New Year’s is the chance for a fresh start and to turn over a new leaf. And, with this upcoming year being 2020, it’s also the start of a new decade — an opportunity for everyone to start their next 10 years off on the right note.

Whatever that last decade may have held for you, if you’re a birth parent, you deserve happiness and success. So, with that in mind, we’ve gathered 20 important resolutions for you to claim as your own. Whether they’re big or small, resolutions can help you change your outlook on life, show yourself some more self-love and give your child something to be proud of.

Remember: You are a beautiful, strong and selfless person, and American Adoptions will always celebrate your adoption choice, through this new decade and the many more decades to come.

So, without further ado, here are just some of the resolutions you may take up for yourself in 2020.

1. Show yourself some love.

Living in such a busy society, it’s easy to get caught up in the stressors of everyday life. So, put aside a moment to take care of yourself. Take a long bath and use that fancy face mask, or simply go for a long walk in a park near you. Self-care can be as simple or as grand as you want, but don’t ever forget that you deserve it. You are a selfless person for choosing adoption, but you don’t have to be selfless in every single moment of your life.

2.  Strengthen your relationship with your child.

You chose open adoption for a reason, so we encourage you to remember that reason and build a relationship that lasts for the rest of your life. We know circumstances can sometimes get in the way, but remember that you are an important part of your child’s life. Make it a goal to reach out once a month by phone or email, by sending a gift or by scheduling an in-person visit.

3. Be an adoption resource for others.

At any given time, thousands of people are facing unplanned pregnancies. You may be just the friendly face they’re looking to talk to. If you’re comfortable doing so, make yourself available to prospective birth parents to answer their questions and provide guidance during this difficult time in their lives. Talk to your adoption specialist to get connected with prospective birth parents who contact our agency.

4. Share your adoption story.

You don’t have to wait to be contacted by someone else to share your story, though. You can choose to share your adoption story whenever you’re ready, however you want to. You could talk to the loved ones in your life, or you could write up your story for a blog post. If you want to share your story on American Adoptions’ website, we’re always happy to help.

5. Check in with your adoption professional.

When you work with American Adoptions, you will have access to your adoption specialist 24/7 for the rest of your life. While your specialist will always be there to support you through the hard times after placement, they would love to hear about your successes in life, too! Drop them a line via email or give them a call at 1-800-ADOPTION to update them on your life and your goals.

6. Make something for your child.

While you may not physically be in your child’s life every day, you can still be there in spirit. Make your child a quilt, a scrapbook or another homemade gift, whether you’re “artsy” or not. They’ll appreciate the effort and love that went into this one-of-a-kind treasure.

7. Process and accept any difficult feelings.

As a birth parent, you’ll experience a wide range of feelings about your adoption throughout your life. While they may get less intense over the years, some degree of grief and loss about your decision will pop up over time. Rather than ignore those emotions, let 2020 be the year where you embrace them. Let yourself have a good cry and grieve the loss you’ve had. You’ll probably feel a little bit better after.

8. Reach out for help.

That said, sometimes everyone needs a little extra help. It’s normal to want to keep your emotions to yourself, but this year, take the initiative to reach out if you need to. Remember, your adoption specialist will always be available to you over phone and email, and she can help connect you to a local therapist or counselor, too. Keep in mind: Your family members and friends are good shoulders to cry on, too.

9. Build or strengthen relationships with those in your life.

Everyone needs a good support system, no matter what they’re going through in their life. But, with everyone working one or two jobs, it can be hard to find the time to catch up with friends and family. So, this year, make it a priority. Schedule a monthly dinner with some of your closest loved ones to keep each other updated on your lives and keep your relationships strong.

10. Start a journal or blog.

Writing can be therapeutic for many people. Whether you choose to write about your adoption journey or just your everyday life, putting your thoughts down on paper can help you process them in a new way — and give you a blank slate for the next day.

11. Take some time off.

Did you know that Americans are taking fewer and fewer days off work each year? That’s right — in 2015, the average American took only 16 days off work. Regardless of whether you’re above or below that average, we can all agree that taking more time off work is a great idea for your mental or emotional wellbeing. Whether that’s just taking sick time for a mental health day or taking a whole week off for that vacation you’ve been dreaming of, make 2020 the year where you put yourself first.

12. Drink more water

We know, we know — you’ve heard it over and over. But, it’s truly amazing how much of a difference being fully hydrated can make in your life. Not only will it make your body function better and improve your skin, drinking more water can lead to more energy and help you achieve the rest of your goals for the year!

13. Get moving.

Guess what drinking more water does? Energizes you to finally meet your exercise goals! Whether it’s going for a walk around your neighborhood or trying that new Pilates class you’ve always considered, exercise is good for the body and soul. Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement a day, and you’ll find your body and mind thanking you.

14. Rediscover an old love.

Everyone had something they really enjoyed as a child — a sport, a hobby, a movie, etc. So, why not think back and rediscover the love you had for that thing? If you played soccer as a kid, find a local pickup game. Or, if you had a favorite album, load it up on your streaming network to indulge in some nostalgia. Odds are it will bring a smile to your face and reignite an interest you may have long forgotten about.

15. Take up a new hobby.

Make 2020 the year you try something new. Whether that’s volunteering at your local service organization or taking a new class, a new hobby can help give you a new focus and help you set some new goals for the upcoming year (and decade).

16. Talk to your children (or other loved ones) about adoption.

Adoption can be a hard topic to talk about, but it is an important part of your personal story. So, rather than shrug off conversations about this subject, take the initiative to talk about it with the ones you love most. Tell your children about the sibling you placed for adoption, or open up with your own siblings about how you’re coping with your adoption decision. The more you talk about it, the easier it will become to do so.

17. Make something.

As you’re looking for a new hobby, you may be interested in getting your creative juices flowing. Pick up some watercolors and draw, or sit down and write that story that you’ve always had in your head. Being able to create something tangible can give you a sense of great accomplishment.

18. Let yourself be happy.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed in today’s world. Between the work and financial responsibilities, you also have the additional emotional weight of having placed a child for adoption. But, instead of focusing on the hard things, take the time to think about the positives in your life. It’s okay to let yourself be happy; it doesn’t invalidate the challenges you’re facing.

19. Set a life goal for yourself.

One of the best ways to find motivation in your life is setting a goal. As the new decade comes, think about what you’ve always wanted to do — go back to school, pursue your dream career, travel to a new country. Make that your goal for this year or this decade, and work toward achieving it a little bit every single day.

20. Celebrate yourself — and your adoption decision.

The new year means a new start — and it’s a chance for you to have a brand new outlook on life and yourself. It’s normal to have doubts and regrets about your adoption decision, but we urge you to make 2020 the year you remember all the positive things about your adoption choice. You were strong enough to make the decision that was best for you and your child, and you are doing the best you can with your life circumstances right now. And, with the new decade approaching, you have the opportunity to take that positive attitude into the many years to come.

Here at American Adoptions, our resolutions always involve better serving you — the beautiful birth parent that makes the whole adoption process possible. That means we are here for you, no matter what. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your adoption specialist anytime to get the support you deserve.

Have more resolution ideas? Drop them in the comments for us to see!