We all have different ways that we try to improve our healthy lifestyle and really embrace the idea of a natural house. For some of us it might be like second nature; we know the best plant based products, the habits we need to adjust and we’re quickly on our way to a toxin free, natural house. And for others of us it takes a lot of time, research, analyzing and then pondering before we can make steps forward.
But even those of us who appear to have it all together on the toxin free front will oftentimes hit a wall or a roadblock that prevents us from moving forward. Myself included. You might be in the camp of just jumping in and making changes or on the other side where you painstakingly analyze every purchase and decision. Either way, there are benefits and pitfalls to each path.
I think understanding some of the biggest mistakes that come with creating a toxin free natural house can help you move forward into making changes that are positive for your home environment. Really, the goal is to move forward. At the same time, embrace moving forward in an intentional way. Prioritize your steps and changes so that they have the most impact over your space. And that way with each step you take forward and with each change you make to your home and space, you know it’s drastically improving your house to support your health and wellness.
This list of mistakes that I see families making as they try to adjust their products and habits is meant to help you identify where you are and push through the roadblock to the other side.
Mistake #1: Changing Just One Area of Your Natural House
If you’re new to creating a toxin free natural house, you might be in this boat. Obviously we all start with one change in our lives and then typically we move forward. But what if we don’t? Sometimes we make that one change and it feels great and then we stop. We don’t see the need to make the hard changes anywhere else because we feel good and we feel like we made a positive change.
The problem with this is that at some point, when a health problem arises or there’s an urgent need to make a change, we’ve missed out on time that we could have been improving our home and spaces.
Oftentimes, we naturally snowball our changes because we truly believe or desire to make a positive change. When we’re just changing something because it’s someone else’s idea or we’re not really on board with the lifestyle shift, usually we miss out on making more than one positive change.
Mistake #2: Being a Serial Learner
Raise your hand if you’ve consumed tons of information on one topic but never actually applied that new knowledge. *Raises both hands*. I consider myself a serial learner — someone who learns and accumulates information and knowledge but then sometimes fails to apply that knowledge and information in my own life. It’s an easy path to head down. Consuming all that information is the easy part. The really tough part is putting it into action.
And with creating a healthy, natural house, you can run into the same thing. It feels good to make a plan and have all the steps written out. But it can be difficult to take the actual steps forward and DO the work. And because of that so often we continue this cycle of learning without doing.
If you can make your tasks extremely small and easy to complete (I mean breaking one task into many parts that you can quickly and easily do), you’ll help yourself move forward, even if slowly at times.
Mistake #3: Over Analyzing Your Healthy Lifestyle
A lot of us want so badly to be making the right decision, we painstakingly research our purchase or change to death. I’ll let you in on a secret: creating a healthy, natural house doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s not going to throw your whole healthy lifestyle off course if you’ve made a change that wasn’t perfect.
Perfectionism when it comes to a home and healthy space is never beneficial to anyone. This is why I have learned to embrace the term “low toxin”. When we use the phrase “toxin free” or “non-toxic” it makes us think of this change as an absolute. In reality, it’s not that way at all. There are always going to be toxins in our spaces and when we overanalyze our lifestyle and products, we mistakenly think we can’t make a change unless it’s perfect.
I’m here to tell you you’re better off making a change that will at least reduce a toxin than analyzing and researching over and over in hopes of eliminating toxins. Don’t let yourself get paralyzed, halting the process of improving your healthy home.
Mistake #4: Trying to Change Everything
And then there are those of us that get SO excited to make changes in our home and spaces that we want everything to change at once. It’s like the snowball effect sped up to full speed. The problem with this is that we don’t allow enough time for habits to stick and before you know it you’ve changed your whole routine and lifestyle. It can be difficult to manage a lot of changes at once and frequently we end up falling back into our old path.
Making changes just one or a few at a time is really the key to creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle. In fact, my layered-on approach does JUST that as you improve your indoor spaces to be healthy and second nature to you.
I like to compare it to running a marathon — you don’t wake up one day and start running 2-3 hours. Instead, you work up to that over time. If you didn’t, you’d be sore, have blisters and likely not be able to run the next day. Instead when you gradually work up to your goal and layer on habits and changes, you allow yourself breathing room to fully implement a change before moving on to another one.
Mistake #5: Forcing Loved Ones to Make Changes They’re Not Ready For
You may have kids or partners who just really aren’t on board with the changes you’re ready to take on. This can be a huge source of frustration and burden down the whole process of creating a healthy, natural house. It can be especially difficult when you’re trying to change over to plant based products from the old standards your family has been using.
But discord in your house will never benefit anyone. It’ll make you feel horrible knowing you don’t have your house on board and it will drive your family nuts while you try to talk them into changes they really aren’t ready to make.
With this one, patience and education are the key. Being super open and transparent about changes you want to make and the need for a healthy lifestyle will often be enough to get most everyone on board. This blog post I wrote up about creating healthy habits even when your spouse isn’t on board is a must read to help you make changes that your family can also make and enjoy.
Mistake #6: Relying on Only One Source
You never want to trust just ONE source for all your information. The beauty of the world we live in is that there are SO many resources you can trust and rely on. You still have to be careful about what sources you do fall back on, because the truth is not everything you read is trustworthy.
But once you find a few spots that you know are transparent and science-based, use them as your guide. When you trust just one source you end up relying on everything they advise. It’s important to make sure you’re tailoring your healthy space improvements and product swaps to YOU and YOUR family.
I’ve made the mistake of trusting what just one blog says before and in the end, I wished I had maybe cross-checked what they were advising. (websites like EWG and MadeSafe are great for products) There’s no harm in checking a few places for advice or cross referencing a few different databases about one particular product or ingredient. Having a few opinions will help you make your own decisions, not just follow someone else’s.
Mistake #7: Letting Worry Creep In
Oh do I ever know that feeling of worry over what I’m bringing into my house and what I’m exposing my kids to. I have had to make a really conscious decision about NOT worrying so much. I feel like in order to do this I have to very rationally remind myself that even making my space better than it was is a step in the right direction.
I’ve had to learn that I can change what is within my control and anything out of my control I have to just let go of and let it be. I have to remind myself that I can control what comes into my house a lot better than doing renovation projects right now, and that’s okay. I keep telling myself that one small period of time where we used a more toxic product didn’t sabotage my family’s health.
The goal is to be less stressed, lead a healthy lifestyle and create a healthy, natural house. It’s not worth it to think back to when I wasn’t striving for these things and cringe. It is beneficial to continue to move forward however I can and to take the steps that have the greatest impact.
Worrying about how we’ll change or that we’re changing too late only wreaks havoc on the process.
Where to Go When You’re Stuck
If you’re at a place where you just don’t know where to go next on your healthy house journey or you don’t know how to start; let me show you around Healthy House on the Block and some of the resources I have that can help you get moving again.
Start Here: This page will walk you through all the areas of your house that you could possibly want to know more about and change. I have it broken down room by room and toxin by toxin for you to pick and choose how you want to start.
One on One with Me: Research can be daunting and new products can be overwhelming. I’m here to help with that and I’m here to help you get the answers to your questions about methods, products and homes. Consultations with me get you either a phone call or video meeting as well as a printable book customized to what you’re looking for.
The Healthy Home Blueprint: Are you ready to overhaul your home with my step by step process and guidance? You’re probably a good fit for the Healthy Home Blueprint — my robust online course and series. I walk you through each area of your home with an itemized plan to help you cut out toxins and create a healthier space.