Your twenties are a very crucial period in your life. These years somehow put a foundation and a tone for the rest of your life. This is the “defining decade” because it plays a huge role in who you will become personally and professionally.
Things that were once markers of maturity in the past – finishing school, landing your first “real” job, getting married, having kids, buying a house –, are being pushed back later in life. This is as a result of changes in economic, sociological and cultural factors.
Unlike the generations before us, these factors have postponed these milestones for most millennials until their late twenties and thirties.
With these changes, this has allowed a time and a period of learning and development for young adults.
It is the time to learn, take risks and live your life fully but still putting in mind there are consequences of the choices you make. But you learn on the way, right?
Learning comes with making mistakes and you will make them. But, there is an unfair advantage for you, no one will care as much because you are still young.
With this decade being crucial, there are key things you can put into consideration to make it useful and not to waste your twenties.
- Get Healthy/Fit.
On top of the list is your health. Unhealthy life is very limiting and costly. The most important action you can take in your twenties is to take care of your health. Once you have lost your health, it’s gone and it’s really hard to bring back. It is difficult and costly to live with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity etc, as a result of poor lifestyle choices. Most people in their 40s and beyond would trade money for health if that was possible.
Exercising is a key to well-being and is very crucial at this point of your life. Most of the healthy habits you develop in your twenties will stick with you decades to come.
Choosing physical activities you really love is very important as you are less likely to continue exercising if you don’t enjoy your exercises.
Eat healthy foods as much as you can. Healthy diets contribute highly to your well-being. Avoid taking too much junk. Taking fast food once in a while is okay but don’t make it a habit. Learn to incorporate cooking at home in your routine, with this you are likely to be more in control of what you eat as you prepare it yourself.
Healthy eating and exercising will be your key to getting and keeping fit in your twenties.
- Build Good habits.
Research shows that your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. Your habits play a huge role in who you are as a person and generally affect your personal and professional life.
What you repeatedly do and what you spend time thinking about ultimately forms the person you are and what you believe.
Your twenties are all about: self-discovery, goal setting, and evolution and your habits determine your journey to all these.
In life, there are some things you can and cannot control. Remember those that you can control and those you cannot. Your habits are among the things you can control.
As mentioned earlier, the habits you form in your twenties are highly going to stick with you for the rest of your life.
Put your energy on good habits and if you have unhealthy habits, unlearn them and learn new good habits. Good and healthy habits come in handy when life gets more serious.
Your habits influence your productivity. Having good habits can boost your mood and your productivity. On the other hand, bad habits can make a mess of things and cause chaos in your day to day life.
Build good habits such as , exercising, healthy eating and controlling your time on social media. Unplugging from time to time helps give your brain the space it needs to focus. Another good habit is taking a step back when things get tough to reassess and prioritize the things that matter such as self development, family, among others.
Make a conscious commitment to optimize your time and your energy by changing your habits.
- Learn Key Life skills.
Skills get you through life – professional skills and life skills. Learning and equipping yourself with skills that can profit and develop your personal life and your career is very crucial.
You might not be in school anymore. But, just because you are out of school and you have a Bachelor’s degree does not mean you have got everything figured out. You still have a lot to learn on your own before you are a fully functioning adult.
Your twenties is a confusing time and finding the motivation to keep on going and push yourself to new limits can be difficult, especially when it is so easy to just sit and laze around. With an unproductive routine, time will just fly and all of a sudden, the next decade of your life (30s) will be around and you will have nothing or little to show.
You need skills that will help you navigate through your twenties in preparation of the next stage of life.
You need soft skills to help you get ahead, professional skills in line with what you want to do to get an income.
Skills on how to put in the work in all you do, practical knowledge and skills such as learning how to cook for yourself among others will come in handy.
- Learn How to Make Better Money Decisions.
In your twenties, responsibilities in line with money start. You will need money to pay for your bills, to save and to invest. If you do not have money you will find it difficult to take care of these responsibilities.
You can get money from your 9 to 5 job if you have any. But the probability of your salary not being enough to take care of yourself, to save and invest at the same time is very high. In that case you will need extra sources of income, passive income.
You will probably need to have your own thing going on the side. In this era, there are so many things you can do on the side to make money instead of solely depending on your main income. Have a side hustle that will add some more money to your account.
You also need to make good money choices such as controlling how, when and where you spend your money. Some money mistakes such as living above your means and spending on liabilities instead of assets can be quite costly.
Start building emergency savings, set your long haul investment goals and keep short term savings that you can easily access when need be. Get financial advice from the right sources, pay down your existing debt and stop adding new debt. Have a budget and even open an individual retirement plan.
Learning to make money and making good money choices in your twenties is one of the best things you could do for yourself. With this, you will save yourself a lot of financial stress, struggle and regret when you are in your 30s, 40s and 50s and so on.
- Learn to sell yourself at Work, in Life and to the World.
You have to be your own salesperson in life, at work and in the world. You have to speak for yourself and sell yourself as a product as no one is able to do that for you.
We are always told to sell ourselves in that job interview. You know the elevator pitch, life itself is like an elevator pitch you have to pitch and sell yourself in the pace of an elevator.
You have to sell your ideas to people and to the world. You have to sell your potential and your abilities. Tell and show people what you can bring to the table, it can be in a friendship, a relationship or at work.
There is too much competition out here and you need to network, communicate, and engage with people and you cannot do that if you cannot be yourself.
See your twenties as the first decade to the rest of your life as an adult. The choices you make in your twenties will affect your life in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. So with the above put into consideration in your twenties, you will be set to go for the rest of the decades.