New Year, new you, nice try. We all fall into the same trap of “new year’s resolutions.” This time, year after year, gym prices become “discounted,” self-help books flood our Instagram feeds, and green shakes capitalize the end caps of our local supermarket. We are overwhelmed with the idea that we can change ourselves if we try just hard enough, so let’s push ourselves to reach that yearly goal. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into this cyclical way of thinking every year. Are you focusing your energy on changing the right things?

Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Research has shown that our personality does not change. About 50% of our personality is determined by our genetic make-up. The other 50% is based on the “nurture” effect, or how you find you fit in society. People tend to seek out settings that match their personality. It’s not often you find an introvert relaxing at a networking event. We create environments for ourselves that reflect our personalities, i.e. extroverts pursue parties to unwind on the weekend.

Our research at PREPARE/ENRICH is aligned with the notion that personality doesn’t change. The personality portion of our assessment, SCOPE (which stands for social, change, organized, pleasing, and emotionally steady) is based off of the Five Factor model. For the most part, we understand that this scale stays static through couples who have taken our assessment multiple times.

However, there is a scale that you, as an individual, can change – the Relationship Dynamics scale. This scale assesses different traits you possess in a relationship and how strong or weak you are in those areas – it is not reflective of your agreement as a couple, but rather where you, as an individual, lie on these different attribute spectrums. Our Relationship Dynamic scale measures assertiveness, self-confidence, avoidance, and partner dominance, as these traits are found to change as a person intentionally grows. The more we communicate and work on those areas of ourselves, the better the outcome.

People don’t change, they grow. We grow as individuals, we grow as couples, and we grow as a society. Growth takes time and constant evaluation of yourself and your situations. The more people learn about themselves, the more they can become the best version of themselves. But this doesn’t mean that people will change the essence of who they are. Don’t expect your partner to change their personality, because that’s an unrealistic expectation to have. Our partners aren’t our projects.

However, if you have had the conversation and you both want to grow, you’re in luck – that’s healthy and realistic.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to grow as a couple. Hold each other and yourself accountable for your goals. Take the non-facilitated version of our assessment, called Couple Checkup, at the start of the year, then retake it at the end of the year to track your growth and progress. .

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that New Year’s resolution should result in a “new you.” But it’s our unique personality quirks that attracted us to our partners in the first place and those traits are unlikely to change. By focusing your time and energy on creating positive growth in yourself and your relationship, you set yourself up for future success.

Register today for one of our free workshops and you can take a Prepare-Enrich couple's assesment for free! Learn more here.

Read the original article and many more like it on the Prepare-Enrich Blog.

A couple lights sparklers


One of the most amazing things about parenthood, in my opinion, is watching your children develop their unique personalities. Each stage of life brings a new look into your child’s character. In a way, its like you get to meet them again, and again. When they are born, you are introduced to this tiny person. But that tiny person is going to grow, and as they grow they are going to discover, and have adventures, and begin to show you what they love. And if you have more than one kid, you quickly see how different your children can be from one another.

Any relationship has its beautiful and difficult moments. Parenting is no different. Getting to know someone means you learn what makes them tick, what inspires them, and what totally absolutely drives them crazy.  Learning these things helps you relate to them in a better way, thus minimizing conflict and encouraging joy.  

My kids are absolutely different people. One is a bee, the other a butterfly.

Busy Bee

My son is my busy bee. He’s focused. He’s practical. He’s direct. But he’s also creative, and kind, protective, and productive. He likes to be with people, but he needs his alone time to recharge. He also struggles with anxiety when things are out of order or if someone breaks the rules.


My daughter is my little butterfly. She floats from one thing to another without much care. If her room is messy, she doesn’t mind, she’s too busy thinking about flowers. She loves to create, and sing, and dance, and play in the mud, too. She loves to be with people, always, every second. She is also very competitive, and has a temper that rivals the Hulk’s.

So, quite naturally, I have to parent my kids differently in some ways if I want to keep some peace in my household.

Here’s an everyday example.

After my kids get home from school, my daughter could easily be with people for several more hours. My son, however, needs time to recharge by himself. So when they get home, rather than making them do the same thing, I send her outside to play with friends or with her dogs, and I send him to have alone time. I don’t have her bring friends over during this time because he needs to unwind after being with people all day long. And I don’t make her go isolate, because it would only make her tired. She’d fall asleep, and then as parents surely know, bedtime would be a nightmare. Sometimes this varies, of course, but that seems to be the usual routine. No matter what, I make sure that my son gets his quiet time and my daughter stays active. Figuring this out about my kids has made their lives, and mine, much, much easier. Just half an hour of “me” time designed for each of them means two kids who are much happier and therefore more ready to cheerfully comply with their to-do lists.

As they get older, this could completely change, or stay the same.  I have no idea how different stages of development will change how I interact with them. I have no idea if a bully at school will steal a little bit of my daughter's confidence, and I'll have to approach her more carefully than I'm used to in order to restore it. I won't know if my son's first day of middle school will leave him full of anxiety or excitment until it happens, and until I ask him.  I'll have to meet him again.  This cycle continues, but that's not a bad thing.  It's exciting. I get to walk with them, and learn more about them. 

In order to relate well to our children, we must get to know them individually. We must communicate with them, have positive conflict resolution, and clear expectations. Take time to get to know your kids again and again. If we take time to do this, parenthood might just be a little less difficult and a lot more enjoyable. 

Our parenting workshops can help you pinpoint areas in your relationship with each of your children that you can improve. Parenting happens on an individual basis. So understanding your children on individual levels is very important. We can help with that in a very practical way! To join us for a free workshop, click here and find out what classes are available for you!

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