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  • Nik Hanson

3 steps to self-renovation

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

I’ve just finished my latest house renovation which got me thinking of how similar it is to how people change.


When renovating you highlight that there’s something that needs improving, strip it back to understand exactly what the problem is, work on rebuilding that part and then have a period of refresh built in so that part doesn’t get into disrepair again.


Self-Renovation is so important but what is it?

When renovating a property you usually don’t get left with a shell. What you actually get is the remnants of the previous owner whether it’s just garish patterned wallpaper, woodchip on the walls or bright pink paint or sometimes they may have left physical items behind such as old furniture or junk left behind. This can affect how you choose to rebuild the house.



In my most recent renovation the previous owner was a 95 year old lady. I got left the most dreadful décor, a blue bathroom, 2 kitchen cupboards and some garden tools! The garden tools although junk to her were of great use to me and I still use the hedge trimmer now even though the cord is much shorter as I keep cutting through it!



I also found in the skirting board a half-penny from 1925 which was the year that the house was built. I absolutely love thinking about the builder or joiner who put that in there knowing that in the future someone would find it. I think about this person smiling to themselves as they hid it and now I have this coin proudly displayed in my hallway ready to pass onto the next owner of the house. All I had to do to find this buried treasure was strip back an original piece of the house.



I’ve done a few house renovations now and the first thing you usually need to do is strip the house back usually to bare plaster. Remove the garish wallpaper, the patterned carpet, the old cupboards, the floors and even walls so it’s back to the bare bones. This way and only this way can you truly assess what needs doing? Does it need a complete re-wire, does it need new plumbing or is there damp that needs dealing with?


You can see so much more when you've stripped it back

The first time I stripped a house back to the bare plaster I walked back into the house and almost cried. Where was the kitchen, the bathroom, the interior walls? Where were the familiar things I’d got used to seeing that made this a home?


I remember feeling so scared and wondering what I’d done and I had no idea how I was going to muster up the energy to put it back together


This of course is not about a house which you knew already, it’s actually about you. You as a person knowing exactly what it is that you need to do to make changes, make improvements, reinvigorate and renovate yourself.


The house is just easier to visualise than some deep dark recess of your brain that somehow via electrical signals makes you think a particular way or as a result of what some well-meaning adult told you that you couldn’t do as a child which has stuck with you.

BUT you can renovate yourself just as we renovate houses and I’ll show you how you can do it in some simple steps. You need to work on yourself NOW to get the balance right in your life. You owe it to not only yourself but your family and those closest to you. As I’ve said many times this is you putting your own oxygen mask on first, you have to do this first to then be able to look after those around you.


Renovation is the process of improving a broken, damaged or outdated structure.

Think about how this also relates to you? We have all had previous relationships that have broken down and may have left some residual damage like subsidence. We have had old friends that we no longer see that may have let us down and you may have become of little use to them. Think of the old floral wallpaper you find in old houses. Maybe that is you to them or vice versa.



One day you may just decide that the wallpaper you absolutely fell in love with at the time now isn’t right. You may feel exactly the same way about the people around you or the interests you once had or feel that your life is no longer going in the direction that you once so wanted. Everything like in the house needs reviewing. Sometimes when you strip it back this can feel overwhelming, daunting or even like you want to shut the door and walk out and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Just like the house though if you don’t do the work then it will fall into further disrepair.


However the good news is just like the house that the 95 year old lady owned, you can be brought back to life, you can be remodelled, rejuvenated, redecorated and you can become even better than when you started


I can show you how can you move on from past disappointments, the hurt and pain you may have felt as a result of what’s happened to you or people hurting you.



Here’s 3 steps to Self-Renovate:


1. Strip it back


Remember how it felt when you were younger when the sky was the limit? You could achieve anything, be anything and do anything? I need you to go back to that time now and think about what you wanted to do, what you wanted to achieve? You had no prior feelings about romantic relationships, no previous hurt, what did you want? What career did you want? What interests did you have? Close your eyes and remember this time.

Remember the joy you felt at the world being your oyster and that you could achieve anything

Note anything that you remember from this time. Some of these things I can guarantee you’ve pushed to one side and not done anything with. When you are on your deathbed will you be happy that you pushed it to one side or will you have regrets? What if I told you that 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? I very much doubt that you’d be happy so now is the time to really take the time to reflect on where you are at with your life right now and get ready to change. This is usually the scary part and one that people avoid but you really have to do this to understand what you want out of your life.



2. Rebuild


This is the fun part! The part where you get to redesign a better improved version of you. Remember that the past is the past , you have learnt from it but you don’t need to take the bad parts into your future. When you’re driving whereabouts do you spend the majority of your time looking? Forwards. Every now and again you look in the rear view mirror to check what’s behind you and this is exactly how you should be in life.

Even an ancient Greek philosopher said “Change is the only constant” and he’d never even read The Secret!

When you completed the Strip it Back step what did you highlight that you had not done? What is it that you wanted to do? Was it to do a course at college? Did you want a different career? Did you want to be fit and healthy? Did you want a family? Did you want a big circle of friends?


Do just ONE of these things. Pick your favourite. Wanted more friends? Go on social media, follow people that inspire you, join a club, go to a new exercise class to broaden your social circle. Get rid of any mood hoovers that may be in your life who drags you down. For those people you can’t get out of your life remember that you are in control of how you act as a result of their actions. Take a positive stance with them and distance yourself from any negativity. Then choose another you want to work on with the momentum you'll have from the first…..and then do it.



3. Snagging list Review


For those not mad about house building the snagging list is reviewing the minor faults that need to be rectified. The things that need minor tweaks and amendments. The great news is that you’ve made some changes however is that it? Hell no! Change is constant remember.


If your Strip it back step highlighted being fit and healthy and you decide to go 3 times a week but you aren't seeing the results then you change what you are doing. You eat differently, you do different types of exercise. If you highlighted that you want a different job but you don’t know what to do to get that job then this is where you’d reach out for help. Contact someone who already does this job, ask them how they did it and model them.

Ask for help, people will want to help you succeed

Remember the way to achieve goals is to dream big and when you do break things down to smaller steps to reach your goal.


So it turns out we’re not that different to houses. Remember to Self-Renovate regularly, strip it back, rebuild and review your snagging list and remember impossible only means you haven’t found the solution yet.


#balancejunkie

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