It’s halfway through January and I am already sensing a transition or shift in this new year. Time is moving as quickly as it ever has but I am not rushing with it. I have noticed that I am taking smaller, more practical steps toward my own goals and progress. I am also celebrating where I am and feeling contented, rather than displeased or eager for the next step. I am where I am supposed to be in this moment and I am grateful that where I am is so wonderful and that I have the good fortune to be here, breathing air and living life, to enjoy it.
Let’s begin with the practical steps, as those of you who have been following know and for those of you who have not, we moved last summer. After nine years in our starter home it was time for more elbow room. Covid helped us along in this decision, but it was getting to be time. That said we have a new home and since we do not live on HGTV, the progress from new home to our home is a slow and steady process. We believe in living in a home for a while to determine what we like, don’t like, and how we are going to make the space more our own. We also do not have a limitless budget and so our choices are practical and timed out – we have not simply gutted the place.
We have however made some small but deliberate changes and updates. I’m really noticing that this year, unlike years past that I am being more patient with progress. I am enjoying the process more and being more intentional with my choices. I know what I like and I know what works for us. I also know that Rome was not built in a day. As I consider these truisms I’m grateful. I’m grateful that instead of feeling like I have not done anything or beating myself up because my progress has been slow I am savoring the moment.
Growth and change are never easy. The shift from one home to another is a big one and all of the solutions we hoped for in this home will not simply appear overnight. As we learn more about how we live in this space and we recognize our own needs in this house I am taking practical steps.
We have larger visions and dreams – much like I have larger visions and dreams for this year as a whole – but instead of looking at my larger picture goals and thinking, “Whelp, I haven’t accomplished them yet, I might as well quit, or pick a new goal.” Instead, I am thinking, “How can I make these goals smaller?” I don’t eat an entire candy bar in one bite, I break it into pieces (because I’m a lady). Also, because it is impractical to do so, and a mess. So rather than penalizing myself for not stuffing everything I want to do into the first three weeks of a new year, I am congratulating myself for taking smaller bites. For not feeling as if I have failed because in such a short time my large goals are incomplete.
Yearly goals, are just that, goals for the entire year. If they were easy enough to be solved within a week, they would not be on my annual list. They would be on my much shorter daily agenda. That said, I can make progress. Ina Garten recommends two steps every week to accomplish a goal and I have found that wisdom to be timeless and useful. I may not get something new completed in our new house every day – I’m still trying to remember where I put away the cleaning rags thank you very much. But I can order new light fixtures for the front hall. I can organize my Pinterest page and whittle down my options for rugs. These are not the re-design of the entire house but with these small steps I can make progress toward that goal. It will not be done in a day but with a couple steps forward every week, by the end of the year that’s 104 steps further than I was on new years, and already 52 steps ahead of when we moved in last summer. I’m already ahead and with continued progress this house will be a totally different place when we’re done with it – it will be our place and that makes it home.
How do you stay motivated to accomplish larger tasks? What keeps you moving forward rather than giving up?