It is normal at the end of a year in which you have experienced hardship to experience the end of one year and the beginning of the next year with some relief. We all like the idea that we can put grief and pain behind us and move on, but it isn't really true. Our experiences, whether good, bad, or neutral, remain with us and will continue to shape us for the remainder of our lives, for good or for ill. Nevertheless, the changing from one year to the next is a good time to take stock and even make changes.
I tend not to make major New Year's resolutions because most people break their resolutions as soon as they make them. But there are other great ways to renew one's life besides resolutions. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.
At care2.com they suggest committing seven days to starting over. This could be a great way to shake things up for the first day of the year.
At wikihow, the suggestions are more along the lines of shaking things up in one or more areas of your life. If you are shy, try being more outgoing, or if you are extroverted, try adding in more contemplation.
Mentalhealth.com suggests living with more attention to the little things that mean a lot, such as walking, eating and breathing.
Ehow.com suggests making practical changes, such as getting more sleep or spending more time outdoors.
Brainyquotes.com offers quotes featuring the word "renew," such as this one by Anais Nin:
The New Year, like so much in life, is to at least some extent what you make of it. I hope 2013 is a good one for you!