Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

Last year, I split my New Years resolutions into two groups:  goals for myself, and goals for the house.

This year, I think I want to keep them together. Not only because it’s easier to squish them both into one post, but symbolically, I think this is part of my overall goals for 2013. Keeping my home/DIY life and actual life separated just doesn’t feel like something I want to do anymore.

2012 was such a busy year. Overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting even. But it was also the best year of my life. And I want another best year. I want to keep doing the things I love and see my hard work amount to something I’m proud of. To do that, I think I need to do the following:

Focus on making my house a home.

My house isn’t just meant to be renovated. It’s meant to be lived in. I think I sometimes forget that. I need to create new memories in this house, and for the last year, I don’t feel like I have a lot of them shared with other people. This means inviting people over (even though the house is trashed most of the time). I need to focus on bringing the heart back into the home.

(Two other great articles I read recently about this:  20 Ways to Love Your Home (ApartmentTherapy.com) and 10 Ways to Love Your Home (Australian House & Garden))

Work the entryway.

When I come home from work, I want to walk through my front door, put my stuff down, and feel relaxed. The entryway is being spruced up little by little, but the chaos that greets me when I first walk through the door starts the entire evening off on the wrong foot. I think if I create a sense of balance and calm right as I come home, I’ll finally stop feeling like I go home from one frenzied activity during the day (my job, then school) to welcome another at night (the house).

Get the kitchen together.

After the dining room, I’m diving head first into the kitchen reno. Parts of the kitchen can be seen walking through the front door, so I think redoing this room will have a tremendous impact for me mentally – to see this done and know I have a place to cook and gather with friends for meals will really help me work toward goal #1.

Move projects that belong in the garage into the garage.

I just picked up the top for the work bench I’m building. I’m hoping this will help me to create a specific area where it’s acceptable to work and create messes in, which by default leaves the other areas of the house off limits to create more messes in (again, a hope).

Do more races this year.

In 2012, I discovered that running made me feel incredible. I especially love mud and obstacle runs. I have more energy, feel better about myself, and stay more positive (and do better on tests!). So instead of creating any new goals for this, I just want to do more of the same. I’ve already signed up for two races during spring semester and am checking my school schedule to see if I can plan a few more during the summer.

Get it done, not perfect.

I’m supposed to graduate with an MBA (with a majority of my studies in Finance) in December 2013. It seems so long away, but I know from this past year that school flies by in a heartbeat (I start classes again tomorrow!). And between here and there are a lot of smaller goals. With chaos as a daily companion in my life, I need to focus, but I need to remember to be flexible when ‘done’ isn’t ‘perfect’. I can be my own worst enemy in that regard.

Try a few projects just for the fun of it.

Some of my most popular pinned posts in 2012 were from doing projects just for fun. Experimenting. I like that. Small projects (like putting down a rug or building a wooden couch sleeve for entertaining) tie me closer to my home. And thanks to a few Christmas gifts, I’ve already got a few ideas in the works for early this year.

Turn the corner.

More than anything, I want to get the house to a point where it doesn’t feel like there’s more still left to do than what’s been done already. I think this my year to make that happen. From a personal perspective, this goal also means that I want this to be the year that my personal life stops taking a back seat to everything else. It’s a nice thought (I have my doubts until graduation). But, I can’t really accomplish it if I don’t work for it. So I am making a start by having that goal on this list.

Here we go! What are your goals for 2013? Are you making actual resolutions, or just hoping for a more positive year in general?

P.S. For those that have asked, I’m planning on going to Haven again this year. It looks like there are fewer than 60 spots still left. And I’m also planning on staying at the hotel this year, but haven’t purchased a room yet. If you’re looking for a roomie, send me an email please (just fair warning, I’ll be drinking, wearing nerdy t-shirts, and have a foul mouth; convincing, right?).


Want more? I love to post sneak peeks on Facebook and Instagram. You can also find me on Hometalk and Twitter at uglyducklingDIY. Some links may contain affiliates – please see my Disclaimer page for more info.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day. P.S. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. See terms and disclosure page for more info! Thanks in advance. You rock.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. We have a lot of similar goals. I just want to get the big stuff done as much as I can so that I can focus on doing some little stuff and some projects that aren't house-related.

    I definitely agree with getting things to the point where I feel like I'm past the 50% point. I fell like something breaks as soon as something else is done, though. As an example, I'm trying to get the floor finished in the upstairs bathroom, after which I can paint and install the new sink. I had a rough time for a little while (as seen in today's blog post) but I feel like now I have things under control. Last night the light in the downstairs bathroom, that's attached to the medicine cabinet, quit working. I don't even think I can just switch out the fixture; it'll probably require some rewiring and possibly redoing the wall (it's paneling instead of drywall) to fix it. I think more than anything this year I want to get out of the two steps forward, two steps back cycle.

  2. I totally agree re making the house a home. We hardly EVER have people over because I always feel like the house is a bit of a train wreck. But we hosted my family for the holidays and it felt SO WONDERFUL having them all there and we had the best time. And I'm sure once Cashew comes we'll be having a lot of visitors as well. Sometimes it's difficult to put the tools away and have people over. Although the best is when you have people over and they pick up tools too :)

  3. As someone who lives in what we *lovingly* call the Bates Motel, I feel you. Something in my house is always in pieces, which makes me not love having people over.

    Redoing the foyer did increase my happiness level, though, because at least when I walk in my house looks nice. I just painted it/switched out the light fixture/hung a cool (IMO) piece of art. At least now the projects don't slap me in the face when I walk in, and the house has a decent first impression on guests.

  4. I'm so impressed that you're renovating, working AND getting your MBA. I work full time and will finish my own business degree this April, but I feel like all my time is sucked dry. I'm lucky if I keep it clean once a month! I bow down before you!

  5. Great post! I'm with you on the never having people over because it looks like a saw mill exploded in my house and was then followed by a tornado of random clutter and tools… The first room I tackled was my kitchen. It's not done yet, but wow, making that a usable space has made SUCH a difference! Even if you can't get everything you want done at once, I think you'll enjoy having the usable, more welcoming, space! My goal this year is to “cozy'fy” my living room so I invite more people over and have a nice place to unwind after work.

    Your post was a good reminder that I need to remember to focus more on making the house a home filled with memories, rather than a tribute to DIY-ness. Well, some of the DIY disasters make for some good memories… :o)

    Here's to a year of making a house a home! Good luck!

  6. First off all, I'd like to say that I think that you are doing great on renovating your home on your own, I wouldn't have the time or energy to do all off that!!!! Fortunately for me I live in a newly build apartment so no major construction work needed. My resolutions for this year are focused on the smaller things; finishing projects. Like painting above the fridge (it's to high to reach and I was lazy), finally tile the backslash behind the stove (the whole kitchen is done except for that part because I ran out of tiles, oops). Decorate my living room, bedroom and guestroom/study (bare walls) and more small projects that lay on the shelf gathering dust! But my hallway looks great and I agree that it makes me feel better when I enter my home! :-)

    Keep the good work up!


  7. I've made a list of what we are going to focus on this year, for us that is getting our building warrant completion certificate (in the UK you need this if you are doing any major building work) so lots of just getting things done so we can get the paperwork out of the way.

    You got me thinking I really need to do something about our entrance way. You are soooo right, if you walk into your home and it is in a terrible state it gets you down. I should have learned this at our last renovation… It is so difficult because (if you're like us) tools and materials are forever being brought in and out of the house and the entrance becomes either a staging area or a dumping ground for tired arms.

    Looking forward to a more positive year for sure.


  8. gahhhhh i love your resolutions, want to go to Haven (not sure i can afford it plus hotel), and hope that this year can be the year that my blogging is my priority/resolution! it's very VERY weak right now…but if you have time: worldofjessicamichelle.blogspot.com

    i'm hoping to make good on my to-dos this week! :)