Why is creating a vision so difficult? The problem with creating visions is very similar to the issue many people have with new year resolutions. Most approach visions in some arbitrary haphazard fashion, they throw an idea or a concept up in the air and hope it sticks to something. Sometimes they think about actions or practices that other people have done that have made them successful and try to bottle a little bit of that up for themselves as well. Most of the time though, visions aren't even on people's radars.
Visions are budgeting for your creativity.
I like to think of visions as creative budgeting. Budgeting isn't fun for MOST people (some people really get a kick out of it I've heard). But think for a moment what budgets do for us:
Help focus our resources onto our top priorities
Help us assess our incoming streams of revenue and compare that with our priorities
Help us figure out the difference between needs and wants
Give us long term goals broken into steps (i.e. saving for that brand new tv).
But unlike monetary budgets, our creative budgets can be a little harder to pinpoint. What EXACTLY do we want? Sometimes even figuring that out can be difficult. I think when developing visions there are 4 big questions that need to be asking
- What do I uniquely have to offer? (this is what's already in my creative pockets)
- What brings me and those closest to me life? / what detracts life and energy from me? (This is the interest that the work I put into a project will naturally reward me)
- What do I aspire to do in this season? (these are the goals or dreams I should be spending my creative resources towards)
- When people leave my home what do I want them to take with them? When I spend time in my home, what do I hope to experience (this helps pinpoint (what you actually want your end result to be)
In the days to come we are going to explore each of those a little bit in kind. Today we'll just take a good bite out of the first one.
What Do YOU Have to Offer?
It sounds kinda like a job interview question doesn't it? Hate those! It's all about self-awareness which can be really uncomfortable, but oh so necessary. Don't worry we are going to get through it together, because the truth of it is - you DO have something to offer. And it might surprise you.
Alright let's jump in!
Step 1: Take stock of what's around you.
What do you have that's unique? An old house with beautiful woodwork? A funky 1970's split level with huge bedrooms? A farmhouse with five acres of land? That old house with beautiful woodwork might be just the visual retreat someone needs. That house with the huge bedrooms can host so many people. A farmhouse with five acres - I'll be over next week with my kids to run for days! :) Take 15 minutes and just write down as many positive aspects or features of your house as possible. These are not the could be (i.e. someday we'll also have a workshop.), but what RIGHT NOW is just sitting there waiting to be used.
Step 2: Notice how you interact in your space
Before John and I were married we used to dream about being one of those homes that would have a revolving door - where people would just be stopping in all the time. We laugh now because, well, we are both introverted. That reality would have been a nightmare for us. We need decompression time. We need at least a 10 minute warning before you stop over. We still love loving on people, but just not that way. We've learned how we interact in our space.
Step 3: Ask friends and family what they think you have to offer.
They are, after all, on the receiving end. Ask them (and be ready to hear the answer) what your home offers them. What do they anticipate when they go there.
Are you the party house? Do you love throwing parties for large groups, hosting big get togethers and helping people connect with one another?
Maybe you have a huge basement and are great at hosting familys with kids. We have one family friend who actually has a bounce house in their basement!!!
Maybe you offer amazing food and are always trying your hand at new recipes.
This is where we currently are in our journey. Since moving out of the dorms into our house, we have found that what we have to offer may change slightly. So far we know that we offer deep conversations, authenticity, and laughter. We have been having discussion about what it looks like to purposefully pursue those things in our home decor and renovations.
Step 4: What do you love to do? Do It!
This ties in closely with Step 3, but the things in our life that we enjoy tell us something about what we have to offer. For example, I enjoy writing. Now that doesn't seem to connect at all with vision for home, until you get to the undercurrent of "why?" I enjoy writing because I enjoy communicating concepts and helping people think and connect through that communication. It's the same reason why people often experience deep conversations when coming over. It's what I have to offer!
Here's the real kicker. When you try to offer something that is not filling up your tank, you start to get resentful and exhausted. You'll always feel like you are failing, or that you are giving 110% and getting mediocre results. It's because you are chasing a mirage!
Stop trying to be someone else, stop trying to make your house into someone else's home. What do YOU love? It's going to be there that you find your groove!
So are you ready to get your hands dirty? We want to make it as easy for you as possible, which is why we have developed a tool to help you think through step by step what your vision is going to be.