September is Here…Month One!

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It is the 4th of September and I have already fallen into my usual MO of thinking instead of doing. (Big sigh.) It didn’t help that I was reading a really good book and didn’t want to put it down!

It is because of this nonproductive habit that I set the School Year Challenge for myself in the first place. (See my post The Beginning for details on my personal challenge.)

I do realize if I don’t get started on any projects in the master bedroom nothing will ever change. So today, I took the time to write my thinking down so I could create a plan of action. Basically, I’ve been thinking about two big ideas (even as I was reading my book.)

Big Idea One: Identifying projects I am pretty sure can be iccomplished* during the month of September. (See my brainstorming list for all items in the bedroom that are potential projects here.)

My definition for a project during the School Year Challenge is something that has a definite start and finish to it and doesn’t need to be done again. As I review the master bedroom list, I realize almost everything needs to be cleaned. (That isn’t a big surprise because cleaning isn’t a high priority item in my household for my husband or me though we do love how a clean house feels!) So, I’m not going to make cleaning a project because it is something that never ends since things never stop getting dusty, dirty, or covered in dog hair.

Projects I want to iccomplish* during the School Year challenge are related to the overall comfort, use, and aesthetic appeal of the room. Currently, the master bedroom is functional but the items are not cohesive. I see the potential for all the pieces in the bedroom to work together and want to make it happen. (See the About Me page for a description of my decorating style.)

There isn’t any way I can complete all the possible projects in the master bedroom, but there are 3 projects plus a bonus project I have selected and believe can be iccomplished* in September:

  • Line and hang curtains
  • Refurbish Douglas’ nightstand (He requested I do this.)
  • Hang the print that I purchased years ago
  • Bonus: paint the dresser

Big Idea Two: Finding answers to the 5 topics listed at the bottom of my handwritten planning page.

  • Topic 1: Decide on colors – Answer: This is somewhat overwhelming for me. I am almost terrified of making the wrong choice because I won’t like wasting the money or resources it would take to redo the project. However, I do need to make a decision.

My husband and I recently stayed at a friend’s house when we took a road trip this summer. The main pieces of furniture in the bedroom where we slept were a blackish-brown. Everything else was pale with some splashes of color in accessories and smaller pieces of furniture. I am a visual person and the overall look of the bedroom appealed to my husband and me.

  • Topic 2: Vision for room – Answer: I’m not really sure. The room I described above is a possible end vision for the master bedroom. In addition, I am currently going through old pictures that I had torn out of all kinds of magazines over the last 15 years. I’ve kept all these pages in a file box somewhat organized by category.

As I’ve been weeding out pictures of ideas that no longer speak to me, I can actually see the influence of some of the magazine pictures in my current home.

The first picture is from a magazine article. I really liked the idea of hanging old stained glass windows. The second picture shows windows in my kitchen dining area. I picked up the two stained glass windows at a local flea market when we first moved in the house. My sister says they remind her of male and female private parts. I snicker when I think about that because she lives next door to me and sees the stained glass every time she looks out her kitchen window. (That is her house you can see through the window.) Ohhh, that side yard … another project that needs to be finished!

I also have a few ideas saved on Pinterest. My hope is during the School Year Challenge, I’ll develop a more definite idea on what I want each room to look like when it is done…with action comes clarity!

  • Topic 3: Immediate/long term vision – what’s doable, what needs to be learned? Answer: Well, since I don’t really have any long term visions right now, I am focusing on what I know how to do and what I will need to learn for the immediate future. That is actually how I made my decision of what projects to do in the master bedroom. My thought right now is to do at least one project that I already have the knowledge and skills to do and at least one project where I learn new knowledge and skills. For September’s projects, I know how to line and hang curtains and pictures. I don’t know how to refurbish the nightstand.
  • Topic 4: Budget – Answer: Our budget is tight right now. Neither my husband nor I want to jeopardize certain financial goals that we are on track to meet. After looking at our budget, we were both comfortable allocating $100 for September to complete the projects. Thankfully, I already have the curtains and liner. However, I will need to get rods and any supplies necessary to refurbish the night stand. I’m pretty thrifty so with a little research I believe I will stay within budget.
  • Topic 5: Plan of action – chalkboard method – Answer: The Chalkboard Method is a goal setting strategy of committing to goals by making them visible. I discovered this strategy in an archived Being Boss podcast episode called . . . wait for it . . . “The Chalkboard Method.” Kathleen Shannon, the person who named the strategy, used a chalkboard wall that was painted on her office wall to make her goals visible the first time she tried goal setting this way. I don’t have a chalkboard so I will use a white board we have in our home office. Today, I started the process of brainstorming all the tasks (goals) that would need to be iccomplished* in order for me to complete the 3 projects and the bonus project for the master bedroom. I just wrote them on a legal pad:

Once I’ve identified all the pieces, I will transfer them to the white board where they can be easily read and I will see them everyday. This will be a month long project so I will also be scheduling time on a September calendar to help hold myself accountable for each small goal that will eventually lead to a finished project. I plan on getting these two tasks completed in the next couple of days. I’ll share some pictures with you when I get them done.

Sheesh, I can’t believe it is already September 4! I take full responsibility for not getting the detailed goal setting done before today, but I’m not going to dwell on it. The book was really good and I have time to iccomplish* my chosen projects. There is a lot of work ahead of me but I am looking forward to learning how to refurbish the dresser and see the changes to the master bedroom!

Read the previous post in the School Year Challenge.

Read the next post in the School Year Challenge.

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