2013 Resolutions…

Psst- Thanks SO MUCH for the love with our little announcement this morning guys. You rock our socks. For reals.

Well, we aren’t going to make 2,013 resolutions, but here are five of them. You guys know that every year we like to broadcast them to the world to light a fire under our arse in the hopes of accomplishing them (you can check out last year’s here, 2011’s here, and 2010’s here). So let’s get cracking…

#1. Hold On. Let’s just say that for anyone who worries we’ll run out of things to do or rooms to makeover or projects to tackle… this is going to be our busiest year yet. Chock fulla new DIY undertakings. We can’t reveal everything yet (there are some pretty big cats in some pretty big bags) but we can’t wait to free the kitties! So beyond having a ton of untouched spaces to tend to here (like Clara’s big girl room, the front porch, the carport, the guest bathroom, etc) let’s just say we’re not going to stop there. We have some other MAJOR things, and we can’t wait to over-share every detail with you guys. And no Mom, I’m not pregnant.

#2. Chat Things Up. Without a doubt, you guys put the “you” in Young House Love, and we’ve mentioned that we’d like to work more of “you” into our little DIY diary. We’ve actually heard from a lot of you who’d love to see forums over here as a friendly and helpful way to share photos, advice, ideas, inspiration, and all that good stuff. So we’ve been researching how to get those going without crashing our site or spending hours each day maintaining them. We’d really love to give it a try, so our goal is to focus even more on making that happen in the spring (after we’re done with book tour craziness). Cross your fingers and whisper “no crashies, no crashies, no crashies” (that’s our equivalent to “no whammies”).

#3. Be Realistic. As much as we like to avoid blog stage fright by pretending that we’re just talking to 10 readers, the truth is that there are a lot more people dropping in. And most sites with over 5 million hits a month tend to be coded, written, and run by a team of people. Meanwhile, we’re just a guy and a gal with a toddler running around who are juggling DIY projects, post writing, an in-progress book tour, site coding, and a bunch of secret-project balls (wait, that sounds wrong). So this resolution is just about reminding ourselves that we’re only two people. Two highly dedicated folks who love what we do, but two people who can’t do the work of ten people, no matter how hard we try. And this year we’re gonna stop beating ourselves up about it.

Since we like our grass roots approach (we have no desire to hire people to answer comments, write posts, or program the site) that means that we need to be as efficient and realistic as possible and stop pressuring ourselves. We’re not HGTV or BHG, we’re John and Sherry from the block blog. And amazingly, you guys tell us that’s a big reason that you like YHL, so it’s about time we embraced it.

#4. Reclaim Our Lives. This sort of connects to resolution #3, but we’ve publicly struggled with finding balance for a few years now (here, here, here, and here) and answered “how do you do it all?” questions with “we just don’t sleep – maybe we’ll sleep next year.” Well, it’s officially next year, so it would be nice not to be up until 1am finishing projects and writing posts and juggling book stuff along with keeping up with normal things like laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping. We never aspired to be people who work on nights, weekends, and even on vacation (in fact we moved from NYC to Virginia back in 2005 to escape that lifestyle) so the irony isn’t lost on us.

But although many of you chimed in during our blogiversary to say that you’d be happy with one post a day, we aren’t quite ready to scale things back that much, so we’ve decided to go from 8 posts a week down to 7 posts a week (along with 2 more over on Young House Life as usual of course). At the end of the month whenever we glance back at our monthly roundups we’re always surprised at how much we’ve done, and this change shouldn’t affect that very much at all. It mostly means we’ll space out posts like Window Shoppings, House Crashings, Budget Blooms, or Reader Redesigns a bit more so there’s one less of those posts to write, photograph, edit, proofread, and answer questions about each week.

Hopefully you won’t notice the shift very much (we think we’ll post twice on Monday, once on Tuesday, twice on Wednesday, once on Thursday, and once on Friday along with two more posts each week over on Young House Life). And that pace will allow us to spend more time brainstorming ideas, actually doing projects, and recharging with the family – three things that add up to happier bloggers, which will hopefully lead to even more thought-out projects and creative ideas. It also means we’re less likely to throw in the blogging towel. We definitely want to play the long game and not burn out since we truly love this strange little career we’ve built, especially when we’re balanced and smart about how we run this little two person ship of ours.

#5. Be Free. You guys never fail to surprise us by responding to the most random of posts (like this one I wrote about breast feeding and this one John wrote about running). They both got hundreds of comments more than any other DIY related post around it, and they remind us that sharing more than just painting and sawing and gluing and sanding is as fun for you guys as it is for us. Heck, even a random Friday post like this one about five weird things about me elicited over 1,000 comments – and they’re without a doubt the funniest comments on our entire site. Seriously, take ten minutes to scroll through a page or two and I guarantee you’ll be giggling. This blog is our happy place and these spontaneous posts keep it light and fun. And we think blogs that are more stream-of-consciousness than polished-and-perfect are the most fun to read anyway.

So those are our five putting-them-out-there resolutions for the coming year. What are you guys resolving? Any personal ones? Personally I’m resolving to simplify things like crazy (something I’ve said before, but I’m feeling even more determined to master it this year). I have too many gadgets and decorative objects and pillows and gift bags and pens and about a million other things that add up to a whole lotta clutter, so I can’t wait to pare down and attempt to live as simply as John and I did back in NYC when we each had tiny studios without attics and basements to hoard clutter. Less really is more, in so many ways.


  1. says

    Every year I aspire to “do less and have more”….not more stuff, but more quality of life. I am one of those people who works nights, weekends and vacations but such is the nature of my job. However, we took our family to Disneyland for a week over Christmas this year. I vowed to my little girl that I wouldn’t take my business phone into the park. I kept that promise and guess what happened? NOTHING! They survived without me and solved their own problems since I made it clear I wouldn’t be available as a resource. Making myself available all the time FORCED me to be available all the time. So I took my life back. I am also dedicating the year to loving what I have. We have a beautiful home that I worked very hard to achieve, I don’t need one more thing. I spent part of my vacation re-purposing and re-imagining things in a new way and re-vamped nearly every room without spending a dime. Excited to see what your next big thing is…..

  2. says

    I, for one, think you guys are amazing for posting as much as you do. I was DIY blogging for a little while last year (on top of a full-time job, a business and 2 kids) and I had to stop the DIY blogging part because I just couldn’t keep up with it. Photographing, talking about every step and editing the photos was just.too.much. I have a HUGE appreciation for what you guys do and the way you do it!

    As far as resolutions go, I thought I didn’t really believe in them, but then I came across the concept of writing a “Future Letter,” where you write a letter to yourself as if you’ve already accomplished everything you want for the year. I find that having it out there in Internet-land has made me feel far more accountable, and I’m already doing things to make the changes I want to make! It’s kind of a fun self-fulfilling prophecy! It’s on my blog if anyone wants to check it out – I recommend it!

    Happy New Year to you guys!

  3. Katy says

    I have a photo on my fridge of a little girl my hubby and I sponsored through World Vision for several years. One year, we donated $100 for her Christmas gift. Among other things, World Vision bought her family a goat. So, I have the picture of her with her goat on the fridge. It reminds me of how little it takes for those in less developed countries to be content. Such a contrast to how we always seem to be striving for more.

    I’ve been trying to declutter for a while, and every little step I take is like a breath of fresh air. Every time I get rid of something and clear a corner, I feel a little more free and it just inspires me to keep going. Also, when I try to keep things in perspective (mostly by thinking about how many people have SO LITTLE compared with what I have), it helps me to let go of all the crap.

  4. says

    You guys are amazing! I love having people in my life – whether it is a blog I read or friends in the area – who are doing amazing things and blowing people’s minds with their creativity and productivity. I especially like #3 – Be Realistic. I know my wife goes crazy sometimes reading some of the blogs that are out there. I have to remind her that most of the blogs have a team of 10 or more people that produce, write and manage the blog – it’s not a snapshot of one persons life. Keep up the great work and enjoy the blessings of family. As for me, my 2013 goal is cutting back on the soda…leads to better health and savings in the wallet.

  5. Celia says

    I would actually LOVE to see shorter posts from time to time. Even a “wordless” post with a cute photo would rock my socks. It would save you guys time! And it would save me time, too, because while I love this blog, I follow a bunch and sometimes there just seems to be too much to read on the interwebs!

  6. Dawn says

    I read on another blog (don’t remember which one) that instead of resolutions, they had a “word”. My word for 2013 is “Healthy”. This will encompass both mental and physical health. It’s easy to remember (I can ask myself before I eat or do something – “Is that healthy?”) and can be applied to so many different situations. Good luck with your resolutions!

  7. Deb says

    They all sound fabulous!!! You guys have inspired me to think about writing a blog… about my blended family and just goodness! Can’t wait to see everything you have planned for 2013!

  8. says

    Agree with #5 the most!! I LOVE the random posts :) I thought you guys did a better job with #4 this year? I guess that’s just cause of the Hawaii trip. You just make it look so easy we forget about much you’re working!! ;)

  9. trish says

    Love what you guys do everyday…just wanted to tell you I have been waiting patiently to see your book. I am on the waiting list at my local library and can’t wait to check it out when my name comes up! You are legends!!!! LOL

  10. Laurie says

    I’m curious as to how you plan to not work until 1 am. As a similarly aged working parent with a 2 year old (and a husband that works also) I’m constantly trying to figure out how to not work late, log on after the baby’s in bed, etc. and I find I just can’t do it. Do you think we’re just destined to overwork now?

    • says

      Oh gosh I hope not! I am focused on letting go of things we should (not saying yes to everything, taking rain checks, simplifying projects/posts/giveaways, etc). I think the hard thing is avoiding the urge to “work smarter” which still means keeping those crazy high expectations. I’m trying to let things go instead of struggling to do them better/faster.


  11. says

    You guys are too awesome! I am totally ok with one post a day, I rarely read the afternoon ones anyways! You guys deserve some time to yourselves, or we will never see a “Sherry is pregnant with number 2!” post. Which I have been dying for :)

  12. Alix says

    May I just say…I’ve noticed your posts (especially since the blogiversary) are getting a bit shorter (and of course just as sweet!) from time to time. I know you folks had wanted to work on being a little less verbose with just as much “meat,” and I just wanted to tell you that your content is awesome, your humor infectious, and your posts, now even shorter, feel just as meaty. So don’t worry your heads too much! We all love you and your blog! Do what feels right; you can bet your sweet bippy we’ll be right behind ya! :) xoxo

  13. Lesley says

    Great resolutions, guys!

    And I am DYING over the Frito-dog-feet syndrome conversation on that one post. How did I miss this? You have some seriously funny fans :)

  14. says

    I’m always amazed at the personable yet professional blog that only the two of you have managed to put together. It’s pretty inspirational about what passion and deterimination can accomplish. Also, I’m with you on the simplifying things. I’ve been systematically going through each room of our home the last few months and being brutal about what I hold on to. Going through the craft/guest room was the worst but now that it’s all cleaned up I can finally start in on the makeover I’ve been planning for months!

  15. Beccii says

    Well done guys, I am so impressed with the two of you and all of your projects, big and small. You so deserve as much ‘you’ time as you can grab. I’m pretty sure all of us readers would rather grow older reading a couple less posts a week, so long as we can grow old with you. I honestly hope you are here for a long long time because we would all miss you so much if you were to throw in the burnt out towel :)

Leave a Reply

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