A few years ago, we went through the painful process of a complete kitchen renovation. Even though the process went smoothly, the disruption was mindboggling.

The kitchen was going downhill. Nothing had been changed for over 20 years. Appliances were failing, door hinges didn’t keep doors closed, and we were drowning in accumulated clutter. Something had to be done.

The first stage was gutting the kitchen.

After the demolition, our kitchen looked more like a war zone than a place to cook meals. Nothing could be used. Week by week things slowly improved until the kitchen finally began taking its new shape. After a few months, we were enjoying a spectacular new kitchen with fully functioning appliances and totally decluttered spaces. A huge sigh of relief.

Soon we will be moving on to renovate much-needed areas of the exterior of our house.

Renovation is a never-ending process.

Any quality renovation has three necessary steps. First, renovation begins with a plan.What specifically is being renovated? What is the desired end result? Second, renovations require tearing out the old.No one would consider putting new flooring on top of old, dilapidated flooring, or cramming in a new oven without taking out the old one which doesn’t work. Third, renovations bring in the new.This is the fun part! 

Our life is like a house.

We are a work in process, in constant need of renovation in every area of our lives. Our minds need renovation. Our schedules need renovation. Certainly, our habits need renovation. Without renovation, our lives become tired, cluttered, and dysfunctional. Growth comes through a constant process of personal renovation. 

I think we instinctively understand that renovations begin with a plan.

If I want to lose weight or start an exercise regimen, I need to have a plan for what I am going to do. We also know that we have to do something new in order for change to happen. Where I think most people get stumped in the process of change is in tearing out the old.

For instance, if I want to renovate my mind, I need to let into my mind new, life-giving input, like great books or podcasts. If I simply try to add reading time or listening time into my already overloaded schedule, I will probably fail. Renovation requires getting rid of the old to make room for the new. 

Years ago, I became obsessed with the app, Words with Friends. I played the game so much I no longer had time to read. No matter how much I wanted to read until I dealt with Words with Friends, nothing was going to change. Renovation began when I deleted the app from my phone.

Or consider renovating our schedules.

Our desire may be to implement a meaningful morning routine. If we do not first deal with the way we spend our time in the evening, we are unlikely to make much progress with the morning. We need to demolish late night surfing and TV bingeing in order to make room for renovated mornings.

The key question with personal renovation is what do we need to remove to make room for the new. Often, the things that we need to remove are not bad in and of themselves. They simply take up space that precludes better things. 

  • What time-waster do you need to eliminate?
  • Do you need to banish negative thoughts?
  • What destructive emotion do you need to discipline?
  • Do you need to purge a habit?
  • Is there a toxic relationship that is consuming your time and emotions? 
  • What food is sabotaging your diet? 

Renovation requires specific demolition of that which no longer works taking up much needed space. What do you need to demolish in your life to make room for a renovation?