20 Things All 20-Somethings Should Know Before 30

20 Things All 20-Somethings Should Know Before 30

It’s been said that the 20s are all about shaping identity. This is a time for each individual to decide who they are, what they standard for and where they’re headed in the future.

For 20-somethings, it might be hard to imagine what life is like on the other side of 30, but the work we put in now can prepare us for a happy and healthy next decade.

If you’re a little behind, hey – it’s okay. Just start working your way down the list.

  1. Drink water. The human body isn’t invincible and requires care to keep running day after day. Experts suggest eight 8-ounce glasses a day as an easy rule for staying hydrated.
  1. Sleep isn’t optional. Between 7 and 9 hours of sleep is important for overall wellness and quality of life. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it will catch up with you.
  1. Everyone needs exercise. Don’t mistake thinness for health; keep moving no matter what your body looks like. Find a physical activity you enjoy and aim for 150 minutes each week.
  1. Eat 2 to 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. It’s time to get serious about making sure your body has the fuel it needs to thrive. Vegetables have the nutrients and fiber necessary to keep you running at your best.
  1. Therapy is for everyone. Counseling shouldn’t be reserved for the tragedies of life. Extra support can help anyone get closer to a successful and fulfilling life.
  1. Improvement is always possible. Grit is more than emotional resilience. It’s knowing you can achieve your goals if you’re willing to exercise the effort and perseverance. Never forget that it’s never too late to succeed.
  1. Treating others with kindness is non-negotiable. Don’t take advantage of peers or coworkers to get ahead. Treat everyone you know with courtesy and respect. You’ll appreciate it when it comes back around.
  1. “No” isn’t a dirty word. Learning to set good boundaries is important for protecting your physical and mental health. Practice putting yourself first when you need to. It might be hard at first, but it can also be empowering.
  1. Mistakes happen. There’s no reason to let a misstep ruin an entire week, month or year. Instead, be honest about what you’ve done wrong. Consider how you would handle things differently in the future and make a plan to do better next time.
  1. Apologize often. It isn’t possible to avoid disappointing others, but sincere remorse is crucial when you’ve done anyone harm. No one expects you to be perfect, but they do expect you to take responsibility for your actions.
  1. Lasting friendships require maintenance. Life as a working adult can make it hard to keep up with old friends. A phone call or a meetup over coffee can go a long way in strengthening ties.
  1. Falling in love is exciting, but true romance is being willing to commit to a relationship even on the hard days. Before you call it quits during a rough patch, consider seeking out counseling for some outside advice.
  1. Learning doesn’t end after college. Be open to new lessons from unexpected sources like coworkers, friends and strangers. You never know who has something amazing to teach you.
  1. A lot of life is work, but a good job is an incredibly rewarding way to spend your days. Even if it isn’t your dream job, devote yourself to doing your best, and it will pay off in the long term.
  1. Time is valuable. Charging what your work is worth isn’t unreasonable or unrealistic. Make sure you know what others in your industry are making and match those rates in negotiations over new jobs or freelance gigs.
  1. Changing course is always possible. There’s no deadline for deciding how to spend your time or what you want to do for a living. Don’t be afraid to head back to school if you think you’re ready for a new path. If 2.3 million adults between 40 and 64 are doing it, you can too.
  1. Save for the future. Spending on fun isn’t off the table, but it shouldn’t prevent smart financial decisions. Experts recommend saving 20% of your gross income each month.
  1. Comparison is an ugly habit. The success experienced by others shouldn’t overshadow the progress you make. Instead, focus on being a better version of yourself each day.
  1. Practice gratitude daily. No matter the circumstances, there’s always something worth being thankful for. Plus, making a point to be grateful can improve your outlook on life.
  1. Home is a refuge. Create a safe and welcoming space for eating, studying, resting and fun. You’ll be glad you have a place to land after a difficult day.

Personal growth is an important part of life as a 20-something. Embrace this opportunity for learning and don’t get in a rush to move on to the next season of life. Just as importantly, make sure you’re ready for it when 30 does come.

~Here’s to Your Success!

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