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

    I totally feel the pregnant thing. I swear, if my husband or I ever put a hand on my stomach in front of people, the looks and questions come flying. Which is annoying, because we’re pretty cuddly people. Sometimes I feel like wearing a sign that says “No, not pregnant. No, not trying. You’ll be the first to know, I’m sure”
    This makes me want to write up a list of goals for us for the year!

  2. says

    Glad your bringing back the before and afters can’t wait to submit to you our before and afters of turning a 11′ x 12’9″ weirdly placed master bathroom into a kids functional bathroom

  3. Stephanie says

    I am so excited to see “Advice-Seeking” on that list. I don’t know if you were going for anything like this but when I was reading your archives and the Design Dilemma’s were posted, I always read the comments. And still today I make it a point to read comments on your blog. I think you’ve got a really great community here and with so many people reading you get so many different view points. How cool would it be to be able to send an e-mail to you two saying “I’m having THIS design problem. HELP!” (ahem. I mean.. HALP!) Maybe you guys could include a quick blurb and then open it up to readers to comment. It would be SO COOL. (Or would it be PHAT? ;) )

    Also, I should say I love that you guys are wordy. Somehow it makes you very relatable. But it might just be that I’m wordy, as evidenced by the last like 5 comments I left on this blog. :) I’m going to stop now.

  4. Pamela says

    “Iss my hoo hat,” is my favorite quotation of all times. I actually use it quite at lot, even if nobody knows what I’m talking about. Bill Shakespeare cannot write better dialogue.

  5. Nicole says

    Do Reader Redesigns have to be people with their own blogs? I’ve thought about submitting pictures of a few things my husband and I have DIY-ed (a complete overhaul of useless 2nd floor space, including adding a bathroom & a new kitchen), but we don’t have a blog. All of the RR posts I’ve seen (I think) link back to the person’s own blog.

    Just curious!

    • says

      No, not at all! We love sharing the love to fellow bloggers and DIYers without a blog alike! There are definitely like 10% that aren’t bloggers (it just seems to be the percentage of folks who send them to us, there’s no preference showed to either group or anything).


  6. Abigail says

    I’d be excited to see more house crashing and table setting. I’d love to see something on entry way organization. Mail, bills, keys, shoes, etc. Maybe let people post pictures of their room and get comments or ideas from other readers.

    PS – your blog is a bit addictive.

  7. says

    Blogiversary week is just like one big YHL lovefest and I’m so down with it! Thank you for sharing your happenings with us. I smile everyday when I read your blog. :)

  8. Lindsey says

    Thank you, thank you for all that you two do! I have been reading your blog off and on for a little over a year (read quite a bit of your older posts during that time), but have been a daily reader for about 6 months. I’m looking forward to all the new spicy additions you are going to put into your blog, but even if you didn’t change a thing it would still be a place that I visit daily. Happy blogiversary and keep doin’ what you are doin’. You two are making a huge impact on people, myself included.

  9. Thais Bessa says

    Hi, about the Goal to have “more of us “readers)”, here is an idea: the book The Happiness Project (which I bought after Sherry mentioned it here) has a forum where people can talk about the project. I though a similar thing linked to your book would be awesome, so readers can send you guys photos and testimonies when they implement some/many/all of the 243 tips and projects. It would be a cool way to showcase the applicability of the tips and also include the readers.

    I like the Reader Redesign, but sometimes I feel it applies more for people that have a blog (and let’s be honest, bloggers would kill for being featured at YHL). The showcasing of reader’s execution of projects from the book would give an opportunity for folks like me, who don’t have a blog (and therefore no interest in promoting anything), but only and simply want to engage more with you guys and other readers.

    • says

      Oh yes, you’re on our wavelength! We think it would be awesome to have a way for folks to submit their projects so we could see them! That would be awesome!


    • Chrissy Henry says

      I totally agree!!

      I have been a long time YHL fan and while I enjoy everyone’s comments on your posts and of course your replies. After seeing this years “day in the life” post it was a real shocker how much time you actually have to spend approving and responding to comments! How in the world do you guys get anything else done?? Maybe a more open forum/chat area would help with this? I mean if YHL keeps growing (and we all hope it does!), it just won’t be possible for you two to keep up with all the comments, right?

      I also agree re: Reader Redesigns… they seem so unrelated to YHL. It is not like these people followed one of your tutorials, or a previously made mood board. It sort of feels like they are just bloggers looking for traffic, which I guess is fine, we should share the internet love it is a great big place with lots to see. I just wish they were more relevant to YHL specifically and not just any old DIY project.

      Oh, and apparently I am long winded too… so don’t worry about being wordy. We all like it ;)

    • says

      Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas everyone! I think we really love Reader Redesigns since they’re not our house, and even we get tired of posting day in and day out solely about our house, so we love sharing the love. Some of them aren’t even from bloggers (just readers) and some link specifically or call out things that we did in our house that inspired them, but we don’t want to make that a requirement because we just love sharing a good idea when we see it. Heck, sometimes it’s more fun if it’s a new idea not from us since it’s something we haven’t even thought of and we think that might help other readers out there too, ya know?

      But we’re definitely excited to add other ways that folks can interact and submit things to us (including projects big and small, from non-bloggers too for sure!).


  10. Brittany D says

    Holy crap, my heart skipped a beat when I checked the giveaway winner and read “Britta”. Then, I became really sad because the rest of my name was missing. I was SO CLOSE! ;) But, seriously, I love this: “Life is good, even when it’s full of chaos.”

  11. Sophie says

    I’m definitely looking forward to more of the old style posts! Not that I don’t love your blog as it is, but I do feel like over time as your blog has gained more and more attention, you’ve been doing many more project oriented posts (understandable) instead of the mixture of things that you used to have. And I think that the videos of your road trips and posts like that really got a lot of your personality through, which I guess was toned down a little bit more recently.

    I kinda hope that you guys are going to let your freak flag fly just a *little* more this next year, your goofy side is the best side!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *