It is April and if you are like most homeowners, you are calling painters, driving to Home Depot, planting in your gardens, power washing your houses, or ordering new curtains.
Spring is the traditional time of year that we welcome renovation into our lives. After the endless winter, we are more than ready to renovate, clean up, spruce up and glamorize our homes for the warm months ahead. Spring is by definition a time of renewal, and we do just that by renovating and reviving the places in which we live. We embrace clearing out the clutter inside and out because we want clean, new and updated.
Our homes are a reflection of who we are. How we keep our properties, how we furnish our rooms, what color paint we choose for our walls, is based on budgets, comfort and individual taste. It is also an extension of our personalities and preferences. Our homes provide us with shelter from the outside world, and a place to relax and be ourselves. We are proud to take care of our investments, to refresh and renew our roofs and decks and bathrooms and kitchens. Even if we are renting an apartment, it is our headquarters, our base, and we are vested in making it comfortable and inviting. Quite simply, our homes are the part of us that the world easily views. We tend the garden, open the pool, install new windows and redecorate for our own enjoyment, as well as for the vantage point of the outside world looking in. I have a plaque in my home office that reads "Home is where your story begins." This quote is meaningful because our brick and mortar homes are where we thrive, relax, raise our families and for many people they represent the place that we are most ourselves, the place where all of our roots are formed.
What would happen if every spring, as we are refreshing the dwellings we reside in, we also revived and renovated our other "homes?"
No, not the beach house!
The other house that we are each born with, our bodies! The homes that house our heart, our mind and our soul. While we are busy refreshing the dwellings we physically live in, it might also be an ideal time to look inward toward our unique, individual homes that have been sheltering who we are as people for all of our lives. "Home is where your story begins," but how are the many additional chapters of your story reading today? Is the story you are telling a true reflection of who you really are?
Once we begin to take action in one external part of our lives, often we are ready to take action in other more internal areas of our lives.
When was the last time that you recharged yourself? Our brick and mortar homes may be the biggest financial investment we ever make, but maintaining our bodies, our health and our minds is the greatest investment we will ever make in ourselves. Quick to "fix" our homes and update and renovate what needs to be changed, we may be remiss in doing the same for ourselves. We have to embrace change in order to master it. We deserve to treat ourselves to the same reboot, reinvention and refresh that we give to our possessions. Taking ownership of the changes we want to see in our lives, allows us to be aware of those changes and to make choices about taking action steps toward our personal renewal.
THE 5 KEYS TO RENOVATION
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable: Renovating our homes may require us to live with a mess for a while. We may be in flux, unable to use a kitchen or making due without water or electricity. We adapt to these changes in our physical worlds and know what we need to do to get through the upheaval. When we refocus our personal goals and move toward changing ourselves, it is this same commitment to being uncomfortable and to trusting the process that enables us to take action toward achieving what we want. Success lies just over the mountain that is the hardest to navigate, the one that is getting in the way of what we really want to achieve. Life is not always comfortable, and our ability to deal with the discomfort often determines our level of commitment to how much we really want to make a change in the first place.
- Choose what you love: When we are busy sprucing up around the house we may choose new paint colors, new furniture or a new area rug. When we plant, it may be new bushes or flowers. All the things that we surround ourselves with are defined by our choices, our individual personality, our tastes, and personal passions. By extension, when we make choices in our personal lives, these choices should be made in alignment with our values and be a reflection of not only what we want to surround ourselves with, but what has the most purpose and meaning to us. If you love red, choose red walls, if you like tulips plant tulips, if you want to weigh less, go to the gym, and if you want to be more organized in life, begin by managing your time more efficiently.
- Make an appointment: Now is the perfect time to make an appointment. Scheduling when you are doing a do-it-yourself project or getting estimates from painters, gardeners, pool people, or contractors is the first step toward getting the job done. While you are looking at your calendar, don't forget to make an appointment with yourself! Just like our cell phones or our computers, we also need to refuel and recharge our own batteries. Pencil in exercise, meditation, even sleep. Making an appointment with ourselves makes us more accountable to actually show up and do what we have scheduled.
- Hiring someone to do the work is only half of the job: The other half of the job is what YOU are willing to do. Supervising the job done by those that we hire is often the difference between the job done and the job done well. We may not know how to drywall or tile ore even open our pools, but what we do know is what our expectations are and what we want the end results of that job to be. Making sure that we communicate what are expectations are to those around us is the best way to actually get done what we set out to do. So, what is your commitment to the task at hand and what is your commitment to yourself? Commitment takes work. We need to not just show up, but be involved in communicating a vision of what our expectations are. At the very least, that is your half of the job. Setting goals and acting on those goals are two different things. Irregardless of which "home" you are renovating, it takes a vision of what your desired outcome is in order to execute the changes toward that vision.
- Take the time to do the job right: When we set out to rebuild our deck or rewire our electric or renovate our bathroom, each of these projects involves an estimated completion date. Often, if we try to rush through the job or cut corners in order to make something happen by a specific time, we compromise the integrity of the work we are setting out to do. Doing the job the right way in the first place eliminates the need to redo and the costs associated with not thinking the project through. The same holds true for us personally when we make significant changes in our personal lives. If we rush through things or put off starting things until "we have the time," often the change we are seeking is either ineffective or will never take place at all. Why? Simply put, we are not willing to have patience and persistence and to trust not only the process but ourselves. We want instant gratification once we start a task and we procrastinate on starting in the first place. Goals are empowering to have, but the small steps that lead us toward our goals provide us with the most significant rewards...don't be afraid to take the time to do the job right! Don't be afraid to carve out the time it takes to get it done.
When we unlock the front door to our homes and to our hearts we can begin to have the freedom to assess what needs to be renewed.
Step in. Step out.
What needs to be tweaked or renovated?
Take those steps! Go! Have fun renovating your house!