Friday, March 1, 2013

How many days to create a new habit?

My topic for the blog post today came about because of a conversation I overheard while sitting at my local Starbucks on a snowy morning trying to find inspiration. Two guys at the table next to me were reading and discussing the Bible and one says to the other it takes at least 21 days to create and stick to a new habit.  That got me thinking about that statement in a bigger picture, how does it apply to my life and how I do things.

I find that if I stick to something consistently over time I will more likely do it and then feel guilty if I don't do it. Be it going to the gym, walking the dog at least an hour, eat my fruit and vegetables, calling my mother weekly, and the list goes on.

 I find this also applies to aupairs and host families. Adapting to a new culture and language takes time before it becomes habit. Aupairs, you should not give up the first week of not understanding your host mom's direction or the second week when your host dad tells you to do something and you have no idea what he is saying or the third week when all you can think about is your friends and family back home. The first weeks are important to the success of your year as an aupair. Immerse yourself in the American culture and your host family and before you know it, it will become habit.

The same goes for host families. Host families need to adjust to a new person in the home, don't give up on your aupair the first week when she/he is sad and homesick, or the second week when she/he did not clean up after the kids the way you like it done, or the third week when she/he took 20 extra minutes to get home from school because she got lost. Get to know your aupair, ask questions, show a genuine interest in her well being and before your know it having this new person in your home is habit and you would not know what to do without her/him.

21 days to create and stick to a new habit. Give it a try and see what happens. Changing our ways one day at a time to a happier, healthier life.

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