Number 5 on the short list of stupid, true things about life that I try not to let annoy me is this:
It’s hard to change things* when people around you resist having you change.
*”things” being: yourself, your situation, how you do things, what gets done, what is prioritized, etc.
We forget that our lives are so enmeshed with the lives of others, whose lives are also enmeshed with the lives of even more others, that to make and sustain a change over time we have to get a whole lot of other people to make supportive adjustments in their “things”, just so that we can make the changes we seek.
This means that every time you make a New Year’s resolution to eat “less beef and more vegetables”, for example, you not only have to shop and cook a bit differently yourself, but also you have to pull everyone else in your household onto the “less beef and more vegetables”-bandwagon.
No wonder it’s so difficult sometimes to change.
Simple Truth #5 is what sinks the best of New Year’s Resolutions. It also sinks so many of the efforts we initiate to improve our host family – au pair relationships.
Which is why I’m surprised that so few of the articles I’ve read in the last two weeks about making changes for the New Year have suggested that we make resolutions WITH other people. Not just as “accountability partners”, but in tandem with the people who also need to change things in order to help support us and our change efforts.
A better New Year’s practice would be to make resolutions WITH the people whose partnership is critical to the success we seek.
For example, if you want your home to feel more calm around mealtimes, why not talk with your Au Pair about how to work together to achieve that goal?
Even more better would be to talk with your Au Pair about what child, household, or au pairing things s/he would like to change or grow in the next three months, and then set a few resolutions/ intentions/ key words/ core desired feelings around these.
Has anybody tried to team up with their Au Pair or Host Parent(s) to create resolutions WITH them?
If you could make some goals with your AP/HP to change something together, what would you like to resolve to do?