Your Family and Life Changes

It is a curious phenomena that when we try to change our habits — simplify our clutter, eat healthier, start exercising — the other people in our life don’t instantly want to be changed in the same way.

It’s as if they had their own minds!

Horrible as that might sound, it’s the reality we have to deal with if we have a family (or friends, roommates, coworkers, etc.). They often resist changes we make, or their possibly unhealthy habits stand in our way.

You’re trying to eat only whole foods, and yet your daughter eats goldfish crackers and pizza and Oreos. And she doesn’t seem to want to munch on asparagus instead!

So what’s a habit changer to do? Abandon all attempts at change? No. Force change on family members? Tempting, but not effective.

The answer is that there is no simple answer. I’ll share what has worked for me, but that won’t work for everyone. When you’re single and living alone, it’s easy to make whatever changes you want to make — but if you’re married, you have to make compromises. You live in the space that is common between the two of you, and that is negotiated space. When you add kids to your life, you now live in a space that is common between all of you, also a negotiated space.

What works? Let’s take a look at some strategies. Try one, try two, or try them all, and figure out what works in your negotiated space.

Getting Others On Board

Here’s a common scenario: you’ve read about some interesting challenge or change someone else has made, or perhaps read a magazine article or book on the topic, and have been giving it some thought, and finally arrived at the decision to make the change … and then you spring it on your significant other or entire family. They somehow aren’t as enthused as you’d like!