I feel like we have been doing bathroom renovations since the long-weekend in May…wait a minute – oh we have been! The final touches are happening this week though – and let me tell you, I’m looking forward to it all being done. Phew! However, since I like to make connections in my world, during all this upheaval, I realized how closely related the home renovation process is to making changes in our lives. Like, how at first, making changes is exciting and there is much anticipation about how differently things are going to be – and how internally/externally appealing the changes will look! Then, as we progress deeper into the process, that excitement turns into impatience and exasperation with how slowly things are plodding along (And the mess! Did I mention the messy bits?!), and we question ourselves about whether we made the right decision to go through this. Fortunately, the excitement and anticipation make a return when we can see things looking more like what we had envisioned. Then that warm sense of pride courses through our body because we survived the whole ordeal, and the final results actually paid off (For the record, I LOVE how our bathroom is turning out)!
Although sometimes scoffed at (this insight stems from personal experience because I can tend to get ahead of myself when I’m excited about making something happen), following the process to achieve successful change is a valuable and necessary ingredient. When I first decided that I wanted to redo our bathroom, I had to have a vision and a goal for what I wanted the room to look like when it was done. But even more importantly, I needed to understand my motivation for making the changes in the first place. Did I want to do renos to improve the functionality of the room? To perhaps update the decor? Was my motivation driven by required structural improvements? Or did I want to increase the market value of my home?
To keep it simple, the process is the same for me when I’m looking to make a change in my life (let’s call it a “life reno”)! First, I need a goal and a vision for the reno I want to make. But to ensure that the change is a meaningful one, I also must be very clear on my motivation – my WHY – for desiring to do it in the first place. This is crucial as, oddly enough, motivation can be a contrary concept – it can either empower and move my success forward, or it can limit and frustrate my progress. Like home renos, I need to understand if my desire for a life reno stems from a structural need (my health), a décor update (my self-esteem or character development), a functional improvement (my efficacy, service, or productivity), or to increase market value (my business skills, education, employability). Personally, I see these as empowering motivations for myself. However, if I try to do a life reno to please someone else or to meet others’ expectations or because I “should” (like I’m wrong if I don’t) – I’m rarely successful in achieving lasting or meaningful change.
While a weak reason for making change can get in my way of success, another impediment to accomplishing my “reno” is when I try to take shortcuts to get the “results” more quickly (umm…for the record, my home renos have taken as long as they have because I thought I would be “wise” and save some money, so I looked for ways to throw in some DIY options. FYI, this didn’t work out so well, thus the reason why the bathroom isn’t getting finished until now)! Trying to take shortcuts when I’m trying to make a life reno also doesn’t work for me. Life changes, like home renovations, do not happen overnight – and one must go through the entire process to get the desired results!
So, getting started on life renovations is much easier when I can focus on a process :
- Have a change goal – what change do I want to make?
- Create a vision for the end results – what will I feel like, look like, sound like, and/or be doing when I successfully make this change? How or when will I know I have succeeded? What measure(s) will let me know I have accomplished my goal?
- Establish a strong understanding of the motivation behind the desire to make this change – what or who am I doing this for? Is my motivation linked to internal or external influences?
In the subsequent Keep It Simple blog, I will share my next-step thoughts on continuing the making and managing change journey successfully.
Until next time…
Keep It Simple,