By Emily Morrow

20 Things to Do Before the End of 2020


End the year on a strong note and get ready to rock 2021.

The end of 2020 is right around the corner. 

Somehow this year has simultaneously felt like it has flashed by in an instant while also drawing on for ages. The events of this year have been unprecedented, and it’s probably safe to assume that the plans and vision you set this January have changed dramatically over the course of the last 11 months. 

But no matter whether you’re right on track with your plans or lightyears away from where you thought you’d be, there are still things that you can do in the next few weeks to feel like you’re ending the year on a strong note and starting 2021 with your best foot forward. 

1. Reflect on 2020

There’s no doubt that this year has been a wild one. Before the year ends, set aside some time for yourself to sit down with a notebook and your planner and reflect on everything that’s happened since January 1, 2020. What experiences did you have? How did you grow?

You don't have to have any life-changing takeaways (although you might); try to approach this process without judgment or expectation for what will come out of it. 

2. Celebrate the things you have accomplished this year

Maybe things didn’t go 100% the way you planned this year, but remember that that is not an indication of failure. There’s no doubt that you have accomplished things this year, even if they weren't what you set out to do.

Write down a list of everything that you’re proud of from this year, no matter how small. Try to think back on things that felt hard at one point (like adjusting to working from home, or developing a new technical skill at work) that no longer feel challenging -- that is your growth and accomplishment! After each item on your list, give yourself a mental pat on the back. You deserve it!

3. Create a plan for the things that you didn’t get to this year

Life happens and most years, our plans have to change. What things *didn’t* you get to do this year that you’d like to make happen next year? Write down your plan for getting it done in 2021. (This timeline pad is great for mapping out your year at a glance.) 

4. Think about your long-term goals

Where do you want to be in 20 years? In your journal, write down what you want your life to look like, and make it as detailed as possible. Who do you want around you? Where do you want to be? How do you want to be spending your days? This vision can serve as your roadmap for the coming year and beyond. 

5. Make a gratitude list

Take out your favorite notebook and make a list of 30 things that you’re grateful for. You can start with the big and obvious ones like your loved ones, but then try to get as granular and specific as possible, like the smell of a rainstorm or the sound of your coffee maker in the morning. If you want more inspiration, try this post, or check out our gratitude journal

6. Reach out to your loved ones

Are there any friends or family members you haven’t caught up with in a while? Take this opportunity before the end of the year to make time to reach out. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour phone call; just a simple text letting them know you were thinking of them can go a long way.

7. Commit to staying hydrated

Drinking enough water each day can help contribute to your overall health and wellbeing and even improve your performance. The National Institutes of Sciences recommend that adults drink between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water a day. So buy a big, reusable water bottle and commit to hydrating regularly for the rest of the year — trust us, you'll notice a difference. (This hydration tracker book band can help!)

8. Check in with your body, mind, and spirit

When you get busy, it can become easy to stop listening to yourself and what your body is telling you. Before the end of 2020, commit to sitting quietly for just 10 minutes one morning and listening to your body, mind, and spirit. What do you need? Rest? Nourishment? The Reflection Pad is a great way to guide this type of self-reflection. 

9. Start a mindfulness practice

Mindfulness is the practice of being present, of noticing how you’re feeling at any given moment and accepting it. And there’s no time like today to start bringing more mindfulness into your daily life. Here are a few simple exercises to help you relax and focus — commit to trying one of them out by the end of the year!

10. Declutter one area of your home

Whether it’s your home workspace, your closet, or your Tupperware cabinet, pick at least one area of your home and spend an afternoon putting it in order. (We have lots of decluttering tips here!) When your living and work areas are in order, you’ll feel more relaxed and at peace — the ideal way to wrap up 2020. 

11. Schedule any doctor appointments you’ve been putting off

Have you gotten your annual physical? Seen the dentist? Gotten your eye exam? If this year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of your physical health. Whatever you’ve been putting off, make an appointment before the year’s up.

12. Upgrade your home office

This year, we’ve all spent a lot of time working from home. And the end to the use of our home offices isn’t quite on the horizon. It’s so important that the space you’re working in is inspiring and comfortable. It should be a place where you *want* to get work done.

Before the end of the year, commit to investing a little time and money into making your home workspace someplace you actually like. We have lots of tips and inspiration for upgrading your home office here and here, but we’d also recommend snagging one of our Complete Home Office Suites! It’s got all of the tools you’ll need to work from home successfully next year.

13. Get your finances in order

Have you kept up with your budget this year? Or has it fallen to the wayside? Before the end of the year (and definitely before the rush of the holiday season), commit to taking an afternoon to go through your finances. Are you paying off your debts and loans on time and appropriately? Are you saving enough? Are you on track with your budget? We have more personal finance tips here!

14. Donate something

The end of the year is also the season of gratitude and giving, so find a way to pass along at least one of your possessions to someone who might need it more. Maybe it’s a winter coat, a pair of shoes, or even a piece of furniture. Whatever you’re donating, you’ll feel better about yourself after letting something go to another home. 

15. Commit to getting organized

Set yourself up for success in the new year by making the commitment now to get organized. We’d highly recommend our brand new Ultimate Organization Suite to help tackle this. It includes our five best-selling organizational products that are going to help you be productive all year long, including our beloved goal planner, Weekly Desk Pad, Priority Pad, Today Organizer Pad, and Progress Pad.

16. Organize the photos on your phone

How many photos have you taken this year? Set aside an hour or so before the end of the year to scroll back through your phone’s photo library and get organized. Delete any duplicates, mark any that you want to get printed or made into an album, and savor in the beautiful memories you’ve made this year. 

17. Add movement to your routine

Moving your body and elevating your heart rate daily is so important for your health. And as we get closer to the dark months of winter, it can also help improve your mood and mental health. Even if you are just stretching or doing a light yoga practice for a few minutes, commit to moving your body in some capacity every day for the rest of the year. We have a few recommendations for morning exercises here!

18. Assess your priorities

Where have you spent the majority of your time this year? Was it on the things that matter most to you? Or was it putting out fires and doing favors for others? Use this reflective period at the end of the year to take a look back and be honest with yourself. (The Priority Pad is the perfect tool to help with this.) Then ask: What changes can you make in the coming year to ensure that your life is more balanced and that you’re spending more time on the truly important things?

19. Update your LinkedIn

You don’t need to be looking for a new job to keep your LinkedIn fresh. Before the end of 2020 take a look back through your profile and make any needed adjustments. If you worked on a new project or took on additional responsibilities, be sure to add those into your job description. It’s also a great opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year in your career.

20. Make something

There’s something incredibly satisfying and cathartic about tapping into your creativity. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the end of the year, it can be difficult to make time for creative pursuits. Whether you’re painting, writing, hand lettering, coloring, or something else entirely, commit to at least one day where you indulge your creativity before the year’s out.