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And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Come Tuesday at midnight; we’ll have said goodbye to 2019.

Before the stroke of midnight comes, I want to take a moment to pause and reflect on what worked this past year.

It is essential to celebrate the milestones no matter how small. At the same time, it is also helpful to consider what changes need to be made going forward.

Also, as a parent, considering what was helpful for your child and what you hope to change can give you insights for next year.

  • Maybe you are feeling more confident about your circumstances.
  • Your child may now be in recovery and living a healthier life.
  • You have realized that there are many roads to change.
  • Maybe you worked on yourself this past year so that you can offer the best possible support to help your struggling child.
  • You made adjustments to what didn’t serve you or other family members well.

Every day is a chance to begin again. Don’t focus on the failures of yesterday, start today with positive thoughts and expectations. ~Catherine Pulsifer

new year


In my own process of reflection, here are six questions I’m going to ask myself:

  1. What went well in 2019?
  2. What am I grateful for?
  3. How did I learn and improve this year?
  4. What am I proud of?
  5. In what area of my life do I still want to improve?
  6. What have been my strengths during this past year, and what has served me well?

The end of the year is a perfect time to write about your feelings. Do take time to write or reflect in some way that works for you, so that you know where you want to be in 2020.

Have gratitude for a job well done and for the accomplishments that you have made this past year. It’s healthy and vital to see yourself in a positive light. Work towards creating a new year focused on gratitude and making family wellness a reality.

As the year unfolds, it is helpful to think about how you can gain a more positive outlook and share that potential for growth with your child.

It is also helpful to think about what you would like to change in the coming year?

Intentions for the new year

Many people set a resolution for the new year. Too often by the end of January, those resolutions have been forgotten.

Also, while resolutions can work for some, they can be motivated by not feeling good about an aspect of yourself.

Setting intentions rather than resolutions can come from a more positive place.

Here are six more questions to consider as you move forward into 2020 and think about how you want the new year to unfold:

  1. What can I do to set myself up for success in the coming year?
  2. What new behaviors that I put into place in 2019 would I like to carry over into 2020?
  3. How can I be more in charge of my reactions?
  4. Are there areas where I need to focus more of my attention?
  5. Are there any areas where I need to direct my strength?
  6. What else can I carry over into the new year to grow and make my life better?

What can you do in 2020 to give more focus and attention to what is working in your life? How can you change habits so that you are moving forward in a better way?

new year

Seek answers from the inside out

“If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

One of the things that I want to work harder on is owning problems that come my way. Rather than seeking answers from the outside in, I want to find answers from the inside out.

I’m reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey. I’ve read the book before but wanted a refresher that will give me a good foundation for 2020.

What I’ve read applies well to the issue that many of us have experienced when it comes to solving the problem of our child’s substance use. 

Rather than staying focused on the concern you have about your son or daughter, pause and broaden your approach to how you can better influence your child to live a healthier life.

Instead of fixating on what our child is doing wrong, a better approach is to focus on ourselves first.

Here is the third set of six questions to consider how to help solve the problem from the inside out:

  1. What work have I done to help myself first so that I stay resilient?
  2. What is going well, and what do I need to change before I can help my child?
  3. Are there family dynamics that I need to address?
  4. How are my intellectual wellbeing, physical, and emotional health and/or my use of any substances impacting the situation?
  5. What am I grateful for that my child is doing well?
  6. How can  I listen in a better way to gain more understanding?

Starting a new year gives us a clean slate. We have a chance to begin again. By taking time to reflect, you will have a better chance of moving forward with thoughtfulness and insight.

Be proactive

Being proactive is a more helpful approach to be proactive when it comes to helping your child, rather than reacting to what happens.

Rather than being overwhelmed by circumstances, allow yourself to remain calm.

You will feel stronger and more in control of what is happening around you.

Finally, as we move into 2020, we have experienced progress, but the work is far from done when it comes to helping those with substance use disorder.

Prevention, being proactive, and spreading awareness will be what can best help those families with teenagers, the group that is most vulnerable to substance use. We need to give our kids the best possible chance to succeed, so they are not be distracted by the quick fix that drugs or alcohol offers.

Letting go of judgment and denial can also be the foundation for a better tomorrow.

Substance use is a significant problem and will, unfortunately, continue to be an important issue in the new year.

Let’s give all our kids the support and encouragement they need so that they can live the life that they deserve.

A new year is a new beginning. 2020 is an excellent opportunity for a fresh start.

By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: 18 Reflections to Set the Tone for the New Year
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/18-reflections-to-set-the-tone-for-the-new-year/
Published Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2019 22:59:38 +0000