Tag Archives: Diane Carter

Renovation Life Lessons


The house was built in 1927. The kitchen and hall bath hadn’t been touched since the 60’s, and that is just a good guess. The renovation has been staged in five phases. The first phase was opening up a dinning room wall into an earlier addition by removing double windows. This created a bypass around the kitchen. The second phase was gutting the hall bath. The third phase gutting the kitchen. The final indoor phase is remodeling the office. The fifth phase is landscaping for the front and back yard to including fencing for the puppies so they can, for the first time in their lives, go off leash.

Staging it in phases has drawn out the process, but the house had to remain livable throughout the process.

Removing the double windows in the first phase was messy but almost painless.

The hall bath and kitchen were dated and both needed better functionality. While no walls were taken down, both rooms were stripped back to the studs. Fortunately, the house has two bathrooms. So while there was the pain of the dust, dirt and the inconvenience of the remodel looking back, the hall bath was a piece of cake.

The kitchen is the hub of our house. Plus, the kitchen is in the center of the house. I’ve always known this, but now I can confirm that almost everything begins or ends in the kitchen in one way or another. Meals are planned, cooked and sometimes eaten, lists are created, schedules are organized, and great conversations are had. I miss the kitchen more than I expected. And I had expected to miss it a lot.

As of this post the Kitchen phase is not complete. And there is still the office and landscaping phase to go. [I didn’t even mention the clean up phase … that’s another post.]

At some point during the renovation I found myself regretting my decision. When the gutting, sanding, dirt and mess started overwhelming me. When I can’t see the end in sight and I’m losing my sanity to the chaos … I remind myself to power through it. The regret will be temporary. I remind myself, it takes chaos to create beauty.

The chaos of this makeover has blocked and disrupted my energy flow. Things you take for granted you need to consider. Where will you cook and do dishes? How long will your materials take to arrive? Where will you store your materials? Working from home and having contractors constantly coming and going, hammering and cranking the band saw is not desirable. The renovation has been a huge reminder of how disorder can negatively impact all areas of life.

On the flip side, the renovation and I have grown together. From a distance I can see that we are both a work-in-progress. This renovation adventure will color the rest of my life, as I dream new dreams and begin building each one.

Take Baby Steps for Daily Wins


If you are not getting the results you desire, you are not alone. Great news! It’s not too late to make a change. I’m not talking about changing your goals. I’m suggesting that you change your plan of action.

It is important to have a big picture overview of your goals. To see where you want to go and the end result you desire, but you can’t just focus on the big picture it can become daunting. If you are only focused on the end results you’ll get stuck, lose your confidence, become discouraged and quit.

I have talked about this before in my podcast, You’re Invited to Celebrate, and Develop Clarity of Vision for Your Goals, we need to take our long-term goals and create simple actionable baby step plans to reach them. By setting smaller reachable goals, three to five a week, that step you closer to your final goal you’ll see yourself making achievements. You’ll give yourself something almost daily to celebrate. You’ll keep yourself motivated and you’ll always be moving forward.

Apply the following 6 steps to one of your goals this week and watch how quickly and easily you manage the progress. Then apply them to all your goals:

  1. Focus on one specific goal you find the most challenging.
  2. You know the end desire of the goal. Work backwards and break the goal down into organized and manageable baby steps (think bite-sized Snickers, you’re not you, when you’re not making progress).
  3. Remember, baby steps, less is more. You have to do less more often, frequency is king. Be consistent and take action daily.
  4. Celebrate your daily success. Size really doesn’t matter. Always celebrate and invite like-minded supportive friends and family to celebrate with you.
  5. Direction is more powerful than speed. Consider ‘The Tortoise and the Hare,’ which is one of Aesop’s Fables. The Tortoise wins by crawling slow but steady. Or by taking action via ‘baby steps.’
  6. Remain focused on you progress, not perfection. Remove the word ‘perfection’ from you vocabulary. Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Walt Disney failed before they succeeded. Einstein, Edison, Darwin and Socrates were rejected and considered failures during their lives. Churchill and Lincoln struggled and failed numerous times before become the great leaders we remember today. Making mistakes makes you human and makes you who you are. We grow from our mistakes. We learn from our mistakes. We DO NOT become our mistakes. Be gentle with yourself.

There is a great article in the Ziglar Vault called, ‘Setting Goals: What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything.’ 

Here are several points worth noting in the article:

  • Like Robert Collier’s statement that, “success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”
  • Jill Tibbels observation that there is a “fairly serious reality gap between what we tell others we do and what we really do.”
  • Tibbels recognizing that, “When you accomplish small, daily goals, you will reach the big, long range goals.”
  • When Tibbels asserts, “How you handle the disappointments in life will determine, to a large degree, how you will reach the success in your goals.”
  • And finally when Tibbels reminds us, “The point is that motivation follows action, not vice-versa.”

It also has a two minute video presented by speaker Jill Tibbels worth listening to.

This article in the Ziglar Vault and the companion video supports several podcasts that have been posted over the past few months on DinamicDesigns. Here are their links, check them out, You’re Invited to Celebrate, and Develop Clarity of Vision for Your Goals.

It’s your turn. What do you think? Do you agree with Tibbels quote, “The point is that motivation follows action, not vice-versa.”? Can you apply the 6 steps to one of your goals this week? Do you have a plan of action that you feel is more helpful than the above 6 steps? If so, please share with us. Help us all grow.

This Week’s Top Story About Excuses


“I don’t have time right now.”

How often have you used that excuse? All of us have at one time or another. Sometimes it’s easier to make an excuse than take action. We all have good intentions but life gets in the way.

The problem is that we put far too many things off that need our attention to respond to things that really don’t need our attention. We are distracted by instant gratification. You know, short-term pleasure over achieving long-term desires. Which ends in instant gratification delaying our long-term results.

Any time we choose immediate gratification over long-term success we are extending our journey. Taking an unhealthy path, and risking opportunity.

This SUCCESS article shares eight more phrases successful leaders never use. Number two brings back the always cringe-inducing sound of fingernails on a blackboard to me. What about you?

Today’s suggestion is a simple one, delete them from your vocabulary as soon as possible.

It’s your turn. What do you think? What excuses do you use? List them below and let’s talk about them.

Live Passionately – No Matter Your Age

In a nutshell … live passionately with enthusiasm and keep your fire burning bright! With unlimited passion with enthusiasm, you can achieve almost anything!


Author Isabel Allende is 71. Her novels include The House of the SpiritsEva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna, Maya’s Notebook and Ripper. She has a few wrinkles, she’s funny but real, and has an incredible perspective. In this TED talk, she shares her fears of aging and talks about how she plans to keep living passionately.

As Allende says, “The spirit never ages.”

It’s your turn. What do you think? Are you passionately? Full of enthusiasm? Add your comments below and let’s talk …

Jump for Life

“Greenland’s barnacle goslings undergo one of the most harrowing rites of passage of any creature on the planet. In order to reach the nourishing grassy plains below, the goslings must make a leap of faith and drop over 400ft from nests perched on towering cliff tops.”

We can learn a lot from this brave little gosling. Life is hard, it can be scary, but once we realize that bumps and bruises are part of growing it gets easier.

There is a master plan and by having the faith to step out on the edge of life and live … we’ll thrive! We’ll go further than we could ever dream. Don’t be afraid of falling or failing. Everyone does. That’s part of the ‘rites of passage.’

Accept that the glass is neither half full or half empty. It is refillable. Refill it and move on!

It’s your turn. What do you think? Do you have the faith to make the jump you need to make today?