I never watched home renovation shows until about a year and a half ago. Before that, if I wanted to relax with some mindless television, I would usually turn on one of those travel shows where a guy goes around the world eating different kinds of food I’ve never seen before. Those shows make you want to visit new places and find out what the dishes taste like.
But like I said, that changed recently, because my new girlfriend was really into HGTV. She liked Property Brothers and House Hunters and My Lottery Dream Home. But her favorite of all was Fixer Upper, hosted by this month’s cover duo, Chip and Joanna Gaines. I’m not a DIY kind of guy, and I’ve never been a homeowner, so I at first expected not to like their show. It follows the same formula each week, and in the hourslong marathons HGTV airs it in: Chip & Joanna meet a new couple, show them a few houses, the couple picks one for the Gaineses to revamp, Chip rips open a couple walls, Joanna repurposes some family heirloom into a centerpiece of the house, and then they have The Big Reveal.
The new year is a time to look at your life and your career and imagine what you would like them to be, then take the steps to make those goals reality.
But over months and months of watching Fixer Upper with my girlfriend, laughing about the ubiquity of shiplap and mud rooms, about unrealistic budgets or Central Texas accents, I came to really like the show. Not because I ever saw myself becoming a house-flipping carpenter like Chip, but because I saw myself becoming a loving husband and father like Chip. And in those laughter-filled nights and countless others, in sweet moments when I’d walk in the door to her place, and in deep conversations over glasses of wine, I saw my girlfriend, Lauren, becoming an irreplaceable partner with a strong mind and a deep heart, like Joanna.
So that’s the short story of how Chip and Joanna Gaines helped fix up my life, showing me that the most delicious meal isn’t served in some faraway country, but in my very own home at a table across from the person I love. That’s the short story of how I got engaged.
It’s just a part of my bigger story, and Lauren’s. We’ve only been together for about 18 months, so we have a lot more to discover about one another, and so many ways we can strengthen our bond. I hope that our relationship will always be a work in progress, just as we are as individuals. We’re better together than we are apart because we motivate and push one another to strive for our individual potential.
That’s the idea that inspired this issue of the magazine. As 2018 dawns, I can’t think of a better way for SUCCESS to ring in the new year than with this, The Renovation Issue, a salute to the power of progress. The new year is a time to look at your life and your career and imagine what you would like them to be, then take the steps to make those goals reality—to tear down the walls of self-doubt and paint over your insecurities.
The stories in this issue are meant to arm you with the mental tools you need to revamp your life into one you love. I know you’ll enjoy reading it, and I know you’ll love getting down to the work.
I can’t wait for The Big Reveal.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of SUCCESS magazine.