Tackling 2021 Home Projects Requires “All Action, No Talk”

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Here’s how to get started on your 2021 goals.

I’ve always been secretly envious of my friend Alison, an avid list-maker. Goals to groceries, she’s got everything on her agenda itemized and prioritized.

This year, my one and only resolution is to get more organized — which includes tackling all the home improvement projects I’ve been avoiding. Some are small. I could fix the Ring doorbell that needs a new battery — if only I could find the tiny proprietary screwdriver that came with the original box.

P.S. The Ring doorbell replacement screwdriver is available on Amazon.

Others… more ambitious. Like it’s time to find out why the outside electricity hasn’t worked since the 2019 tornado.

On Alison’s recommendation, I bought a calendar from Dallas leadership expert Cathy Hodges. This “All Action, No Talk” planner has plenty of room for lists, not to mention affirmations, gratitudes, and goals.

Cathy Hodges

“We all have the same amount of time. You must be intentional if you want to succeed,” Cathy says.

Mary Kay’s 1995 book is packed with words of wisdom. (Amazon)

I ended up writing down a mind-blowing 27 items. Just staring at it was overwhelming. But rather than my first inclination — pour a glass of wine and watch a rerun of “Law and Order SVU” — I decided to rely on the words of my former employer/mentor, Mary Kay Ash: “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”

In this case, that meant grouping similar projects together. I started with a list of those I could do myself, but haven’t.

Why was I ignoring even the simplest tasks? I turned to Dallas executive coach Stacy King, who specializes in helping clients overcome mental barriers. Her best advice: “Do something.”

Stacy King

“Even the smallest accomplishment represents a willingness to adapt and move forward,” Stacy says.

“Taking on one job at a time makes things inherently more manageable.” Stacy also recommends setting a deadline. “It’s not only important to declare your intent — you’ve got to follow through. Action is the best motivator.”

Sometimes you need to call in the experts. This is where the NEAT Method comes in.

@dallashighlandparkneat on Instagram

“We make the space you have functional for the life you live.”

With franchises throughout the United States and Canada, this 10-year-old company specializes in providing fully customized organizational solutions. Locally, Shelley Tims Anbouba and Sydney Coale are the duo behind NEAT Method Dallas/Highland Park and Lakewood.

“Our trained organizers have transformed thousands of homes from chaos to composed—creating the NEAT life,” says Shelley.

Turn-key services include everything from complete in-home makeovers (think closets, pantries, bathrooms, playrooms, kitchens, offices) to donating and consigning unwanted items. Virtual organizing is also available, including personalized DIY shopping lists and step-by-step instructions.

But what about those larger projects—like rooms (or even kitchen cabinets) that need repainting? A recent Wall Street Journal article recommends calling on a trusted paint professional and devising a strategy together.

“We painters have been dealing with those problems for years, long before there was a virus, and we’ve come up with strategies to take care of them,” according to painting contractor Jason Bertoniere. “We can come up with a plan to paint a whole house while you’re living in it, without disruption.”

Benjamin Moore selected Aegean Teal 2136-40 for its 2021 color of the year. (Better Homes & Gardens)

Ready to get started on your own list? Think of it as an opportunity to improve both your home—and yourself.

“Every challenge is an opportunity to excel,” says Stacy. “In my practice, I call it purposeful transformation — a process of exploration, self-discovery, and achievement. At the end of the day, it’s an invitation to grow and prosper.”


Elaine Raffel

Having left the corporate world to launch her own freelance creative business, Elaine Raffel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mega-talented Dallas homebuilding community. She credits her work with top fashion and design brands for teaching her one inarguably valuable lesson: that truly great work is always a collaboration.

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