Here’s to a Happier New Year.

With 2015 rapidly approaching, most of us will once again be considering how we might want to improve our lives.

Many of us are also approaching the stages of life where decision making takes on new directions. Beginning in our mid-40’s, we become aware that the matters that concern us have changed.

That’s right – life’s preoccupations have evolved from questions about careers and parenting, and our roles as parents and professionals, and spouses, to ones of health, contentment, and “what do I do now?”

These shifts do come naturally, if unexpectedly. Professions plateau, children leave, death, divorce, health scares and other changes all reinforce that both time and energy are finite.

Grim as this may sound, it also marks a time when we can make choices less dependent on others, unconcerned about what others might think, less impeded by responsibilities and obligations.

IF we so choose.

That’s the rub, of course, we do have to choose.

We can, as a former client so aptly phrased it, “put in time waiting to die,” the best definition of alcohol abuse I’ve ever heard.

Or we can make choices we have been afraid to make because we cannot foresee the consequences.

As another writer noted, “The major danger is to be trapped in one’s habits, and not to recognize these years as a time to discover new choices and act upon them.”

We all have more options than we recognize and our work is to help you see those other choices and to make ones that will free you to live rather than dying in regret.

And now for three other perspectives:

As 2015 approaches, it seems appropriate to reflect a bit on what others have said about living. Remembering that alcohol abuse is the exact opposite of living. It may help to reflect on the following:

Five Simple Rules For Happiness
Free Your Heart From Hatred;
Free Your Mind From Worries;
Live Simply;
Give More;
Expect Less.


Yesterday is Behind You,
Rebuild a Life of Your Design;
Do Not Let the Past or
Fear of Failure or Rejection,
Overwhelm You.
And Go for Your Dreams.


Yesterday is Ashes;
Tomorrow is Wood;
Only Today Does the Fire Burn Bright.

Those reminders made, please remember that while things beyond our control do happen – good, bad, indifferent – much of what happens in our lives, as well as how we feel about things, is a matter of choice.

Choose what you want and what matches your best beliefs, self-image, needs, and expectations. But choose.

As Kris Kristofferson sang,
“I’d rather be sorry for something I done, than something I didn’t do.”