what a beautiful thing to learn how to do. And divorce gives you the opportunity. And believe me, as we know, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to forgive your ex. It’s not easy to let go of the anger you may have towards yourself.

Jeff: Yeah, I was gonna say, it’s not easy to forgive yourself

Doreen: For the divorce, but what a great opportunity the divorce gives you to do that. The next thing is to fulfill your own needs. We talked about this already. Stop relying on someone else’s satisfied, your physical and emotional needs. So many times we rely on other people to make us happy.

And again, this is in the episode on the manual. We should definitely do another episode on this. I really wanna consider doing this next time because this is a life changer or a game changer. You, my friends, have to make yourself happy. You know, I think I cannot ever, I can’t stop thinking about the fairytale and they lived happily ever after.

In other words, the princess meant the prince, and they got married and they lived happily ever after. Listen, if you think someone else is gonna make you happy, that is short-lived my friend. The only person that can make you happy is you, and if you try to get someone to control someone to have them make you happy, you’re going to be exhausted.

I have dealt on, I am still dealing with this one with you, with our marriage, right? Because I am a bit of a control person. I, you know.

Jeff: No.

Doreen: No. You know, businesses leaving my house at 16, going, you know, putting myself through school. Being successful as a lawyer, everything was within my control, and so I try to control people too much and that includes my husband. So, I have to work really hard. I’m trying to make myself happy and not think, Hey, if Jeff did this, then I would be happy because I can’t control you.

Jeff: Yeah, that’s back to the manual.

Doreen: Back to the manual. So fulfill your own needs is the next thing. Number six, that divorce gives you, forces you into that opportunity to really, really work on that skill. Something again, I am still learning day by day.

Jeff: So, we can change the end of the story and say she divorced the prince and live happily ever after.

Doreen: Yes, we love that. You know what? I know that nobody wants to think about divorce as being like, something great. It’s not, but sometimes marriages just run their course. People grow apart. People are always changing and sometimes they change together and it works and sometimes they don’t. I was listening to someone, who was it? Oh, you know who’s, oh my gosh. Timberlake, Justin Timberlake.

Jeff: Justin Timberlake

Doreen: His beautiful wife’s name.

Jeff: Oh my gosh. I can see her face, but I can’t picture her name.

Doreen: You’ll look it up while I’m explaining to you.

Jeff: Absolutely. Go ahead.

Doreen: She was on, I think it was the Today Show yesterday. I’m pretty sure it was the Today Show. It was. Yeah. And she was talking about how they keep their marriage interesting and they revisit who they are within their marriage, meaning that they come back and say, Hey, you know, like we’ve evolved individually and we’ve changed and like all these things have happened, but are we still together?

Are we still united? Do we still like, he, she’ll go and she’ll appreciate all the new things of who he is. And then he goes and he appreciates all the things that she now has become Like they don’t rely on what they knew when they first met each other because they realize that they’ve changed and they’re only going to continue to change.

I thought that was super, super cool.

Jeff: So Jessica Beal.

Doreen: That’s it. That’s it. Very, very cool stuff, right?

Jeff: Yep.

Doreen: What’s the next one, number seven?

Jeff: Well, this is a very, very important one is to learn and practice and set the goal of being great co-parents for the kids, right? And parent your kids together. And not only, of course, everybody knows it’s better for the kids, but it’s also gonna be better for your relationship with your ex.

Doreen: Well, and you know, it takes a village.

Jeff: Yes.

Doreen: So the divorce pushes you in that opportunity. Look, you can do one of three things with your co-parent ex. You can either hate each other and be fueled by that hate which is only gonna affect you, your ex and your children and your life in general. You can be kind of neutral and not involved co-parenting, meaning you kind of just like avoid that person and not involve them. Live your life separately as a parent, or you can three co-parent together. Unite.

I’m gonna tell you that number three is gonna relieve you from a lot of pressure and a lot of stress in your future because it takes a village, right? And being on that same page and trying to build that good co-parenting relationship is going to really make your life easier. Now, I know a lot of listeners are going, but you don’t know my ex, right?

And I get that. But given an opportunity, try. Try to see if maybe you can talk differently, motivate him or her differently, how you might be able to share responsibilities. Be flexible. So many times as a divorce lawyer, I see parents after divorce, they’re not flexible. You know, dad wants to just come an hour later to pick up the kids because he claims that he has something going on at work.

And you know, the client, the wife, the ex-wife is like, no. He’s just, you know, wants to do what he wants to do and show up late. Be flexible because you’re gonna need the flexibility in the future. Right?

Jeff: And I know that our listeners have heard the example many times of you and your ex Sam, that we’re all such great friends and spent last weekend, you know, in volleyball this weekend, coming up in volleyball.

But whew, what a great guy and great relationship you guys have and, and the huge difference it has in the children, your daughter.

Doreen: I mean I could ask him to do anything for the girls, like really, and he would just jump on it in a second. But that wasn’t easy. That took a lot of time for us to really build that kind of a relationship.

I mean, it’s kind of crazy that we’re sharing an Airbnb, what do they call it? Yeah. You know, and our oldest daughter, who’s 25, is gonna come in from Charlotte and be with us, and we’re gonna see Megan, why not? And when we go out to dinner, when we’re at these tournaments and we’re all together, we go together to dinner with our kids, which I don’t know.

I just think it really is, our kids are, I think, much better adjusted when they see that. And they realize that it’s not the norm, and I wish it was the norm, but it’s, you know.

Jeff: Yeah. I wasn’t around when, you know, you and Sam divorced, but I’m sure there had to been something discussed that this became your both of yours goal, to have this kind of relationship with your kids.

Doreen: We just made, you know, we always, in our marriage, we had differences. Obviously we’re divorced, but the one thing that we did well together and that we were very lucky and very fortunate on the same page was our parenting. Like we both had very, very, very similar parenting styles. So that’s not every listener out there.

You know, some parents have very, very different parenting styles, and I get that that’s more challenging, but we can help you and coach you through that on how you can build a really good relationship with your ex. One that’s gonna help you in the long run. When we coach with, when we do our coaching, we try to identify your top three goals and maybe co-parenting with your ex is one, and we can help you with that.

Jeff: Yeah. What’s number eight?

Doreen: Creating a new identity.

Jeff: Ooh, I like that one.

Doreen: You are you now, you know, you used to be a wife, husband, you were involved in a marriage, but now you’re an individual and you get to create your whole new identity. How fun is that?

Jeff: That sounds like fun.

Doreen: I know, right?

Jeff: So, so close to Halloween too, you could have become anybody.

Doreen: So what are your dreams for the future? They need to ask themselves that. Right? That goes into our original part on the podcast, which is setting your goals. Right? Create your new identity by setting your goals.

Jeff: Yeah, and I think what you said in the beginning is very important, is how do you see yourself?

Doreen: How do you see yourself? Right. Super important and work on that. What’s number nine?

Jeff: Nine is very important. If you’re, let’s say you don’t have a job or you’ve never had a job, you go out and get a job. It could be volunteering at the local, you know, food distribution center. But give your life a purpose. And I think when you have something to get up for and get out of the house and do something productive it gives you a very good feeling inside it. So that’s very important.

Doreen: So many times I’ve heard in the past dealing with people in, you know, going through divorce. And this is gonna be kind of a broad conversation, meaning like, I’m just taking it from 28 years of practicing law. The people that get divorced that have their own separate careers tend to do better.

Like they have that focus outside of the divorce, they’re focused on their job, they’re focused on their career, and it kind of helps them to not think about it and dwell on the divorce all day long. Right? So if you don’t have a job, consider a job. If you don’t need the money, Right. If you don’t need the money, then consider a job and a nonprofit. There’s so many nonprofit organizations that need help, and it will give you purpose. So whether it’s a job to make money or it’s a job and a nonprofit, consider it. It’s a game changer for sure.

Jeff: And it ties in with a lot of the other goals too, about finding out who you are, getting out there being confident in yourself, meet,  you never know who you’re gonna meet. I mean, that it’s a big thing getting out of the house and doing something productive.

Doreen: Absolutely. And let’s talk about number 10. Number 10 is be aware of buffering. I did an episode on this look for it. It’s also, I’m gonna say be aware of addiction issues because how many times, you know, do people going through divorce, they use alcohol, drugs, pornography, overshopping, gambling, over social media, you know, getting into webbing, whatever they call that. What do they call it?

Jeff: Surf to web.

Doreen: Surfing. Yeah. It’s like overdoing anything to avoid your feelings is called buffering. So you wanna be really, really conscious of that, especially when it comes to putting substances into your body, because that can have such a, you know, it feels good for the moment. And of course, it releases all kinds of endorphins and what do they call it?

Jeff: Dopamine.

Doreen: It’s dopamine. Yeah, right? Sugar. Sugar is another addiction cuz it sugar releases dopamine. Right? It’s like this quick, like wow, that feels good. And yes, your body physically reacts to it, but then you can get into other problems gaining weight, being unhealthy, of course with alcohol and drug addiction, other things.

So just be aware of that. Better to face the hurt and your feelings than to avoid now the hurt and your feelings and another situation. So just be aware of that. And so divorce gives you the opportunity to really work on that, to really know when you’re reaching for that glass or that bottle of Chardonnay, because you’re doing it because you are celebrating and wanting to have a good time.

Are you drinking it because you’re trying to escape. Situation gives you time to really understand that. So I know it was a little bit longer today. You know, we’re over 45 minutes today.

Jeff: Wow. Really?

Doreen: Well, we kinda put in two, two episodes in one, right? Yeah.

Jeff: But it was fun. I thought we gave some great information and I’m taking notes on myself.

Doreen: Yeah. So the first part being about setting your goals and what that looks like, and the second part about what divorce can teach you. And you know, the 10 things that it can make you stronger at. Alright, my friends. So listen, what are your goals? What do you want for your life? For you as an individual?

What have you always thought about? What have you always dreamed about? What have you always put into your brain as saying, you know, one day I’ll do that. Well, guess what, now is the time. Do it today. Set that goal. Set that intention. Do it for yourself and go out there and make it happen. You have the capacity. You are strong enough to get through this, and you can have an amazing life after divorce.

All right, my friends, listen, be good to yourself. Set those goals. Love yourself, love each other. Be kind, and as we say, until next time, have an amazing week.

Jeff: Have a great one.

Doreen: All right guys, we’ll talk to you next week.

Jeff: Bye-bye. You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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