Widows & Widowers: Seven Resolutions to Kick Start Your Year

widow sitting on sofa writing down resolutions

With 2019 upon us, determine to make this your year of recovery!

Regardless of how long you’ve been bereaved, if you still feel like you’re yet to get your life back on track, the beginning of a new year is an ideal time to put your best foot forward.

Setting out resolutions to kick-start you into January will help you on your way, providing good reason to make this a year of achievement and a revival of your spirits following bereavement.

As a widow or widower, you may have become absorbed in thinking about your loss and less about your own personal goals and what they mean to you. Whilst the sadness which may still consume you seems like an immovable force, with time you will be able to see the ‘wood for the trees’.

Giving some consideration to aspects of your life that you would like to improve could make a huge difference, restoring happiness and faith in your future.

1. Taking steps to move on

There is no time limit for grief. At the start of a New Year when people expect others as well as themselves to take a fresh approach to life, it can be very hard if you’re still grieving. Overcoming bereavement is something you can’t rush and you will need to take small steps to move yourself on.

Ask yourself if you’re ready to pass on your partner’s clothes and any other worthy belongings. It’s OK to keep a favorite item or two, but keeping a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes will inevitably prolong your sadness by highlighting your partner’s absence.

It’s good to have photographs, of course, especially if they’re a reminder of a particularly happy time. Books and other personal artifacts are also good to keep as they’re things you’re likely to have shared together.

Parting company with anything of your partner’s will be difficult – but once done will be a step forward in your recovery.

2. Connecting with others

Losing a partner can be an isolating experience. However, spending time with those who offer too much in the way of consolation and sympathy can often make things worse. It’s OK if you want to be selective about whom you spend time with in the early days and will be more helpful for your recovery in the long term.

Futuristically, there may come a time when you feel able to reach out to friends or acquaintances you haven’t seen in a while. This is when you can truly feel you’re coming to terms with your loss.

3. Focusing on fitness

There is nothing like the power of exercise in the open air. If you have a park within walking distance you can run, jog or power walk to lighten your load. Exercise will help to clear your mind of negative thoughts and improve your fitness. Focusing on your health can have an extraordinary impact on your overall outlook and can help you to feel more positive about your future, and to overcome the sadness within you.

Also, having a regular exercise routine can help build momentum and give you the confidence you need to embrace daily challenges.

4. Improving your diet

If you find yourself lapsing into an unhealthy eating pattern, you could find your general heath deteriorating. This could bring about a low self-esteem. Think about which healthy foods you actually enjoy and build a diet plan around them, allowing yourself the occasional treat, when you think you deserve it.

Ask yourself, as a widow or widower, would your late partner be upset if they thought you weren’t eating properly and not taking good care of yourself? This can help you maintain discipline when you experience a low moment.

5. Keeping your house in order

During the early days following bereavement it’s easy to let things go, especially if you’re living alone. When the space around you is muddled, it’s a sure sign you’re feeling the same! This is quite understandable with the huge changes in your life and the difference these changes have made to your lifestyle. Try to pick yourself up and rise to the challenge.

Having a blitz with a broom and some dusters will be extremely cathartic and will create a much more user-friendly environment.

Establishing order around you is important and gives you the opportunity to make the most of your living space. Having a place for everything means no more hunting for a lost bill, or sock!

6. Finding your creative flair

Keeping a journal of your daily thoughts and activities works very well as a reminder that you’re currently on a road to recovery. Understandably there will be some negative dialogue, but this is to be expected and all part of the healing process. Keeping a journal will help you to see how you’re progressing through your widowhood and the bold steps you are taking.

You may feel you would like to expand upon this and try your hand at short story writing or blogging. If you’re a keen gardener or an art lover, explore ways to broaden your interests and express your creative flair.

7. Helping others

It goes without saying that helping others is a good way to take your mind away from your own problems. Allocating time to helping others less fortunate than you will be appreciated. It will also help you to see the plus points of your life more clearly and better able to appreciate them. Ultimately, reflecting upon the hardship of others can help us remain modest and thankful for what we have.


As someone who is recently bereaved, it is hoped there are many moments shared with your late partner that you can recall with joy and gratitude. Dwell upon these thoughts, as they can act as the cornerstones of your recovery.

By endeavoring to make your life as satisfying and meaningful as possible, with the help of your New Year’s resolutions, you should gradually be able to accept your circumstances and get the best out of life and what lies ahead. 

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