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Have you ever heard of 20 for 2020 (or 19 for 2019, 18 for 2018, etc.?) I first learned about this twist on the traditional New Years resolutions from The Happier Podcast and just love it! Somehow, resolutions have bad juju for me – maybe it’s because we all expect resolutions to fall flat, or because they end up being too lofty for us to conquer without complex systems. But 20 for 2020 is a much more manageable way of accomplishing a lot – and having fun – in the New Year.
I pick 20 things for the New Year that I want to achieve – it could be personal or in business, serious or just for kicks – anything goes! Everyone’s list is so different, but it will culminate to a meaningful year for you. To get you started, I’m offering up 70 totally doable goals to inspire your 20 for 2020 list!
- Leave good reviews for small businesses, podcasts, and books that you love.
- Send a random message to someone you admire on social media.
- Pray for someone who has been on your mind.
- Bring a meal to a new mom, a family who has recently moved, or someone recovering from illness or surgery.
- Write a random thank you note.
- Return your cart & grab other stray carts on your way back.
- Let someone else merge in front of you in traffic.
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
- Hold your tongue when you could give someone a piece of your mind.
- Compliment a stranger.
Love at home.
- Leave a little goodie for your spouse as a surprise.
- Slip a note in your child’s lunch.
- Let your kid stay up late to read one more book (and add in a few extra kisses.)
- Call an elderly relative or one that lives far away.
- Ask your parents or grandparents stories of their youth & record their answers.
- Tell your relatives why you are grateful for them.
- Tidy up an area of the house or do a chore that someone else usually does – say nothing about it.
- Compliment your spouse in front of your kids.
- Kiss in the morning, kiss at night.
- Give a long hello and goodbye when you and your spouse leave for the day and come home.
- Take a trip – even a day trip! – to someplace new.
- Write a list of all the restaurants you’ve been meaning to try – put it in your phone so you’re never stuck with the question ‘Where should we eat?’
- Go on a series of hikes – local trails, peaks over 4,000 feet, or dog-friendly hikes.
- Visit a historic place in your hometown.
- Make a standing date to go to your favorite museum (or stadium, if you’re more into sports than art) at least once a year.
- PLAN THE DANG TRIP! Request the time off, book the flights, put it on the calendar.
- Invest in good luggage or gear to help get you there – I have a whole post devoted to my favorite travel gear right here.
- Create a standardized trip – every year, spend a weekend renting the same beach cottage with a group of girlfriends, go skiing with your siblings, or revisit the spot where you got engaged on your anniversary.
- Visit 5 new farmer’s markets or local boutiques this year.
- Take a solo trip or a trip with just your spouse to recharge and reconnect. Our kid-free Italy trip this year was BLISS!
Take care of you.
- Set up all of your yearly appointments in January – from doctors visits to dental checkups and hair cuts.
- Go out with friends once a month.
- Read for 20 minutes before bed.
- Find an exercise you like & make it part of your weekly routine.
- Ruthlessly unsubscribe from email lists that clutter your inbox.
- Pick a bad habit and commit to stopping (for some it’s smoking, not responding to texts, or leaving dishes in the sink.)
- Pick a uniform for everyday – something you feel good in that you can easily duplicate for day to day dressing.
- Invest in one timeless wardrobe piece this year: perfect jeans, nude heels, or a great jacket are all good places to start.
- Write one line a day in a journal each morning or evening.
- Cap your screen time – too much scrolling isn’t good for your body or your mind.
- Take a dance class.
- Return to one of your childhood hobbies: drawing, painting, singing to Britney Spears in front of the mirror.
- Join a rec league for a sport you love.
- Set up a rotating game night with friends.
- Write a brief autobiography – it’s weirdly cathartic to write out your life story and reminisce on the highlights.
- Try a new recipe each month.
- Get the photos off of your phone and into photobooks (my favorite is Chatbooks – you can use my code SARAHGROTENHUIS-49AY for $10 off your first order).
- Create piece of art (photography counts!) to display in your home.
- Write a list of all the books you’d like to read this year and check them off one by one.
- Bake something from scratch (if you want something super easy, try my 4 ingredient artisan bread – it’s foolproof!)
- Start a book group – if you need some tips, I have a post about how to start a book group that will actually be fun.
- Host one true dinner party this year.
- Schedule a standing date night with your spouse – same time and day each week or month – and book a sitter.
- Spend some one on one time with your kids by doing one of their favorite things.
- Visit a relative you don’t see often.
- Spend an evening this winter getting Hygge with some of your loved ones.
- Do research on your ancestry using Family Search.
- Make it a goal to make new friends this year.
- Have a phone date with a far away friend to stay in touch.
- Plan a milestone party for a birthday or anniversary this year. Go all out – you deserve to celebrate!
Organize your life.
- Convert your planner, lists, and other scraps of paper to a digital calendar.
- Empty your everyday bag and reorganize the contents.
- When you put away holiday decor, donate the ornaments and decor you don’t LOVE. Keep only the items that make you smile.
- Take inventory of your medicine cabinet: safely dispose of expired medications, condense stray items into containers, and add anything that needs to be restocked to your shopping list.
- Create a drop zone where ever you enter your home: have a place for jackets, shoes, and bags to quickly get sorted.
- Automate bill pay on your recurring expenses and investments – it saves so much time and headache!
- Start the year with a clean car – get a car wash, fill the tank, and pull out any trash or items that should be stored elsewhere.
- Create a simple spreadsheet (I use google docs, so that I can access it in the cloud and share with my husband), to store the addresses of your friends and family. Remember to add in or update any new addresses from the holiday cards you received this year.
- Streamline your closets by swapping out mismatched hangers for sleek, flocked hangers to save space – I ditched all of our old hangers in favor of these and I’ll never go back!
- Use a list app (I like Wunderlist) to stay on top of your to-do list, meal plan, and even keep a running list of gift ideas for your family.