Entering a New Year is a great time to make resolutions. As an Au Pair, you start a new chapter in your life, which makes it easier to acquire new habits! Resolutions can help you build a routine you might need. They also make you feel that you are the creator of your own life, so don’t be scared to work on yourself. That is not about the host kids or anyone else. Your resolutions are about you and what you want to do. No one is watching you if you don’t ask for that.
To give you some ideas, we created a list of potentially interesting New Year’s resolutions. Remember, they should fit to you, so always think about what will help you develop.
Here are our ideas that might help you grow as a current or future Au Pair!
1. Improve your language
Language is a tool that helps you communicate. Becoming better at speaking languages is always a good idea! If you want to become an Au Pair, note that sometimes it is crucial to have a certain level of your Host Country’s language! Check the requirements for different countries here
. Even if there are no requirements, it is always nice to know a few phrases in the Host Family’s mother tongue. Nowadays, there are many resources that you can use to learn a language, e.g. books, apps, videos, or online courses. Set a reminder and start learning a language for 10 minutes a day! You’ll be surprised at how much you can improve if you stay consistent.
2. Complete tasks on time
“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” is a commonly known phrase that contains wisdom. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to postpone something. But, if you are not an organiser, you probably know the feeling of being overwhelmed by tasks. Try to do some things instantly, starting with small ones. You’ll be more likely to stay focused the next day if you do not worry about too many things at once.
3. Write a Gratitude Journal
Writing a Gratitude Journal is an inspiring habit, whether you are living at home or in the Host Country. This resolution will help you to think optimistically and focus on the positive aspects of life. Writing down what makes you happy and what you appreciate keeps you calm and improves your sleep. It’s also a pleasant way to see how much you grow during the Au Pair program.
If you are reading this and don’t already have an account, it might be a perfect occasion to create one and take a first step towards becoming an Au Pair
5. Travel on weekends
Once you are in your Host Country, it might be a good idea to set up a travel plan. If you feel overwhelmed, consider exploring new surroundings to clear up space in your mind. Also, such a resolution might help you stay motivated to go outside rather than stay indoors and scroll through social media. Check out how to travel on a budget here
6. Reach out to three new friends
This is another New Year's resolution that goes along with the previous one. Try to find new connections abroad
. Search for friends on Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups and Instagram. For sure, you will find someone eager to connect. You can try to travel together!
7. Encourage kids to learn new things
This is a good idea if you want to create a bond with the Host Kids. You can ask them what they like and try to do something new every day, such as e.g. cook together, read about a new topic, or learn trivia. Try to become more open to the world together.
8. Keep in shape
Even though taking care of children can be stressful and exhausting, it's important to maintain your own physical health. However, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Exercising/being active three times a week is very beneficial for your body. You could walk eight thousand steps or jog three times a week. This will help you to get to know your surroundings, and if you’ll take your Host Kids with you, you can count it as working hours. It is a win-win situation! Read more on the topic here
9. Do a digital detox
helps you to stay in touch with your family and friends when you’re abroad. However, whether you’re now in the Au Pair program or you’re not participating currently, it's a good idea to cut down on screen time a bit. Instead of scrolling through social media, try to read a bit, meditate, do yoga, or learn a new language. And if you don’t have energy, just lay down while listening to your favourite music.
10. Ask the host kids to make a resolution
Engage them to participate in New Year’s resolutions. You might try to convince them not to fight over a toy or to read for thirty minutes every day. Another good idea is to make them clean up after themselves.
Although having a resolution listed is an easy thing to do, there is one real struggle: sticking to your resolutions. Fortunately, we have some tips that will help you be consistent. The main problem with making resolutions is that often they are very general, and what follows is the feeling that they are too overwhelming. A simple thing you can do to help yourself not give up is to make your goal very specific. Twenty pushups a day seems easier than “staying fit,” right?
Another factor you can boost is your motivation. Treat your resolution as something you want to do, not what you need to do! Use your imagination, shape your goals in your mind, think about how good it will feel if you succeed, and get excited! Name them interestingly, e.g., read two AMAZING books, instead of simply writing “read two books.” Another step you can take is to track your development by making a reminder in your calendar or asking someone to be your “supervisor.” Maybe ask a former Au Pair? You will help each other and have a good reason to stay in touch! Don’t stress about it! Remember that every day is a good day to make a resolution!