Completing Projects: How-to Make this a New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

I am really, really good at making resolutions that don’t stick. Ditching sugar, cleaning every day for 30 minutes, never leaving a project half-finished… these are just a sample of resolutions I’ve made and not kept.

There’s something they all have in common, too – they’re ongoing goals that require a change in behavior forevermore. I could sit here and dwell about what a loser I am for not being unable to maintain these lifestyle changes, but instead I’m going to think about something I CAN do. I’m actually pretty good at completing projects that have a start and end to them.


So this year, my resolution for the home will be to create a short list of projects (no more than 10) that I can check off, one by one, with a completion deadline of March 1, 2016. Are you with me? Join me in making a productive check list that we can accomplish!

Let’s check back on March 1st to see how we’ve progressed. Make a statement, here in the comments, committing yourself to doing the undone. Imagine yourself checking the last project off the list, patting yourself on the back, and actually sticking to your new year’s resolution for once.


To get the ball rolling, I’ll share my actionable list here. If you’ve just moved into a brand new home, your action list might be a bit different from mine. I’d love to see how your checklist can beautify and organize your new home!

  1. Frame the unframed, hang the unhung. I have 3 prints that have been rolled up in my closet, unframed, for several months now. I resolve to get these beauties framed and hung
  2. Hide the TV wires. While many of you have beautifully installed televisions, I don’t. I have some very unsightly wires cluttering my living room, and it’s probably going to take a professional to figure out how to tuck them away. But that’s OK – because this to-do has been rattling around in my head for about 4 years. Now it’s on my list, and I’m going to get it done, once and for all.
  3. Get the windows washed. Some folks get their windows professionally cleaned every 6 months. If cost isn’t an object, that is ideal. Cost is an object for me, so I tend to do it only when they get really bad. Oddly, the winter light seems to shine more harshly on my smudges and water marks, so I’m going to get them done and enjoy some sparkle this winter.
  4. Touch up the woodwork paint. We’ve lived in our home almost 5 years now, and the painted woodwork is fairly scuffed and chipped, especially in high traffic areas and any place where the wood has been exposed to water (bathrooms and kitchen). The kitchen cabinets are an absolute horror. Professional paint retouching is not cheap… but after 5 years and 2 small children, maybe it’s time.
  5. Fix what’s broken. I have a few small repairs that have been lingering far too long. A pocket door that’s off its runners, glue around the edge of the bathtub from when we removed the shower doors, etc.
  6. Replace run-down, banged up furniture. For me, this means my barstools. Small children banging their feet against the legs have made them resemble sticks of wood that have gone through the wood-chipper a couple times. My fault for buying them cheap.
  7. Replace old rugs. I’ve come to accept that doormats and foot rugs need replacing about once a year. It doesn’t cost much but makes everything look so much nicer
  8. Unpack the packed. I’m embarrassed to admit that when we moved into this house almost 5 years ago, we shoved a few boxes in the storage closets and haven’t touched them since. The reason? The boxes are full of stuff we don’t know what to do with. Files, cords, computer tidbits… It’s time for us to face our demons.
  9. Finish a space. Really, I should start no new decorating projects until I finish the ones I haven’t completed. My bedroom is almost there – but the bedside lamps are mismatched. We rearranged the bedroom from how the previous owner had it, which means that we have a wall sconce on one side of the bed and a table lamp on the other. I haven’t been sure how to resolve this issue, but resolve it I will!
  10. Recover or paint the banquette. I have a really nice banquette bench that I ordered in the standard white to save on upholstery, figuring I’d enjoy white for a while and then recover it at a later date. I would be embarrassed, truly truly embarrassed, for any of you to see how dirty and stained this white banquette is. I’m ashamed just typing this. Enough waiting. Now’s the time – I’m going to take care of this problem and reclaim my seating area as the beautiful inviting space I know it could be.

I know I’m not alone in my unfinished project list. If you’d like to join me in my mission, add to the comments below on some of the projects YOU pledge to complete on March 1st. I’ll be reposting at that time to share my progress and check in on yours. Good luck, and Happy New Year!