30 Things To Do In Your 20s To Ensure You Kill It In Your 30s
Success means a lot of things to a lot of women. Whether your definition is a corner office, seeing the world, or finding long-term love, the truth is that lasting success stems from a stable, peaceful, and contented self.
It’s for this reason that we must create a solid foundation on which to build a life we love if we want to learn how to be successful. And the best way is to follow through with the things you should do in your 20s.
Here are 30 tried-and-true ways to do just that:
1. Appreciate the people in your life.
We live in an age where selfies and entitlement run rampant. This has led to a global delusion that friends are fans, and everyone around us has to take whatever we put out with glorious gratitude, and “like” it, to boot.
Every person in your life has made a conscious choice to be there and offers generosity of time, kindness, support, and love. These are gifts and it’s nice to let them know how much you appreciate them as often as you can.
The morbid truth is we don’t know how long any of us will be here. Sharing appreciation won’t just make our time here nicer, but it will lead to much less regret when we’re no longer able to.
2. Crass may get attention, but class gets respect.
Search the world far and wide, and you’ll learn that there’s nothing that can be replaced for grace. A graceful, well-spoken, and elegant person will always own the room and make more of a lasting impression than an aggressive peacock.
3. Do whatever you want, but do it to the best of your ability.
Sloppy work may be over with faster, but in the end, your reputation will suffer and you’ll be known as a slacker who half-asses her way through things. Whether at the office, in a relationship, in the kitchen, or in the gym, pretend that you’re placing your logo on everything you do.
Make that logo more like Chanel than KMart, and you’ll create a reputation for being in control and on your A-game. Then sit back and watch opportunities knock and doors open.
4. Don’t let anyone toss you around.
Make no mistake, they’re going to throw it at you. Sometimes it’ll be straight on; other times, it’ll be beautifully wrapped and handed over with sweet promises.
There’s no honor in being someone’s doormat, nor does bending your boundaries and invalidating your values make you “nice.” Stand up for yourself so often that it’s second nature because it should be.
5. Think about what you’re putting into your body.
Taking a “YOLO” approach to diet, nutrition, and indulging in harmful substances isn’t going to do your sixty-year-old self any favors. What you put in, you get out, and if you’re swallowing down more sugar than vitamins and sucking in cigarette smoke instead of fresh air, your body will deteriorate faster. That’s just science.
6. Re-think your “weaknesses.”
Self-doubt, mortality, and vulnerability are often seen as frailties to overcome. But in reality, they’re all parts of being a human being. In many ways, the very acceptance embracing of these things will lead you to more confidence, more strength, and much fuller life. You’re not meant to be titanium; you’re flesh, blood, and bone.
7. Use your words wisely.
In a society that loves to use buzzwords, keywords, shocking titles, and flippant phrases, it can be easy to overlook that what we speak cannot be unspoken, and often impacts those around us in ways we cannot possibly understand.
Words can hurt, heal, help, and humiliate, so infuse yours with integrity and thoughtfulness in order to make the impact you hope to. Say, “I love you,” “best friend,” and, “I will” only when you really mean it, and the same goes for, “I want a divorce,” and, “I never want to see you again.” Never say, “never.”
8. Get out of your comfort zone so you can really live.
Staying in the same place, wearing variations of the same clothes, eating the same foods, and having the same discussions day after day keeps you moving throughout your day… on a wheel.
Try to change things up, take a new route, try new foods, meet new people, book a trip, take a class. One choice could change your life and all of us need a change now and then.
9. Laugh as much as you can, about everything.
Have you ever watched two friends burst into laughter? It’s gorgeous. When we laugh, our souls come closest to the surface and our inner light shines a little brighter. Shine as often as you can and ignite a few lights throughout the day.
10. Don’t worry about the haters.
Even Mother Theresa had haters. Translation: Not everyone is going to like you or be happy for your happiness. Don’t worry about them and keep moving.
11. Stop cyber-stalking people who are no longer relevant in your life.
The ex you haven’t heard from can always reach out if they want to. The friend who hurt you needs to apologize, regardless of what she posts. Focus your attention on your real-life in real-time, and avoid piecing together false conclusions based on filtered photos and phrases.
12. Gain a global perspective.
I once sat across from a 30-year-old woman who told a man from London to “speak English.” She wasn’t kidding. Guess how she looked to everyone around her?
Read up on what’s happening outside of the Kardashian world, try different cuisines (in as many different countries as possible), and for goodness sakes, realize — once and for all — that we’re all people and we’re all equal.
13. Be accountable for your own life choices.
Most of us didn’t have a perfect childhood and have suffered a few serious setbacks on the way to where we stand now. Successful people don’t sit and whine about life being fair; they pay attention, extract the lessons, and keep moving forward with a plan to move up, level-by-level.
They know that their life is a result of cause-and-effect and that motion-creates-motion, so they take action every single day in the hopes of creating a day-to-day existence that moves from survival to fulfillment. They know they’ll screw up and succeed along the way, and when they do, they own both, but they keep moving forward, no matter what.
14. Be careful who you listen to.
Only take advice from people who are living in a way you respect.
15. Find your passions and indulge them often.
Sign up for random classes. Pop into galleries. Accept the invitation to that weird-sounding poetry jam. Raise your hand to volunteer for that weekend adult camp. Say “yes” to new experiences and you’ll likely stumble on something, someone, or even a new side of yourself that you love more than you ever thought possible.
16. Take care of your finances.
New Choo’s are sexy; fine. I get it. But you know what isn’t sexy? A low credit score. Stress over debt. Fear of homelessness if you were to lose your job.
Know what you owe, set a budget, look at interest rates, and start paying your debts off. Stop charging dinners and shoes, and once your debt is under control, start saving for things that will really enhance your life: a home, travel, a safety net, the amazing bucket-list experiences you’ve been dreaming about since you were twelve.
18. Surround yourself with a tribe you can truly count on.
Not only to have your back, but to lift you up, challenge you, teach you, and tell you straight-up when you need to address something.
19. Take the long way.
Weight loss in a pill. Happiness in a drink. Love in a swipe. There are so many ways to cut corners, but at what price? We’re constantly jumping from one thing to the next without really learning anything about it, and is instant gratification really more gratifying than setting a goal, doing the work, and achieving it?
Start from the beginning and take the road less traveled, and move through it one step at a time. There’s a good chance your experience will be a much more meaningful and fulfilling one.
20. Don’t apologize for who you are.
Gay, straight, mother, childless, working, stay-at-home, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, blonde, brunette, redhead, tattooed, makeup-free, or totally Barbie’d out — you be you and do what you feel is right in your life, and walk right past the shouting peanut gallery.
21. Trust your gut.
This is the only tarot and advice you really need.
22. Stop fighting to keep things you don’t ultimately want.
In the short term, you may think it’s easier to stay in the job that makes you unhappy, the toxic relationship that makes you cry, or continue indulging the terrible habits that are holding you back from being successful. But really, you want more and you know it.
Sometimes you “win” by just deciding to stop talking, asking, and just getting up and going. Yes, it will hurt, but you’ll heal and be happier in the long run.
23. Take care of your body.
It’s not about size; it’s about your health. It’s about flexibility and organs receiving nutrients, and training muscles to work when you’re ninety, and still wanting to rock your heels out to lunch with the ladies.
Deeply. Slowly. Fully and often.
25. Remember that jealousy is for losers.
Hating on other people’s happiness isn’t only overrated; it’s pathetic. Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not. Just because she’s met someone doesn’t mean you won’t. Just because she’s “perfect” in your eyes doesn’t mean she’s happy and needs to be “cut down to size.”
Instead of allowing your projections to turn green, the best method for how to be successful is to be inspired by the success of another and watch your entire life blossom.
26. Create a space you love.
Make your home everything you’ve ever wanted it to be. Clean up your desk. Sit on a bench and have lunch in the sunshine while listening to your favorite song. Wherever you are, make it your own little slice of heaven.
27. Do everything alone at least once.
Sex. Travel. Dining out. Apartment hunting.
28. Be your own hero.
Yes, it’s nice when someone approves of you, respects you, loves you, saves the day, and supports you, but when you have your own back and have won your own heart, it becomes icing on the cake and not your only source of nourishment.
Translation: you’ll never be in that desperate “please don’t leave me” space again.
29. Stop infusing love with melodrama.
You can, in fact, live without someone who’s crappy to you. And quite well, too.
30. Toss the labels.
We have so many ideas about who we are, what we are, what we’re not, who we want to be, and who we can be. The truth is we are limitless. There’s more we won’t do than things we can’t do.
Try seeing yourself as someone with limitless opportunity and the ability to do everything you need to do in order to get to where you want to go. The mind searches to support our theories, so why not theorize that anything is possible?