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The only New Year's Resolution you need to make. Photo: Mark Alexander @lostpeony

If you have a reason to follow my journey, the chances are you have bigger things on your mind than making New Year’s Resolutions. I understand that because, up until this time last year, I felt exactly the same. So, let me tell you about the only New Year’s Resolution I made and why:

Last January, I decided that enough was enough. I wanted to change and I wanted to get out of the depths of my grief and resume living. That was almost two years after the death of my partner. I knew I was ready but I didn’t know how to do it.

My idea of living was to be happy. I made that my only New Year’s Resolution. I didn’t care what I was going to do as long as I felt some happiness every day. I started by doing more of the things I really enjoyed, like going to the gym, going out for walks, going out in the car, meeting friends and even chatting to strangers.

I spent more time out of the house and among people which, in turn, made me feel less lonely. Then, when I was back home, I was reflecting upon my day and activities, the people I spoke to etc.

As time went by, I began to accept the fact that life is/can be unfair. Bad things happen to us all and to the ones we love. Most of the time this is out of our control and against our wishes. The best we can do is to accept it, learn from it and move on with our own lives.

That’s exactly what I did, eventually. The second anniversary of my partner’s death upset me much more than I expected and it left me upset for quite some time. I didn’t change my routine though. I kept going to the gym, walking, going for days out in the car and meeting people.

It felt mundane at times but I kept at it. Then in the Spring, I felt a change. I was happy, strong and full of energy. I was also more confident and, for the first time in ages, I had ambitions. I wanted to inspire others who have lost a loved one, to resume life once again.

That’s how the idea of Me, my grief and I was born. I spent the whole summer and autumn, planning the book and writing. It made sense to do that and it felt right. I was enjoying it. I had a purpose and a very worthy reason to get up every morning.

I published the first edition of the book in the autumn (of 2016). It went to the No1 spot on the Amazon Bestsellers list for its category but, more importantly, it inspires people to keep going.

All that was because my only New Year’s Resolution was to be happy. That’s why I encourage you to make happiness as your only New Year’s Resolution and priority for 2017. You have been through a lot and you have suffered enough. It’s time to change that and resume life.

Do it for you and to honour the memory of your loved one. Remember that they wouldn’t want anything else but the best for you!

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