Having trouble trying to finish house projects? Follow these 6 simple steps to get motivated to DIY or decorate your home.
Does this sound like you? You’re going through your busy day, so excited that you’re going to pull out that paintbrush later and get your bedroom painted once and for all. Yet, as soon as you get home from work, or taking care of everyone else in the household, or whatever has kept you busy, you find you’ve convinced yourself that an hour of downtime on the couch re-watching Game of Thrones with a bag of Doritos is in order, you know “before” you start painting.
And then one hour turns into two, and then three, never having touched the new can of paint, let alone opened it up to start the project.
The same darn scenario happens the next day.
And then the next.
And the next…
Your DIY bedroom update is still waiting, but by now you’re re-watching The Witcher because you’ve finished re-watching Game of Thrones, or even perhaps napping through most of it.
And no matter what you do. You can’t seem to break the cycle.
How To Get Motivated To DIY or Decorate Your Home
Let’s talk about how to get motivated to DIY or decorate your home when you feel like you’re too busy, too tired, or too unfocused to think you can actually get any house projects done.
Commit to Three Tasks a Day (aka Do Three Things – or- D3T)
This is where it all begins, my friends. You want to create a habit for yourself of completing 3 tasks or chores, per day before you hit the couch, surf Facebook, or relax in your usual style. These tasks don’t have to be home improvement related, per se. They just need to be 3 separate, yet productive actions other than curling up with a good book, or taking a nap, or starting your next binge-watch on Netflix.
The reasoning, here, is that as you continue to take 3 productive steps toward changing what is around you in your home, the habit will become natural and you’ll be able to expand on that with more home improvement related actions as you go forward. Does this make sense? Keep reading, I’ve even got an example you can follow further down.
Acknowledge the Need to Start Small
Maybe your whole house needs a makeover. Well that’s overwhelming, isn’t it? A non-motivator if I’ve ever seen one.
That’s why you want to acknowledge that you’re going to have to start small. Ideas for this could be painting your front door, updating your pantry, or giving the powder room a makeover.
Gather DIY and Decor Inspiration
Unless you are one of those people that naturally know exactly how they want to change the look in their home (and we all know at least one of those people, and secretly hate them, lol) then you want to find inspiration for your project. Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, and home improvement blogs can help you get the inspirational juices flowing. And remember, your update does not have to be magazine-worthy. It only has to make you happy.
Related: 3 Tips for Keeping Up Your DIY Momentum
Know Your DIY Goal
What’s the big picture? Even though I have found that starting small is the way to go, I still know in the back of my mind that I’ve got virtually a whole house that needs improvement. Hopefully, you don’t have that large of a task at hand, but it’s good to know what your home improvement goals are before you really get going too far along because ideally, you want to bring it all together into some semblance of calm and coordinated as you go forth and conquer.
Make a Wish List of Most Important to Least Important Home Projects
When you put a wish list together of most important to least important you will get an idea of where you truly want to start, as well as what you can budget for, and when.
What you can do now, and what you can do later?
Our kitchen is high on our wish list of things to do, but not in the budget yet, so I continue to work on other areas of our home and/or small areas of the kitchen until the time is right and the pocketbook catches up
Breakdown the Home Project Steps (see example)
And this is where the 3 tasks a day habit comes into play. You want to break your project down into manageable steps. Then apply those steps, as many as are needed, to each workday. See the example below.
D3T (Do Three Things) Example Executed to Finish a House Project
So let’s say you decide to work on your project Tuesday and Thursday night after work, and your project is painting your entry door.
- Tuesday would be Task #1 and #2: cleaning the door two times (because it’s really dirty).
- Task #3 would be cleaning the area around the door (like the floor and the trim because that’s super dirty, too). And that would complete your 3 Tasks for Tuesday.
- Then you stop there and enjoy the rest of your day.
Next comes Thursday, and for that day,
- You apply painters tape to the front of the door, as task #1.
- Next, you apply tape to the back of the door as task #2.
- And get your paint, brushes, tarps, and other supplies at the ready as task #3.
Now you are ready for a Saturday morning start on painting your front door.
Now break Saturday’s job into 3-5 steps depending on your time. More than likely you’ll be so motivated to finish the door that weekend and by the following Tuesday, you’ll have a freshly painted door and be ready for your next project.
Do feel free to take a week’s (or even a month’s) break in between projects. It’s up to you, but I guarantee you will feel thrilled that you completed a project and be ready for the next one sooner rather than later.
Tip: Remember to fit it non-work days because regular life must go on, too…
Bring All the Steps Together and Execute
At last, bring it all together.
Start by doing 3 productive, but not necessarily home improvement-related, tasks per day (D3T). These could be anything from emptying the dishwasher to cleaning out the cat litter box, to calling and making that dreaded dentist appointment. Do any 3 things that will keep you from falling into the same pattern of not getting anywhere after a long day at work, or being a caretaker, or whatever is draining all of your energy.
Then build from there.
- Commit to starting small
- Find your inspiration
- Determine your goal
- Create a wish list
- Break the project down into steps
- Execute – Do It
Celebrate your Decorating Wins (Important last step)
Each time you complete this process and finish a project, you should celebrate your success and reward yourself. Maybe bingeing on Netflix isn’t your thing, but find some way to celebrate that you’ve accomplished a project for your home.
Since I started using the Do Three Things habit (D3T) after a long day, my bag of Doritos has been going stale before I can finish it, but I’ve found that being more productive is worth it. A big bonus is that it helps me to stay motivated to DIY. An even bigger bonus is that I’m actually getting projects done, rather than dreaming about them while sitting on my couch.
It feels very liberating to have broken out of the cycle I was in.
You’ve got this, too. I know you do.
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