As a society entertained by reality television and DIY networks, we live for the before and after! But how many of us are guilty of fast forwarding to see to the beautiful perfection at the end sometimes? In reality, your own transformative projects take time or money – and often a far larger amount of both than what you first imagined.
Whether you are working on a small project like redecorating a half bath or taking on something a little more HGTV, like hiring a team to remodel a kitchen, chances are that the anticipation of seeing the end results is even higher than watching one on TV. So, how do you handle the in-between stages that are leaving you feeling a little impatient and sometimes even downright discouraged?
Here are a few tips on how to make the process as painless as possible and find joy in the waiting!
Set *Loose* Expectations
Before you get to the point where obscenities are being mumbled under your breath each time you pass by your half painted guest room, create a framework for your project. Regardless of whether or not you are doing the work yourself or have hired a contractor, having a plan in place will help set expectations and help you feel more in control. How long do you have to complete the project? What is the overall budget? Are you planning to purchase all the needs up front or do you need to space things out? Is there a firm deadline or grace period of when you’d like things completed? Knowing what to expect can really make a difference compared to working on something continuously with no end in sight. Create a plan and follow it as closely as you can, being flexible when it calls for it.
Choose Wisely What’s Next
You may have a laundry list of projects you can’t wait to accomplish but remember to focus first on the ones with the biggest return on investment! Which projects are going to bring your joy or make life easier? As you get started, try to choose which steps happen when, in accordance with what can be completed versus sitting unfinished for a lengthy time. If it can be avoided, try not to leave things a mess while a project lays unfinished.Even if time marches on quicker than you’d like, it will feel less daunting if you finish one thing before starting another. This will help avoid unnecessary stress if you can see a completed progress on some aspects of the project!
Identify Changes in Vision
A funny thing happens when a project is taking time: your vision may evolve. Suddenly those shelves you didn’t get to purchase and install yet don’t quite seem like the best fit anymore. The gallery wall that’s been taking forever to find time to hang, you realize is actually a better fit on the opposite wall above the dresser. Sometimes that inbetween stage is a blessing in disguise allowing your vision to reach its full potential. You may be surprised that the pauses in progress, whether caused by time or budget, are giving you a chance for project evolution to capitalize on the best opportunities for the space.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
As we said earlier, your own home projects aren’t always going to pan out like a 60 minute episode on HGTV. Projects, especially the ones that excite us, can take anywhere from days to years sometimes to complete. Find ways to stay focused on the “why” behind what you’re working towards. Home in on what life will look like after the project is done and you and your loved ones can enjoy the fruits of your labor! If you are working for months on a backyard patio, imagine the memories you’re going to make out there with your children or grandkids. Have a master bathroom you’re remodeling? Think about the self care filled moments you’ll be able to have soaking in your new bathtub! You can even create a vision board and keep it on your refrigerator to remind you of what feels like a total eye sore is actually going to be the most amazing part of the house once it’s complete.