7 Tips To Help You Survive Renovating Your Life

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Getting where you want to be doesn’t just happen.

It takes time and learning new skills and habits that benefit you personally and professionally is rarely a neat and tidy process. It’s often frustrating and full of surprises. At times it feels like it’s a never ending process. You may wonder if you will ever successfully arrive.

Making personal or professional improvements is hard work, but when you succeed there’s no doubt that it was all worth it. It’s a little like renovating your home. Recently my husband and I hired a contractor to redo the siding on the back of our house. The more we thought about it, the more it made sense to add a deck while we’re at it, which meant also redoing a walkway that we’ve never been in love with.

The project started out strong, but there are the inevitable snags that pop up in any renovation project, and this project has been no exception. There have been mishaps, lots of rain, and holidays that have kept things moving along at a snail’s pace. Now six weeks in and we are nowhere near completion. You could say my husband and I are a bit worn out by all the inconveniences that go along with such a project. What’s kept me going is the anticipation of a beautiful, just what we’d hoped for space that better meets our needs.

HGTV is Captivating & Misleading!

Watching home renovations on HGTV is captivating. When a home that’s an eye sore with an impractical layout is turned into a beautiful and functional space, the homeowners are more than pleased that they pushed through the extra expenses, extended time, and unexpected surprises because they are thrilled with the end result.

Sadly, those amazing renovation shows are quite misleading. Oh, they show the problems that crop up – they make dramatic television! However, the entire transformation to a kitchen, bathroom, or even an entire home takes place in less than an hour! The reality is that even small changes made to a home take time, and generally more time than you ever imagined! It’s inconvenient and stressful!

Making life changes that enhance your life and work are no less inconvenient or stressful, but don’t let the hard work and potential trials keep you from making positive changes. In the end, you’ll be so glad you did.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you attempt to make changes and renovate your life:

1. Be Clear On Your Why

Without a compelling why, you’ll be tempted to give up when the going gets hard! Trust me: I am clinging to the vision of my grandkids having the time of their life out on that deck right now. That’s what keeps me going when it feels like this project will never end and it‘s costing more than anticipated.

It’s helpful to post a picture, a quote, a Bible verse – anything that will keep your “why” in front of you.

2. Be Centered

Renovating a home is consuming and distracting! Skipping important activities is very tempting. Too often, when making life changes, spending time with God gets squeezed out, making the process even harder to navigate. He wants you to rely on Him to help you make changes. When He’s a part of the process, He arranges circumstances that make it possible for changes to turn out better than you imagined.

Make time for Him each day, even in the midst of making difficult changes. Ask Him to help you!

3. Be Realistic

There will inevitably be hiccups along the way as you seek to make changes. It can feel chaotic and never ending when you are in the middle of integrating new habits or learning new ways of doing your work. I assure you that what you are experiencing is normal and temporary.

Having a realistic outlook as you begin your personal or professional renovation process minimizes the effect that those unexpected moments have on you.

4. Be Character Conscious

My true character is revealed in the midst of challenging moments, not when everything is hunky dory! How will we handle the nail that was just shot through the window or that it’s raining again?

The same is true when it comes to changes you want to make in your life. During the process, character issues surface that need to be addressed. New areas that you need to work on come to light. Don’t gloss over them. Take the time to remedy them, even though it feels like it is slowing you down.

5. Be Open To Help

Since home renovation is not my specialty, I needed help! I met with three kitchen designers, three contractors, and spent hours with experts in cook tops, counters, and more. The information they have provided was invaluable. I also had family and friends who supported me on disappointing days and when it felt like my kitchen vision was evaporating.

Attempting to make personal and professional changes without the help and support of others is foolish. You need others who are more experienced, who have knowledge in areas you don’t, and who can keep you stay on track when the going gets tough. That’s what working with a coach is all about! Without accountability, it’s easy to abandon your dreams and settle.

6. Be Flexible

Some of the plans I had at the beginning of this most recent renovation process have not worked out the way I initially imagined. I’ve had to adjust and move to plan B more than once.

While being determined to reach a goal is an absolute plus, you also need to be flexible and adjust as circumstances change. The ability to adapt and modify your plans on the fly in ways that make reaching your goals possible will serve you well.

7. Celebrate!

As you make progress, celebrate the small accomplishments along the way. Being able to use the deck for a family get-together even without the stairs in place was a big day!  Taking a time to acknowledge and appreciate your baby steps is an important part of the process. So is rewarding yourself. How you reward yourself will depend on you. Your reward might be taking time to read, hike, or enjoy coffee with a friend. Whatever it is, it should be something that energizes you – something you love!

Celebrating your progress will keep motivate you to keep going!

It feels like we’ve been perpetually renovating, and we have been! That’s what it takes to keep a home up and in good repair, functioning well, and aesthetically pleasing in this changing world.

In the same way, great leaders are perpetually growing and making changes to adapt to a rapidly changing world and improving their skills to function at their best. They also encourage those they lead to make improvements and are there to support and encourage them along the way.

What life renovation project are you tackling? What are you celebrating?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps clients expand their possibilities—and become the leaders God made them to be!

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