While I definitely am not exactly handy around the house and do not have a flair for decorating, I do enjoy the process of transforming a house into a home. When I moved into this house five years ago, my daughters and I set out to make this place our own by adding new furniture and home décor, alongside our favorite pieces, and creating new memories. Now, as an empty nester and a newlywed, that process has begun anew.
As John and I combine furniture and decorations from his home with mine, and we both let go of the things we no longer need or want, we are making this our family homes. One thing we plan on doing, and by we, I mean John, is to repaint some of the rooms. That’s one thing that I never did when I moved in, because turning me loose with a paintbrush is not a good idea at all.
When I was a newlywed in my 20s, my then husband and I prepared to paint some of the interior rooms of our house. He learned to paint as a teenager and became skilled enough to paint on the side for extra money. I had only painted by numbers and wasn’t even very good at it.
When he outlined the process and the preparation needed to begin the painting project, I felt my eyes glaze over and my patience grow thin. At one point, I suggested that we buy one of those paint guns that I saw advertised on television that could paint a house in minutes instead of hours. He countered with the suggestion that I could be his assistant and bring him supplies and more paint, if needed, and he would be responsible for painting the rooms solo. I took his suggestion, and it was a win-win for both of us.
Fast forward to nearly thirty years later, and I experienced a sense of déjà vu, as John outlined the plan for repainting my oldest daughter’s bedroom. As I heard words, such as primer, paintbrushes, rollers, drop cloths, and paint chips, but no mention of a paint gun, I felt myself zone out once again. Luckily, for everyone’s sake and the sake of all things home décor, I have been relegated to the role of painter’s assistant once again.
Painting a room reminds me of what it is like when we want to update or change some aspect of our lives. The desire to make the transformation and visions of the end result can jump start our motivation and create momentum, and it can feel exhilarating. And then the real work begins.
It is one thing to think and dream about doing something, but actually putting in the time, effort, and energy to reach a goal is something else altogether. If you are like me, once I make the decision to make a change, I want to do it. Yesterday. Cue the paint gun!
Change, though, is not always immediate, and it certainly is not always fun. While the after picture shows off our hard work, it does not show the prep work, which is often much less appealing. That is where the real change starts to take shape, though. It’s all about preparation and priming ourselves for the change at hand.
Failing to adequately prime a surface for a fresh coat of paint could result in the paint not adhering properly, which means you will not achieve the right color or look you had in mind. When we do not take the time to prepare to make a change in our lives, we run far greater risks than meets the eye. We may run into obstacles that could have been avoided, end up going down a path that leads us further from our intended goal, spend time, money, and resources needlessly, or grow frustrated and quit.
Creating a runway to take off from in the pursuit of our dreams is the foundation, and while some ways to create this are more efficient than others, there are no shortcuts. As we consider what goals we have in mind, think about ways to prime your path:
Educate yourself about the change you want to make and the change process, so, you can make informed decisions along the way.
Gather the necessary tools/equipment/knowledge/resources that will assist with the change.
Establish a timeline to begin, review, and finish the change process.
Give yourself permission to change course or tweak the process, if needed.
Ask for assistance along the way.
Celebrate your achievements throughout the change process, not just upon completion.
As you contemplate any changes you want to make, or are in the process of making, remember to make sure that you are primed and ready to proceed. In the meantime, I will be here staying out of John’s way and dreaming of a paint gun.
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