When we are in our 20s, everything seems possible. These years exist for making mistakes, learning from them, and bridging yourself into a fully-adult life. Your 20s are also a time to develop good habits (and resist bad ones) until your older self cements them into place.
Do these things, and you’ll be a happier, healthier person when 30 rolls around:
1. Don’t afraid to pursue your dreams.
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect” – Unknown
There is no better time for finding and focusing on your passions than in your 20s. The way you channel your efforts now will influence how you spend the rest of your life.
You will probably never have as much motivation and vital energy to succeed as when you are young. With few obligations yet (such as mortgages or families) to slow you down, there’s no reason not to pursue your dreams.
Don’t let your own mind limit you.
2. Spend your time wisely.
“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” – Unknown
When we are in our early 20s, we feel like we have an unlimited amount of time ahead of us. In fact, time is passing fast. Remember – the only thing you can never buy back is your youth. Don’t waste your time on worthless activities or by following career paths you don’t enjoy.
Value your time. What you do in your 20s—the education you pursue, the skills you acquire, and the contacts you make—are the best capital you could even gain for your future.
3. Exercise and eat well.
“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.“ – Lao Tzu
Your body will “send you a bill” for the trash foods you eat, the fitness classes you skip, your long nights of partying, and your long days of stressful work. Treat your body as your biggest investment and take care of it.
Experiment with many physical activities and discover your favorites; you’re more likely to maintain an exercise habit if you enjoy your workouts.
Don’t try to save money by neglecting your health. Nourish yourself with fresh and healthy foods and do whatever you must to keep a regular workout schedule. It’s way better to spend fifty bucks on a quality gym membership than drinks on Friday night.
4. Stop smoking.
“Smoking isn’t sexy.“ – Wingman Magazine
There is no rational reason to smoke; quit as soon as you can. Researchers have shown that smoking is harmful at any age. However, if you stop smoking before age 35, you can still live a long life and enjoy a better quality of life in middle age.
5. Develop good sleeping patterns.
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.“ – Sydney J. Harris
Your 20s body regenerates faster than it will in later decades. It’s tempting to squeeze too many activities into your day and neglect your sleep—finally oversleeping when you have the chance.
Over the long term, such an irregular sleeping cycle reduces the quality of your sleep and speeds up the aging process. Make a habit of keeping a regular bedtime; stick to your evening and morning routines as often as you can.
6. Spend your money wisely.
“Try to save something while your salary is small; it’s impossible to save after you begin to earn more.“ – Jack Benny
On a crazy party night, it’s easy to spend too much on alcohol, greasy food, drugs, and late-night taxies. Do you really want to burn your money on these unnecessary and toxic things? Your money is your time – your precious life. You’ve traded your efforts for these dollars; think carefully before throwing them away.
Save and invest your money. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to accrue interest.
7. Accept your imperfections.
“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.“ – Unknown
No matter how much you try, you will never be perfect. “Perfect” doesn’t exist. Researchers have shown that accepting your vulnerabilities is the key to inner happiness. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes; learn from them and move ahead.
Don’t be unnecessarily harsh on yourself; instead, use your energy to avoid repeating these mistakes in the future.
8. Stop comparing yourself to others.
“True happiness is when you are living your life without waiting for anyone’s approval.” – Unknown
The sooner you embrace your uniqueness and the differences between you and others, the happier you will be. Comparing yourself to those around you is pointless because everyone’s life goes at a different pace.
9. Stop trying to please everyone.
“Focus on loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” – Unknown
Society has conditioned us to habitually try to please everyone around us. We want to fulfil our parents’ expectations, impress our schoolteachers, be accepted by our peers, and be liked at work. However, It’s not healthy to care so much about what others think.
Learn to surround yourself with people who accept you and like you for who you are. You don’t have time for people who try to change you or reframe you. Invest your time and energy wisely in a good group of friends!
10. Learn to be happy.
“Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” – Unknown
Happiness is a choice you make every day. It’s the habit of maintaining a positive attitude towards the reality around you. Learn to appreciate what you have and always look at the positive side of things.
Research suggests that appreciating what you have can increase happiness and decrease negative feelings.
Don’t postpone your happiness to a moment in the future; life is all about enjoying the journey!