It's official: you're divorced. Now that you're single again, what are you going to do with your life?
It's time to make a bucket list of 12 items to complete over the course of this first year.
While you may have your own version of this, here are some suggestions to tackle as a newly divorced man or woman:
Take a Road Trip, or Travel
Whether it's on your own or with the kids, the ladies or your guy crew, put a road trip on that divorce bucket list! This is a great experience, both for clearing your head and gaining perspective, as well as strengthening bonds if you happen to bring along company.
Whether it's your ex, or a family member, forgive someone important to you. Even if you can't mend the relationship, taking time to heal over an old wound is vital to your new life after divorce.
Learn a New Skill at Work
If you're not starting a new career for the first time post-divorce, learn a new skill. Take a college level course, or sign up for a continuing education course. Make a move to position yourself more advantageously with your job.
Sign Up for a Hobby That Makes You Happy
Always wanted to ballroom dance? Box? Play the flute? Whatever it is, even if you feel completely ridiculous doing the foxtrot, do it. Try something new, and adopt it as a hobby. The time is now, especially while you're single.
Drop Pounds, or Products
Are you looking to lose weight? Set a goal and pursue it. Sign up with a trainer or nutritionist. Join a running group. Sign up for kickboxing. If physical weight isn't what you need to drop, start getting rid of clutter. Throw out anything you haven't worn in over a year. Discard tchotchkes and other items littering your life and space.
Reunite with Old Friends
Reunite with your college, high school, or elementary school buddies! Plan a reunion yourself, and make the effort to reconnect.
Have People Set You Up
If you're ready, let anyone you trust set you up. Go on blind dates. Say yes to everyone who asks. It's only coffee! The goal is to meet new people, make friends, and maybe find love. Be open-minded to learn what's out there and gain confidence.
Take On an Adrenaline Rush
Skydive. Rock climb. Fly a plane. Whatever it is that thrills you—and also inspires terror—sign up for it! You only live once, literally, so do something that gets your blood flowing.
Join a Cause
Find time to dedicate to a cause you care about. Not only will it help you feel good about yourself as you recover from divorce, but it will also let you regain some purpose and meet new people, post-marriage.
Toss the Wedding Junk
Get rid of the old memories. Burn it. Toss it. Throw it out. There's no need to hang onto every wedding card and memento anymore. If you have kids, put aside a few items for them to see, and have, as they grow older.
Have a Sexual Adventure
Whatever your flavor, try out something sexually that you’ve always wanted to. This can be hard if you're single, but hopefully you can find someone to enjoy this "activity" with, or perhaps make a list of activities for when you meet the right person.
Meet Someone New Every Day
Say hello to someone you cross paths with every day. Reach out to people you see, but haven't made the time to befriend. Ask people for their names. Pay a stranger a compliment each day. Put out positive energy, and smile even when you feel sad.
The bottom line is a bucket list can help you: gain focus, relinquish negative energy, meet new people, conquer fears, and push yourself. Make this first post-divorce year the best.
Written by Laura Lifshitz
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women's issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women's Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is FromMTVToMommy.com.