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Resolution? Start with a plan.

It just goes without saying that if you want something to change in your life, YOU have to start it. You, yourself. It’s up to you.

My promise to myself in 2020 is that I will FINALLY get the course I’m writing ‘Learn to Choose Window Coverings’ done by a certain date. If I put my nose to the grindstone and stop doing anything which doesn’t support that outcome, it’s an achievable goal. I’m allocating mornings, Monday to Friday, to this task. I’ve scheduled subjects to a calendar. I’ve grouped tasks to do several in one day rather than split like functions up. I’ll save time doing it this way.

 It’s doable — provided I stick to the schedule and not allow myself to be pulled away. 

 And that’s the rub. Not just for getting this task done for me, but it appears that for many, many MANY people who want to improve their lives, staying on a reasonable schedule of the path to success is the most challenging task. And most often, the reason they allow themselves to be pulled away is because the tasks are too big, not clearly defined, or may have a built-in failure aspect. Like not allocating enough time.

 I see this in the design world a fair bit. A vision of how things ‘should’ look in a particular room may take over and create a surge of, “Let’s just get it done NOW” activity which, typically, ends in more confusion than clarity.

 If this sounds like you, I’d like to suggest a few simple strategies to help you make your new decorating vision a more realistic possibility.

 Decide what outcome you want. That’s the big goal. Perhaps it’s ‘change that spare room, (which is currently a catch-all for everything) into a functional sewing room.’

 Itemize what that means. This is the room usage definition. Spell it out, exactly. i.e., ‘Storage for everything I need behind doors when not in use, a cutting table which can be expanded, a bookcase to house the 24 linear feet of books I have’. Be specific. How big is the craft table you need, what needs to be behind doors, do you need to leave the ironing board set up most of the time, how many plug-ins do you need? What about lighting? Each item here is a mini-goal. 

Itemize the steps you need to take to achieve each mini-goal. For example, you can’t install a bookcase until you get all the bins out, and you can’t just move them into the hall, you need to deal with what’s in them. 

 Make a reasonable plan. You will have a much higher chance of success if your plan is feasible. That means you really think you can do the task in the allotted time. If at all in doubt, double the time you’ve allocated. You’ll feel so much better if you end up with time left over than if you run out of time. This is about accomplishing a goal, not punishing yourself.

 The first step you should take once you get all the tasks defined is to do a floorplan. After the room usage definition, it’s probably the best assurance of success you can have. I don’t know one successful interior designer or decorator who doesn’t use a floorplan. 

And remember, please, that plans do not need to be written in stone. If you need to shuffle it around, that’s fine. Better to shuffle than to quit. You’ll never get to the goal if you quit. 


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