Blogiversary 5: Goal Tending

It’s time for some annual goal declaring (because nothing lights a fire under your keister like a big ol’ public proclamation). Let’s do this thang.

Goal #1: Embrace The Crazy (aka Be Flexible): After five years of blogging and over two years of both of us doing it full time, we’ve learned that no two days are ever the same. But this upcoming year is about to get crazier than anything we’ve ever experienced. Between the release of our book on Nov 6th and a 15 city+ book tour along with some secret side projects that we can’t wait to reveal to you guys (no mom, that’s not a we’re pregnant euphemism) the next 365 days are guaranteed to be like no other. So our goal is just to be flexible and resist the futile attempt to cling to any sense of “normal.” We figure the less we stress about it, the more we’ll be able to enjoy what’s in store for us. And you know we’ll share every last crazy detail as it all goes down. Woot.

Goal #2: Smorgasbord it up. Looking back in our archives – especially as demonstrated in this morning’s post – we realize there used to be more variety in our posts (we blame the change on our Type A personalities, which make us quick to fall into a routine). So somehow we’ve lost that sense of mixing it up and a smidge of the spur of the moment randomness that we had in the beginning of the little ol’ blog of ours. So in addition to our usual routine of projects, giveaways, and reader redesigns, we’re hoping to add more of these ingredients to the proverbial YHL pot:

  • House Crashings
  • Window Shopping
  • Budget Blooms
  • Fast and Free Upgrades
  • Advice-Seeking (from you guys for ourselves or even for other readers)
  • Table Setting
  • Holiday Decorating
  • Mood Boards
  • Using/Tweaking What We Have
  • Round-Ups & Top Ten Lists
  • Road Trips (or other travel-related adventures)
  • Random Off-Topic Chitchat (looking back, these usually end up being some of our favorites)

We feel like this mix will be a truer reflection of our real life (since we’re definitely not doing projects 24/7 around here). Sharing two or three projects a week has always been a pace that works best for us (it’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you look back, as seen in our monthly recaps) and that pace also helps us avoid burn-out and keeps us from busting our budget. So we’re recommitting to bringing back some old stuff, trying new things, and generally smorgasbording it up along with those two to three project-related posts per week – which is definitely what got us here in the first place.

Goal #3: Less Typey-Typey, More Lifey-Lifey: Finding balance and not writing such wordy posts probably go hand in hand, and both have been goals from past years that we haven’t quite mastered. So while we’ll still probably work a few nights and weekends and ramble on from time to time, some of our favorite posts in our archives don’t have 2,000 words, and many other blogs that we love are less long-winded. So this is our commitment to keep working on it. Here’s hoping the third time’s the charm, and that you guys are down with short & sweet along with the long juicy stuff that we serve up on the regular.

Goal #4: More Of You. We’re not fully sure how we plan to do this, but we want more of you guys on our blog. So from crashing more of your houses to getting your take on how you like to live in your home, and just working harder to create a sweet little community over here, we’d love to work you guys in even more. Our casa is su casa. Come on in and get cozy. I might be found inside posing like this, but it’s all good.

So there they are. Four probably-won’t-all-be-accomplished-but-we’ll-try-our-darndest goals for year six of blogging our pants off (figuratively speaking). While we’re on the goal tending topic, we also like to annually revisit the prior year’s goals to see how we did. You can read them a bit more in depth right here, but we thought we’d just summarize the ones from last year to evaluate our progress:

Last Year’s Goal #1: Find Balance: As we mentioned above, we’ve been working on this goal for a few years (we actually mentioned it during this 2011 resolutions post). We said we wanted to avoid the trap of putting all of our time, money, and energy into the house to the point that we have no life, no savings, and Clara doesn’t see the light of day. Since the internet is 24/7, we’re still plugged in on nights, weekends, vacations, and even holidays. So one reason that we started Young House Life was to remind ourselves to take a minute to have fun, be spontaneous, and step. away. from. the. laptop. The verdict: Blerg, still working on it (see Goal #3 of this year), but we’re getting a little better I think. After all, we did take our first ever break from blogging this year.

Goal #2: Not drone on in every post. We noted that this actually might be the key to accomplishing more of the balance that we craved in our first goal, which is why we worked it in again this year. The verdict: Oops, still working on this too.

Goal #3: Bring back before & after inspiration. Back in 2010, we phased out our Reader Redesigns and invited folks to share their makeovers on our Facebook page instead. But after a year of missing them dearly, we decided to bring them back. There’s just too much amazing stuff that can leave us all inspired/encouraged and you know we love to share the love. The verdict: Wahoo, mission accomplished! So glad they’re back.

Goal #4: Be Secure In Our Own Bloghood. This was about how we’d love for every single person to love every single post, but we’d also love a goose chihuahua that lays golden eggs. The truth is we just have to be ok with not everyone loving everything, or even anything. And in turn everyone reading will hopefully understand that projects, decor choices, and post-writing is as subjective as favorite foods and hairstyles. We vowed to remember that and blog more fearlessly and confidently. The verdict: We’re finally in a just-doing-our-thang groove these days (it only took five years, haha). And there’s a little more on this topic in this post and this post if you’re a fellow blogger who is struggling with it.

Goal #5: Be Grateful. This goal was about how sometimes the stress of a project or a long blog to-do list can make us momentarily forget that this is a dream job. So this goal was more of a mental shift than anything else. In those oh-crap-we’re-stressing moments we just wanted to stop, breathe, and remember how geeky giddy we are over this amazing opportunity. The verdict: We definitely took this to heart, and whenever we felt crazy-overwhelmed by book stuff, life stuff, and all of that project/blog stuff, we tried to take a breath and smile. Life is good, even when it’s full of chaos.

Goal #6: Try New Things. We wanted to have an open mind about some weird half-baked decorating idea that might pop into our heads or some other new adventure, like what writing a book might have in store for us. So we just wanted to be open to those new things – and try not to dread them or turn into a big ol’ ball of stress. The verdict: We wrote a few awesomely random and spontaneous posts, we shot book photography for three solid weeks in our house without killing each other, and we have just generally tried to be more open when it comes to spontaneous post/life/project ideas. Hopefully there’s even more of that to come this year!

Now it’s time for us to change out of our hockey uniforms and slip on some grass skirts to do a little love hula for you. Oh yeah, these swaying hips mean that we love you more than words can say. Without you guys our goal would be: get back into advertising because we’d be out of a job. Haha. So just know how much we appreciate you. Not in that “thanks for holding the door for me” way that you toss out five times a day to strangers. More in that genuine “thanks for making our life possible” way. And speaking of meeting you guys, we just heard that next week we’ll have all of our book tour dates nailed down, so we can finally announce them! Here’s hoping we can meet some of you and sincerely thank you for dropping in on our life. You guys are not only the reason we can do this for a living, but you’re also the reason that we love doing this (you encourage us and make us laugh in ways you’ll never know). In short: you guys make our day every day. How’s that for a lovefest?

Psst- First image found here and last image found here (without our heads on them of course, we added those).

Psst – We announced this week’s big giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.


  1. says

    Maybe you could do a “in the life of a fellow blogger” thing. You could interview other bloggers or let them guest post. But then I guess you would have to sort through 10,000 requests to be featured. hahaha

    PS- your photoshop skills are getting way good. I really feel like you are actually foosball players :P

    • says

      I was thinking of this one also… I think it would be awesome!

      Few thoughts here…

      1. WOOT for mood boards!!!!!! I use yours ALL.THE.TIME.
      2. Don’t beat yourself about being wordy. Some things require it, and can’t always be explained so easy.
      3. I think you guys have definitely improved on giving yourselves a break now and then. I really find your approach to life very inspiring.

  2. ryan says

    Sherry, how sick are you of people always jumping to the conclusion that you’re pregnant? I’m in a similar age bracket and it always surprises me that everyone always wants you to be pregnant. It goes like this:
    “I have great news” “You’re pregnant?!?”
    “I’m tired today” “You must be pregnant.”
    “I felt like eating a peach today” “You’re pregnant.” Seriously, people there is more to women aged 20-35 than the status of our wombs. : P

    Mini-rant over. Great goal setting post you two!

    • says

      Bahahahahahaha! So freakin true. I fall in that age range too, and our first one is 6, and despite the fact that we’ve told everyone we don’t plan on having any more — they are relentless!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one :-)

    • Emily says

      The question just seems SO rude to me! It’s such a personal decision that I don’t think everyone should be asking away. It’s different I guess if it is a very close friend, or a parent, but then I think it should be asked in private. I hear people asking all over the place.

    • says

      I feel ya on that one! Poor Sherry having to defend herself every.single.time she writes a post.

      It seems the norm to ask when you’re having another even if you haven’t decided one way or the next. Our daughter is Clara’s age and I’m not sure I want another and that will just have to okay with some people. Leave my uterus alone ;)

      In other news…the foosball pic was hilarious and I really appreciate/needed to hear the confession of writing shorter posts. I seem to be long-winded too, and have observed from other bloggers that not every post needs to be over 1,000 words. I can defintely benefit from you guys and your goals. Makes me want to get on board the same train and keep things fresh! Happy Blogiversary :)

    • says

      Also, not everyone is capable of having more. My husband and I are really happy with our 6 year old and don’t really want anymore, but we can no longer have more children. Few people know this and it upsets me so much when we say “oh, we’re not planning on having anymore” and people say “she’ll be so lonely. She needs a brother or sister”.
      That really fires me up.
      Speaking of fire, Love the Calgary Flames goalie photoshopped picture! Love the Canadian Reference!! Go Canada Go

    • Jaime says

      Seriously!!! Why do people think its ANY of their business?! It drives me BONKERS!! I don’t understand why its considered rude/inappropriate to talk about someone’s weight, age or how much money they make, etc, but people have no problems asking about or making comments on your reproductive plans which I personally think are a WAY more personal and private matter.

      I have to hand it to you, Sherry, you handle it so well when you get these types of comments, I don’t know how you do it!

    • julieK says


      I second that rant completely! I know everyone who asks is well meaning but I think it can be a bit rude, maybe a couple is unable to conceive, maybe they have a good reason not to have children, or maybe they’re like me and happen to crave random foods every so often.

    • says

      Thank you for saying that. I’ve always cringed when people ask this question for two reasons. First – knowing how difficult it can be to get pregnant and stay pregnant, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution and not ask people until they are ready to share. I would feel terrible if I asked someone and they broke down and told me they’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) for months / years, or just lost a child.

      And on a lighter note, second – if you remove the sometimes necessary medical interventions to get and stay pregnant, most people’s pregnancies are preceeded by other, more personal aspects of their relationship. I found the best way to get a parent (or anyone) to stop nagging you about family planning is to rephrase their question back to them as “Hey, having much sex lately?” They might think twice about asking.

      Hooray to being more than just our wombs!

      Hope to see you in St. Louis.

    • says

      SO TRUE!
      Just this week alone I’ve gotten, “hmm, maybe your pregnant”, “are you pregnant?” and from a five-year-old: “why don’t you have any kids in your house?” And then from the pedicure lady, “Did you have your baby?” WHAT?!
      And Kristin, can I borrow your reply? :)

    • Reghan says

      I had a baby 6 weeks ago and everyone is already asking when the next one is coming!! Ummm maybe a few years or maybe never? I can see it becoming old fast haha

    • Krissy says

      I, too, am in that age bracket. My boyfriend’s family thinks I am pregnant all the time. I had a migraine. I asked if they had any pickles (to eat with dinner, not just on their own). I was sick to my stomach (food poisoning, not a baby). I feel like no one will believe us when I finally am pregnant and we tell them!

    • RA says

      This is not a new phenomenon. We waited 10 years to have our first. The hubs was in grad school and it was just not feasible to have a child. He finally put one nosy woman in her place with a comment I cannot repeat here. ;) Now people ask if we are grandparents yet. I think I’m going to borrow from Kristin and say “I’m sure my kids are having great sex but they do know how to use birth control.” Thanks for the laughs y’all.

  3. Sarah says

    I love that Burger looks so devious at his computer:) I’m a nurse, so cheers to work/life balance! Good luck to your goals and your book tour. We are so excited!

  4. Briel K. says

    That first picture is kind of creepy! haha Good luck on your goals for the next year! They all sound pretty attainable. Looking forward to hearing about your secret side projects! Do you know about when the book tour dates and details will be revealed? That’s what I’m most excited about! :)

  5. Emily R says

    I think your goal number 3 will be great for you and for us. I love your blog – but sometimes it gets too wordy for me, and I tend to scroll down to the end to see the finished product. I think sometimes there are also too many before and after photos repeated in the same post. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE your blog with all my heart, but I think goal number 3 is a win win for all of us. I like short and sweet, and you get a part of your life back!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Lesley says

      I totally agree with Emily. I remember when I saw this goal last year and was like “yes good goal!” I still love your blog but some days I just cringe b/c it takes so much of my time to read and I don’t want to miss a word. But I have to begin the scroll to see if it is worth reading.

      I also like the mix it up. I did feel like this year I even got into knowing your routine. Like when you would have a giveaway or a reader redesign. I am sure it is easier for you to plan it out but I did like the old method of being surprised. I do click on younghouselife when you have a link on FB but otherwise I wouldn’t think of going there. I kind of liked when you had stuff like that on this blog. It made you more real and like us. I also understand some people think of this as a decorating blog so maybe that is why you made the change.

      I love to see new posts but at times I think 2 a day is a lot and I wonder when you get stuff done to write about for the blog. I wouldn’t be mad at you if you missed a post once in a while to do ‘stuff’ whether it is blog related or not. You deserve some time to yourself.

  6. says

    Love your goals! You two are doing such a great job with what you have! Thank you for always inspiring! And I just love that you are bringing more of a community focus, I adore the house crashings and reader redesigns. Have Anniversary!

  7. says

    Every year when you do this post, it makes me smile to see your heads on the bodies of my hometown hockey players. It’s the little things… :)

    Looking forward to another awesome year of checking in on your slice of the world. Keep up the great work guys!!

  8. says

    You’re doing great … keep up the good work. And, as for No. 3, one of my journalism professors always said, “Your words are not your soul. It won’t kill you to cut them.” And then she’d promptly make us cut the stories we’d stayed up all night working on in half. It’s a drastic exercise but her point is well taken. Every time I find myself writing longer than space allows I repeat that to myself.

    Also, perhaps your first request for next year’s blogiversary: I think you should count the number of times you’ve had to deny being pregnant on the blog. God, you must be sick of it!

  9. Ryan says

    I just want to say that I really love your site and I’ve enjoyed this past year more than the others because there’s a noticeable shift in how you write. There’s more humor in the posts, more personal stuff and it doesn’t feel like you’re pushing yourselves too hard on the DIY stuff. We all love your projects but, in reality, we come back because you and John seem like the goofy, funny and a little dorky (in the best possible way) friends that we have in real life.

    Less work, more dork! :)

    • Jill says

      I’ve also really noticed and enjoyed the added humor. I actually was not reading your blog for your personalities, just your projects, but in this last year, I’ve totally been reading for both.

      Also, have you thought about scaling back from two posts a day to one? The very best, most dedicated bloggers out there are usually one-a-day bloggers. Two just seems nuts! (Unless you’re doing a giveaway, then I can see real post + giveaway post on that day.)

    • says

      Aw thanks Jill! We definitely think about it but worry that the fun spontaneous little posts (which are often our favorites) will fall by the wayside and it’ll be all bread and meat and no pickles and cheese and fun toppings – haha!


  10. Valerie says

    I LOVE your blog and always check your blog mid morning. It’s the highlight of my day.

    That being said, as a reader, if you don’t respond to all comments right away I’m ok with that knowing that it keeps you from getting burnt out so you keep up with the blog.

    Work Life Blance is key and needs to be a priority! :)

    And I hope you come to Boston too!

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