How to Keep Your DIY Resolutions

man working on chair legs in a workshop with a saw

Every year around this time, lists miles long are made of things to do and projects to be completed; yet it is often found that the same items on this year’s list were on last year's as well. Have you ever given up on some DIY projects because you feel they simply won't get done? If so, this article is for you.

Research has shown we have been approaching the concept of New Year's resolutions incorrectly—that it's not the resolutions themselves that cause promises to go unkept, but the manner in which the commitment is made.

This article will outline how experts and psychologists say we should make resolutions, and how in turn we can get our overdue DIY projects completed!

Forming Habits

"Auld Lang Syne" and many other New Year's Eve songs stress the importance of saying goodbye to what's done, with the intention of beginning new again on January first.

This notion brings a sense of comfort, as one can forgive the deeds we did (or didn’t do) from the year previous, and attempt to make less strenuous self-promises for the one ahead.

The romantic idea doesn’t quite hold up in the DIY world, however, as it would simply leave a multitude of half-complete projects in its wake, cluttering our homes and complicating our marriages.

Instead, what we are able to leave behind are things less physical, things such as the habits once held which disallowed us to attain a goal, only to replace them with ones to help us complete our DIY intentions.

Research states that the first trick to keeping your DIY resolution is to make the act of working to the completion of a goal a daily habit. The act of doing something daily holds many positive attributes because the noticeable progress, although made slowly, fights discouragement.

To complete our own DIYs, we must absorb this notion and continually work on a project until that work time becomes second nature. Experts warn it can take up to 21 days of consistency to form an actual habit, but the things we will be able to accomplish make all the work and added sweat worth it.

Small Increments

When hoping to complete a DIY project as a New Year's resolution, how one goes about completing the goal is as important as the goal itself. Psychologists claim that big objectives are fine, but one should avoid attempting its completion all at once.

As stated above, a lack of progress breeds contempt, so make a schedule to closely follow. An example of such an idea is offered below:

To build a treehouse, one must first check for town and city ordinances that may or may not regulate the construction of a dwelling outside of the home. Secondly, one should design a house on paper, along with estimated measurements.

Then, they should cut the wood and prepare the tree for the added weight the house may provide. Next, one begins building the shelter on the ground as much as possible to be assembled in the tree. Finally, the house should be placed.

When my dad and I built our treehouse, I distinctly remember getting frustrated by how slowly the progress was going. What I know now that I didn’t know as a child, is that completing a goal in small chunks creates momentum and perceived progress.

Both contribute to happiness and satisfaction with a sense of accomplishment.

Make Things You Can Use

Did you ever have to do something you didn’t want to do, but because it was for work or important to another person, you did it anyway? When making something as a DIY, the same concept applies.

Whether it is two dining room chairs or a new handrail for your home’s staircase, the greatest way to complete a project is to have a mindset to, and to create something that can be actually used and enjoyed in one's everyday life.

Making a coffee table or baby’s crib is fine if you happen to have extra wood, but if a table isn't needed and your kids are grown, the level of motivation to finish the task isn’t what is could be when compared to something else. Make something you can enjoy, and continually celebrate your own success.