A few months ago you might have decided to make a change. Many people do that at the beginning of a new year when they’re motivated to commit to something new. Then, as the weeks and months go by, it’s not uncommon for the enthusiasm and resolve to fade and for frustration to set in. and they’re back to doing what they’ve always done. Before they know it, they’re back to doing what they’ve always done, in part because they’re in the same space they’re accustomed to.
When you’re ready to make a change, it takes resolve and often a change of scenery.
The space you’re in, whether it’s your home or office could be sabotaging your goals without you even realizing it. Let’s say you’re trying to cut back on drinking caffeine, but you can’t seem to give up your afternoon latte. Eventually you give up trying to avoid coffee because it’s obvious you can’t kick the habit. What you might not have noticed is how dark and dreary your workspace is, which is causing you turn to caffeine as an afternoon pick-me-up. Changing your environment by adding better lighting could help you feel awake and energetic without the caffeine. In other words, you’ll have a better chance at keeping resolutions when the space you’re in supports those goals.
“A supportive space is a space that is intentionally designed to encourage you to be you,” interior designer Michele Bayle explains, “It includes paint, or wall coverings, chairs that support you properly and the texture of the furnishings in the space. Are you just putting up with them, or do they make you happy when you see or touch them?”
Your environment should reflect who you want to become, what you want to accomplish, and make you feel as if it’s already here. For example: Does your office indicate that a confident, successful businessperson works in the space, or is it part craft room, part storage and mostly family stuff with a little space for you? Does your bedroom reflect “restful retreat”? Or is there a treadmill in the corner with clothes hanging from it, reminding you that you’ve already broken a resolution to exercise more?
If you’re trying to create something new in your life, and you’re surrounded by things that tie you to the past or you’re in a chaotic or cluttered environment, you are decreasing your ability to think clearly and be creative. That kind of environment directly impacts your ability to facilitate change. If you want to allow something new in your life, you must make room for it and recognize that your space sets the tone for everything else.
“When designing a space, it’s more than a visual feast for the eyes,” Bayle says. “You must feel the space and recognize how it makes you feel in it. This authenticity of you is the foundation for living abundantly.”
Creating a supportive space doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away and replace all your furniture, but it is helpful to clear the space you’re redecorating. That’s what Michele does in her own home. She recommends starting with the room you’ll spend the most time in for achieving a particular goal.
“I know this is going to make a big mess of things and feels like you are making things worse by making a big mess, but trust me on the process,” Bayle says. “The first step is deciding if you like the wall color or need a new area rug. To make the space yours, choose a color that supports you. The next step is to place what you really want in your new space. Leave everything out that doesn’t feel like it has a solid resting place. Now you know what needs to change.”
It doesn’t matter what kind of change you’re making, your environment can make or break your success. We all have things that we hold onto that we used to love, or that were supportive of who we were at one time, but that no longer reflect the person or the family we’ve become. You might not think twice about using the serving bowls you’ve had for years. If those bowls were a wedding present from your first marriage and you’re now remarried and still using them, those serving pieces could be a source of angst, because subconsciously they’re keeping you stuck in the past.
Give some critical thought to what’s in your environment, how it makes you feel and in what way it’s supporting your current goals. There’s nothing wrong with deciding a “perfectly good chair, dresser, set of dishes, etc…” needs to be donated. “Out with the old, in with the new” is not a cliché for nothing and changing your physical environment can help facilitate the changes you’re trying to make in other areas of your life.
Creating a supportive space gives you the opportunity to feel like your best self so you live your best life. Surround yourself with inspiration and be sure there is space for the things you want to bring into your life.
It’s not too late to resolve to do something differently this year. Commit to making a change, starting with the space you’re in.
If you don’t know where to start, I can help you navigate change. Email Kate@KateFessler.com to schedule a consultation and download the 10 Tips for Navigating Change I created for Redecorate, Remodel or Move.