When apartment hunting in Houston last month (LINK TO body is home), I was very aware of how each apartment felt. I took notice of the places that surrounded each apartment complex, the complex amenities, and the possible apartments themselves.
I was very aware of the environment I would be living in.
- Was it bright, open, and spacious?
- Was it dark, uninviting, and awkward?
- Was it cluttered?
- Was there a lot of natural light?
- Did I have easy access to the outside and fresh air?
- Could I see the sun?
- Are there parks and trails nearby?
- How was the view outside my apartment?
- Does the apartment/apartment complex look clean?
- What types of noise do I hear?
- Can all of my stuff comfortably fit?
- Does the apartment have the luxuries I'd like to have, such as double sinks, a tub, and a shower?
I took into account all of these variables that directly impacted the environment in which I’d live, because I know how important our environment (including nature, other living things, and the things we surround ourselves with on a daily basis) is to our well-being.
"We rarely think about the spaces we live and work in, but they drive our behavior whether we feel motivated or not." - James Clear
When setting the foundation for lasting change, the easiest way to ensure success is to make a change in either our relationships (the people we surround ourselves with) or our environment (the things we surround ourselves with). Once we make these changes, and put ourselves out there, clean up our social media feed, or spruce up our homes, we invite daily reminders into our lives of how we want to feel and where we want to go.
By surrounding yourself with people already doing what you want to do, you make it easier for yourself to get there as well.
By creating space and removing things that no longer serve you, you make it easier to feel more creative, peaceful, and clear.
While making a change to our environment is not always as easy as moving apartments, there are some aspects of our homes that we can improve upon today. Consider the following suggestions:
- Find a way to allow for light and openness: Is your home, apartment, bedroom, or kitchen inviting? Is there natural light? How about lighting that is not intrusive or harsh to look at? How dark are your blinds? What about the paint color on the wall – is it a color you absolutely adore and one that helps you feel calm, relaxed, and peaceful? Do your rooms flow? Or is there a way you can rearrange the furniture to help them flow better?
- Keep your home clean, not cluttered: Is your home, apartment, bedroom, or kitchen clean? Is it spacious and does it leave room for creativity and fun? Or, are these rooms instead cluttered with bills, trash, and outdated items? The goal is to make your space somewhere you truly want to be. It should help you feel however you desire to feel.
- Incorporate more fresh air & sunshine: Do you have access to a window during the day, whether in your home or in your office? If not, can you open a door? Do you have easy access to a balcony, backyard, or any walking paths? Do you keep fresh smelling candles or air fresheners around your home? Do you allow sunshine and natural light into your rooms on a daily basis?
- Make it modern: I don’t mean modern so much as taste as I mean up-to-date. Are you holding on to a bunch of old cards, magazines, newspapers, clothing, or pictures? Is it time to upgrade your style to better fit your life and personality? Is it time to replace your rug, table, comforter, decorations, paintings, or picture frames to better fit where you currently are in life?
- Add some color: Are your walls bare? Do you look at anything that makes you happy during the day? Do you have a fun accent wall, color, or even simple decoration? Have you been waiting to decorate or unpack until you had a more permanent home? If you don’t have anything that makes you smile just by looking at it, then consider adding a pop of color in any room of your home. Go with a color that makes you feel how you desire to feel (for example, red would be more passionate and fiery, while light blue would be more peaceful and calming.
- Upgrade your kitchen table. Nope, you don’t even have to buy a new table! Simply upgrade your utensils, table cloth (if you use one…for some reason I can’t stand table cloths!), plates, napkins, drink ware, and any table decorations such as candles or salt/pepper shakers. Make this table somewhere you want to be – and remove any negative distractions or energy.
If you’re ready to make a change in your personal environment and create a space that more closely resembles how you want to feel, consider picking two things to focus on this week. Nothing too big – just two simple tasks you could start and finish by the weeks end.