20 Before 2020 – Rounding Out Another Decade

2020 starts a brand new decade. We're waving goodbye to the (terrible?) teens and welcoming the roaring 20s. With that in mind, I've come up with a list of 20 things I want to do to round out the year.

Will you join me?


20 Before 2020

The point of the challenge is to clear away any niggling tasks that have been hanging over you so that you can end the year with a sense of achievement and start the new year (and decade) with a clean slate.

This is mine. I've divided it into personal, home, and work things. My list is obviously unique to me but you may find some inspiration in here if you're struggling to think of 20 things to do before the ball drops. (I know I did.)


1. Have a regular exercise routine

In 2019 I focused heavily on my health and, more precisely, my diet. I'm not saying I'm now a green smoothie-swilling goddess, but I've cut out a lot of snacks (particularly of the sugary variety) and I've definitely noticed a difference.

Now that I feel I've got a lot of that under control, it's time to re-incorporate some regular exercise. Nothing too strenuous, mind, but I'll be making a concerted effort to tone up (especially my 'mum tum'), increase my stamina so the stairs are no longer my nemesis, and loosen up a little (in the physical flexibility department, anyway; as a Type-A control freak, my personality will no doubt remain rigid).

I'll be following these simple tips I used to follow when I worked out daily:

2. Get measured & buy new underwear

It's been about 3 or 4 years since I was properly fitted for a bra so it's overdue. I was initially planning on waiting until I'm home in Ireland to go back to the same place I got it done last time but I think the sizing is slightly different here in the States so it may make more sense to try somewhere here instead.

If you have recommendations for (nationwide) stores that have a great bra fitting service, please pipe up in the comments. Right now I'm thinking maybe Macy's or Nordstrom but please feel free to steer me in the right direction. (I've previously tried Victoria's Secret and found them awful for fittings but that may have been an unfortunate one-off.)

I'll still be rolling the bottoms like this though: 😉

3. Pitch TV show

This isn't in the 'work' category because it's unrelated to HowToGYST. Essentially, quite randomly one day I had an idea for a TV show. I shared it with a few close friends who agreed it had merit, so I contacted a lawyer to get some advice.

Long story short, I'm working on a pitch. Once that's done I'll be submitting it to the copyright office, and then shopping it to producers. (Doesn't it all sound so simple! Ha!)

While I'm under no delusions about my 'little fish' status in this immensely big and unfamiliar pond, the worst that can happen is that I make some new connections and stretch my comfort zone.

It's crazy, scary new territory for me but I'm exciting to be trying and learning new things.

(If you're a huge TV producer, hi! I have a great idea for you that's going to make you very rich. Email hello@howtogyst.com and my agent will send details and set up a meeting.)


4. Launch cleaning e-course

I'm nearing completion for the work on this so it's just a matter of tying up some loose ends, prepping for promo, and then officially launching.

5. Do another collab

I've worked with some incredible people this year, including Carie Harling, Catherine Carton (AKA Dainty), and Cassandra Aarssen (AKA Clutterbug). I'd love to work with at least one more before the year is out.

If you have suggestions, drop them in the comments.

Here's the most recent one I did (with Cas), all about overcoming perfectionism:

6. Send thank-you cards

If you've ever sent anything to my PO Box, please know how much I truly appreciate it. Generally, I thank everyone in some form or another, either via email, DM, or social post. But I'd like to go the old-fashioned route and send out a few thank-you cards.

It won't be possible to do it for everyone (my hand is cramping just thinking about it) but hopefully I can pick some at random. There will be no rhyme or reason to it so please don't be offended if you send something and don't receive a card back. I will still thank you in some way (as long as I can clearly identify you) and I will always, always be so very grateful.

7. Continue working on inbox zero

This could also be considered a personal goal but the vast majority of my emails these days are work-related.

I have a good system in place, filtering emails into various folders, so it's just a matter of keeping that updated and working through the backlog of old emails to decide what can go. I'm hoping to have everything more or less cleared out and caught up by the end of the year.

If this is something you'd like to work on too, I have a post full of tips to clean up your inbox, including how to filter posts and best utilise folders. Funnily enough, I say in it that I'm not a fan of inbox zero. Oh how times have changed! Ha ha.

8. Work on 2020 strategy & content calendar

At any given time I have eleventy bajillion ideas for things I want to do with the business. I need to try put some structure on them so I'm not constantly spinning my wheels.


I'm a very detail-oriented person and I struggle immensely with being able to see the bigger picture. The medium-term goal is to hire a strategist to create order out of all that chaos and give me a clear sense of direction but, for now, it's down to me.


Most of these are quite similar so I'll blast through them here as quickly as possible.

9. Declutter closet

It's been over a year since I last tackled it so it's time for a clear-out and a bit of a tidy. Here's my last one:

10. Tidy & store sentimental items

Right now they're all spilling out of storage tubs and stuffed in cupboards. I want to put a bit of order on them and store them all in the same place.

11. Sort & store holiday decor

I'm not much of a one for decorating but we have a few bits that don't have a proper home. I worked hard last year to corral all our Christmas items together, so now it's time to do the same for the various odds and ends we own for other holidays, like Halloween.

Christmas Decoration Storage

12.  Clean stain on basement stairs

Someone spilled a drink and didn't clean it up properly so now there's a bad stain. Sam blames Scout and Scout blames Sam. Either way, it's ruining my carpet and I want it gone.

13. Declutter Scout's clothes

She had a bit of a growth spurt over the summer so all her trousers are too short for her now. With chillier weather on the way, I need to figure out what still fits and what may need to be replaced.

Plus, there'll be a lot of summer stuff that won't fit her next year so that can be cleared out pretty soon instead of sitting in her closet all winter.

Child's outfit with dolls house

14. Hire a cleaner

My husband will be delighted about this one because he's been pushing hard for it for a long time.

While my home is generally quite clean and organised, there are certain jobs that don't get done nearly as often as they should, like dusting and mopping. And cleaning stains off carpets before they set. So I think it's time to hand the reins over to someone else, just for an hour or two a week, to get those bigger jobs done.

I find it hard to hand over control to someone else so this will take some getting used to.

15. Get rid of donations

We have boxes and boxes of old clothes and various bric-a-brac that never quite made it out of our home. It's time to bid it all a fond farewell.


16. Declutter & tidy coat closet

Admittedly getting the donation boxes out of there will be half the battle, but this has become a bit of a dumping ground.

17. Declutter & tidy mud room

Another dumping ground.

18. Declutter & tidy garage

Overall, our garage is quite clean but we have various bits of old furniture and paintings and such that we've been meaning to get rid of for quite a while now. They came over from the old house but didn't quite work in the new one so we left them in the garage with grand plans to sell the lot.

That was a year ago.

19. Clear the back deck

Here lie the ghosts of all the plants I've killed. Ha ha.

There are various plant pots and a tub of small toys belonging to Scout out there so it just needs a bit of a spruce up. Next spring we'll get the deck re-painted and re-sealed but, for now, a quick tidy should deter spiders from hibernating out there all winter.

20. Clean out all food storage areas

I'm hoping the cleaner will tackle the fridge and freezer for me but, in general, I need to sort through all the food we have. I want to use up anything nearing its expiration date, donate anything edible that we won't eat ourselves, and just generally make things look a little tidier.

As I mentioned, I've cleaned up my diet quite a bit this year so, while I do have a pretty good system in place for food storage, it needs to be tweaked. And I'm hoping to expand my culinary horizons in the coming months and years so hopefully a cleaner space will make that a much less daunting task.

Here's the last time I tackled them, in the old house:

I reserve the right to change this list as my fickle sensibilities see fit but for now, this is what I'm working with. 😉

What about you, will you take on the challenge?

What's ONE thing you'd like to accomplish before we ring in a brand new decade?

If you need a little motivation boost, you'll find plenty here to get going on those goals:

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Soma Intimates for sizing – department stores are hit or miss – Soma employees are taught the proper way. I went into one several years ago after a close friend kept bugging me about my sag and was amazed by the results.

  2. Hi Laura, I love the “right to change this list” bit at the end! I wrote my 20 before 2020 list back in March and some of them just don’t apply anymore, so I may have to pinch that bit lol.
    My main goal to finish this year is to declutter everywhere using the KonMari method (again).
    Here’s to a productive end to the year!
    Elimy X

    • Hurray! I know from previous years that I often change my mind about how important something is to me as soon as I start doing it… or even thinking about doing it. The thought of action often forces us to face our real feelings. 😉 Tweak as needed. =)

  3. Losing 25 lbs by the time the ball drops!
    Having my public speaking talk completely nailed down and ready
    To go… by the time the ball drops!!

    I am definitely on board and inspired by this Monday’s HGYST


  4. I love it! Im going to get started on my list. As for bra fitting, I’m honestly not sure either. I think I got fit at a JCPennys before but I’m not 100% it was the right fit. So if you find a good one let us know!

  5. I love how you often say eleventy bajillion. That’s how many thoughts are racing around in my head at any given time.

    I wish you the best of luck on a successful TV show pitch. I hope it all works out for you, as I’m sure it will be quite a piece of work.

    I started thinking about my 20 before 2020 list after I watched your YouTube video last night. I’m not sure what all I will have on it, as I will soon be moving. Hopefully, within the next few weeks. The #1 thing on my list is to be completely unpacked before the ball drops! Thanks to your packing and moving tips, I believe I will be able to do it.

    I love this idea so much more than setting New Year’s Resolutions. I always ended up forgetting about them after a few weeks. Trying to go into the new year with better habits is definitely more appealing to me.

    I’d love to have your PO Box so that I may send you something handcrafted. I’ll be sure to include my return address so that you can send me your plants before they die. I can revive them and take care of them for you. Send you pictures and stuff so that you don’t miss them.

    Blessed Be ☘️♻️

    • Ha ha. All my plants are currently doing well, surprisingly. I don’t know why but I’m not complaining!

      My PO Box is:
      Laura Hutchinson,
      PO Box 30211,
      OH 45230

      Best of luck with the move! Now’s a great time to declutter some things that have been weighing you down. =)

      • So glad to hear that you’ve aquired your green thumb. That always makes gardening feel so much more satisfying. Reading aloud to them, saying your thoughts aloud while jotting them down, listening to music, or just singing aloud helps them. Many studies have proven that plants are happier and healthier this way. Mine are thriving because I never stop talking. Hahaha. Music is essential for me to also thrive, so my home is often filled with it.

        I actually caught a glimpse of a letter you pulled from your box in one of your videos. So, I jotted down the address. Added you as a Google contact because I’m prone to losing things…like, my mind. *Insert face palm here* Thank you for giving it to me. Now I know it’s still the same.

        Lastly, I completed my 20+ before 2020 List!! Showed it to one of my besties. She agrees that these are all doable, not too much to ask of myself, will guide me on my journey to find my true self, and will help with my physical, mental, and emotional journey to better health. That was the ✓ that I needed. No time like the present to get started. So, I’ll bid thee farewell as I turn on YouTube to start where my HowToGYST binge left off yesterday.

        Blessed Be,

        P.S. I’ve decided to save your journalling playlist for when I’m in my new home. As soon as I have a work table again and can actually access my craft supplies with some level of sanity.

        Until then, I’m becoming more nervous by the day that I will reach the end of your videos just any day now. The fact that you are also a Social Media buff has saved my fingernails from total annihilation. Bahahahaha

        • Yes, I’ve recently started talking to my plants too. I tell them how well they’re doing and how beautiful they look. Maybe that’s what’s making the difference. =) One of them currently has some mealy bug visitors but I’ve been diligently removing them and I think I’m winning the battle! It’s made me realise how attached I’ve become to my plants.

          Great work with finishing your list! Now all that’s left is to start ticking them off. 😉

          And don’t worry, there’ll always be new videos on the horizon and plenty of social posts to keep you occupied. Ha ha.

  6. Try Nordstrom for a bra fitting. I have friends who both have had fittings, and also rave about their Natori brand, but I’m still a hair plus-size for those to work for me. Good luck!

    Also, not sure where your cleaning person hire stands, as I feel like I saw somewhere that you found someone, but try Get Swept Away. A small family owned company in Cincinnati. I had them in to clean and they did a fabulous job, although we ended up going with someone else long term. My cleaning lady (I live in NKY) doesn’t go to Ohio.

    • Thanks so much for the suggestions, Teresa. Will try Nordstrom and a place another lady recommended (they’re both in the same mall, which is convenient).

      A friend recommended a cleaner. I haven’t tried her yet but if it doesn’t work out, Get Swept Away will be next on my list. =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.