8 Classic DIY Resolution Mistakes

confused person working on brick wall

The new year is always a great time to set goals and resolutions as it acts as a blank slate. As you put your DIY goals for 2021 into action, set yourself up for success by avoiding these common mistakes.

1. Too Many Resolutions

Setting too many different resolutions is a recipe for disappointment. Instead, zero in on a few priority goals. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed throughout the year as you try to meet your resolutions, so you can focus on the goals you’ve set.

2. Not Tying Your Goals to the “Why”

Whether it’s a DIY goal or a resolution in another part of your life, connecting the resolution to the “why” behind it will make it much easier to stick with it. Failure to acknowledge the motivation behind setting your resolution is setting yourself up for failure. Think about the reasons behind it, such as setting a goal of adding a water feature to your yard, with the “why” being "so my family can better enjoy our outdoor oasis.” As you write down your resolutions, write the why down too, so you have that reminder each time you look at your goals, making it that much more likely you’ll stick with them.

3. Not Making Them Realistic

man looking at car engine under hood

Choosing resolutions that aren’t realistic is another commonly made mistake to avoid. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself—if you’re a beginner in woodworking, you’re likely not going to be able to build a house on your own over the course of a year. A more realistic goal for a novice woodworker is to, perhaps, build a birdhouse.

4. Making Them Too General

Resolutions that are too general aren’t a productive way to meet goals. Be specific in your resolutions. For instance, instead of setting the resolution to “complete more home improvement projects,” list out the specific projects you want to cross off your list, or what genre of projects you’re most interested in. The resolution of, “complete three house projects to save money on heating and cooling” is more productive and will better guide you throughout the year.

5. Not Setting Milestones

The more milestones you set for yourself on the road to meeting a resolution, the more likely you’ll be to meet them by the end of the year. This is because meeting those smaller milestones is motivating, pushing you to continue working towards your end goal. For example, setting the resolution to, “make my home more ecofriendly” can be easily made more feasible by setting milestones. These would be items like, “set up a compost bin,” “swap out 10 lightbulbs for smart bulbs,” and “set up line dryer for clothes.”

hands hanging clothes on line dryer in laundry area

6. Not Setting Deadlines for Milestones

Along with the above mistake, not setting deadlines to accompany those milestones is another common mistake. Assign realistic deadlines throughout the year for these milestones to hold yourself accountable to getting these items done so it’s not all left for the end of the year.

7. Not Recognizing Obstacles on the Road to Meeting Resolutions

The reason that goals are set is because in at least some fashion, they’re challenging. That’s what makes them feel so great once they’ve been accomplished! However, as you set your DIY resolutions, it’s important to recognize what the potential obstacles will be on the road to crossing them off your list. Doing this helps equip you to overcome these obstacles. Once you think through what these obstacles are, you can begin coming up with ways to work through them in order to get to your goals.

8. Going In Without a Plan

man writing on a pad of paper near power drills

Having a rough plan of how you will meet your DIY resolutions throughout the course of the year is probably the most important part of meeting your goals. Even if you don’t follow your plan word for word, having a rough sketch of the steps that will need to be taken, the resources you’ll need, and what it’ll cost is a vital step to your success.

Setting your DIY resolutions is fun, but accomplishing them is even more enjoyable. Don’t fall victim to these mistakes in 2021.