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Just like – well, everyone – I’ve been looking at the last year and thinking about whether or not I met my goals for 2013. Considering that many of them are pretty much the same things I said I wanted to do now that school is over… I guess that’s a ‘meh’ if I have to grade myself.

I said I wanted to work on my entryway to make it feel more welcoming and relaxing when I step through the door. I think the new paint job on the stairs and the new wall color definitely did that.

charlie on stairs side shot

I said I wanted to get the kitchen together, and I at least made a lot of progress on that. I still have more yet to do before I’m 100% finished, but painted cabinets, a new countertop, and new sink mean I’m more than halfway to my goal.

I also said I wanted to “turn the corner” in terms of feeling like there’s more finished on this house than there is still yet to do. Sometimes I feel like that’s true; other times I can only see what’s yet to be done. So maybe I need to just work on changing my perspective.

patio after

And all of the other goals? They’re rolling over into 2014 unfinished. But, nothing like a new year to rededicate my focus and start working on those, along with setting a few new ones that can be worked in. Much like last year, my goals aren’t being separated between house and life. I’m combining the two:  my house, the projects I do in it, and my life should all be in balance, and I can’t justify my reasoning for why these are my goals if I don’t look a the whole picture.

More Dueling DIY

I mentioned it back on this post, but one of the reasons I was successful with the stair makeover was because I had plenty of motivation to rely on week after week with Dueling DIY. It was fun and my competitive nature pushed me along. So once the kitchen is back to normal, I’m going to do another Dueling DIY with my dining room. I’ve received a few emails from other bloggers wanting to possibly join me as my competition, so hopefully we can get things on their way and have another fun weekly posting to show you progress all over the blogosphere (for those that have emailed, I haven’t yet responded – if you want to be considered as the Dueling DIY co-host, please email me).

More Tools and Tutorials

I had a lot of fun learning to use some new tools this year. And that almost always means more tutorials too. So it stands to reason that without 30 hours of school per week taking up my attention, there are more opportunities for fun projects. Like making room in my garage for all of my new tools.

More Refreshed

I’ve been adjusting to post-school life, and one thing is clear:  I am sick of catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and feeling like I no longer look happy and awake. I can thank two years of all classrooms and no sunlight for that one. I feel frumpy. And I’m unhappy about that. So I’ve already gone out and bought new hair products. And received my favorite moisturizer and eye cream this Christmas. And I’ve been loving the change of pace of paying myself just a smidge more attention in the beauty department. For me, taking a little time out to pamper myself every once in a while, even if it doesn’t really do anything other than make me feel a little prettier, just makes me feel more confident and positive. It may not make a difference immediately, but the cumulative results of feeling less stressed (and looking less stressed) will probably be worth it.


This is a thought I’m happy to bring into 2014. I completed a two-year MBA program by the end of 2013 and I’m hungry to complete more this coming year. I’m even choosing it as my “word of the year” (which I’ve never tried before) because I want it in so many different ways:


  • Kitchen completed, dining room completed, laundry room completed, and my first party in this house with all of the new changes would seem juuuuust right.
  • Workin’ on my fitness (a la Fergie Ferg). Feeling more powerful and content like I did when I was taking better care of myself last year. The sense that I am enough to myself and to others – and allowing that to bring more positive change.
  • I’d really like to fall in love again, and it’s been a long time. I’ve taken the time to figure out what I want, and I’m ready to welcome more wholeness in that regard (if that’s even the right way to phrase it). I still want to feel complete on my own, but sharing my life with another person, planning our future, and feeling complete by addition would be a happy new change as well.
  • I also want to feel more complete in terms of my career. School gave me the skills and confidence to launch a business of my own; perhaps 2014 will be my year to take on more DIY challenges in a few new ways (some of which I’m keeping under wraps for now). Crossing my fingers on this one!

My Thanks

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have been reading along this past year. Sticking with me through school and exhaustion and being incredibly supportive and patient (much more than I probably deserve). This year is going to be a real chance to refocus on why I began the blog in the first place (to document all of the house progress with a sprinkling of personal posts here and there), so I hope you’re willing to stop by every once in a while to see how things are going. I’ll even dangle new photos of the kitchen in front of you over the next few weeks as a bribe ;)

That seems like plenty for a single year, don’t you think? Even if I don’t accomplish all of them or if they take a while to come to fruition, I’m pretty damn content with where things are heading. I’m ready for more challenges and more adventures. So let’s do this.

What are your goals for 2014? Anyone out there doing the whole “word of the year” thing for the first time?

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  1. Yes – my word for 2014 is motivation. I think it will be a great word to apply personally, professionally, etc and and hopefully pull me out of this funk I’ve been living in. You have accomplished so much in the last 2 years with the house and school – you get all the credit in the world in my eyes!

  2. No word, no goals…yep–real winner here! My husband has always teased me about my lack of “setting” goals. I never declare goals. I don’t know, I just kind of do my thing, have mental plans, and go with it. I have to say it has worked out pretty darn well. It kind of goes along with the New Years thing. I never really got geeked about it. As I explained to my older daughter, some look back and say “oh, I should have, Oh, I need to be a better person…” I just take it one day at a time and if I screwed up in the mom dept. (or wife dept. –that never happens;) ) I just make a mental note and keep it in check from there. Not to say I don’t have it happen again. I approach the idea differently from many others I guess. Hey, two degrees, two amazing girls, a stable family unit (married 19 years and beat all of our parents on their first try!) with a great husband, and a very blessed life–it works. In the last year I have found one blog that really makes you think: http://www.handsfreemama.com/ and with regards to my etsy shop I do set goals (shhh!). Wishing you the best in 2014 and I’ll be here all the way listening, laughing, and cheering you on! (Was that a goal? or just my mental plan?)

  3. So…..sitting here “working”, but really thinking about the 2014 to-do list. I will get my post up soon but had to comment on your word of the year concept, which I love. My phrase for the year: Jump In. Most of the time I find I think a little to much about something and then lose steam because of fear of failing or not having it all figured out. Truthfully, most of the projects that are uber-successful for me, whether DIY or otherwise, are the things I just start doing rather than mapping out.

    On a funnier note, several years ago my sister in law declared that the next year was her “Commitment to Excellence”, but with no real objectives other than declaring it was her mantra. It lasted about about two weeks and I think resulted in a pedicure and more wine drinking. We still use that phrase around the house when everything is going to hell and we need a restart button. “Damn it, we need to recommit to excellence….” :)

    1. That’s an excellent phrase to have as your mantra for the year. I totally understand why! And now I’m going to have to start “committing to excellence” too. Ha!

  4. I totally feel you on the school thing – it did the exact same thing to me! Sucked some life out of me – and now I feel frumpy and tired. Even five years later. But that is mostly bc right after school I started working on blogging full time in addition to a job. So taking care of things now before they get out of control is good. You will do amazing things in 2014!!!