It started with the hallway floors.

My boyfriend was helping with some projects at his parents’ house. 

First, he sanded the floors.

Next, he stained them.

Then, his sister offered to paint the walls. And as we were all discussing the plan for painting, we started talking about the living room.

Because if you painted the hall, you’d have to paint the living room. And did anyone like the tile by the door…?

It was starting to become the HGTV version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

Do you remember that book?

A boy gives a mouse a cookie. The mouse proceeds to ask for a glass of milk. And of course a straw for the milk. And then a mirror, to confirm he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and so on.

Damn mouse.

It’s the cutest illustration of a slippery slope.

The slippery slope is an exhausting cycle where we think if we do one thing, we need to do the next and the next and the next.

And it can deter us from making any improvements at all.

Because if we can’t do everything, why start? 

I feel this with my own projects. I fast-forward from step 1 to step 16 and then my little project grows into a lot of work. 

Too much to get done.

But it doesn’t make step 1 any less valuable.

Every small improvement is worth it.

Maybe you will go the whole way and get to step 16. Maybe not. 

You can decide later, and also, you can choose to say no.

Whether it’s home improvement or personal improvement, you don’t have to do it all.

Do what you can and stop there.

To being better without letting a coat of paint turn into an episode of Fixer Upper,