Having reached the end of my twenties, I realized that looking back, there were a lot of things I did that made me lose focus and not make the most of my youth and energy.

Many 20-somethings make the same mistakes and don’t tend to realize it until the very end, upon reflection of how they spent their last 10 years.

Here are 20 things 20-somethings need to stop doing now in order to kickstart their lives and make rapid progress.

1) Putting off tasks that are boring.

You never seem to realize until much later that the things that are worthwhile in life are often very boring. The things that improve you as a person tend to be difficult and boring to do. Embrace the boredom and do it anyway. It’s a brilliant way to build character and perseverance.

2) Putting off your career in favour of traveling.

While traveling is a brilliant way to build your worldliness, many youngsters use it as an excuse to put off the fact that they need to establish themselves. Being young and energetic is great, but it doesn’t last. Use the time to do something that’s of a higher purpose, while you still have the energy.

3) Ignoring parental advice.

Your parents might not make sense to you and seem against you right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about. Its always advised to follow their advice even if it doesn’t make sense at the time‒you will thank them when you’re older.

4) Putting off going to the gym in favor of drinking and partying with friends.

As with point #1, going to the gym can be grueling and painful. It is very rarely fun to do the same things over and over again. It may feel like a waste versus going out with friends on a bender. But you will thank yourself 10 years from now when you see your friends overweight while you’re still youthful and in great shape.

5) Complaining that life is too difficult.

Life is difficult for a reason. It is designed so that we work hard for it and appreciate the things we eventually get. Getting things for free is hardly ever worthwhile and rarely ever valued. The harder you work, the more grounded you become as a person. You might as well embrace it.

6) Comparing yourself to your friends and peers.

While it’s good to have role models and ideals, it’s never healthy to frequently compare yourself with other people. Everyone has their own path to follow with different goals and ambitions. In the end, the only person you’re really in competition with is yourself.

7) Not keeping a healthy diet.

Your diet becomes increasingly important as you age as your metabolism starts to slow down. What you can typically get away with eating when young isn’t necessarily the same as you get older, since what you eat makes a longer term impact. Start getting used to eating more healthily and investing time in educating yourself on healthy nutrition.

8) Excessive sleeping.

Too much sleep is just as unhealthy as too little of it. It also makes the days far shorter, which could otherwise be spent doing more productive things. Develop a healthy sleeping schedule and try to stick to it on a daily basis.

9) Practicing poor time management.

Time is the most valuable thing we have. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. It’s therefore imperative to know how to manage your time effectively and to not waste it doing things that won’t benefit you moving forwards.

10) Putting off your passions.

If you’re currently lacking motivation to do anything, it is precisely because of putting off your passion. Maybe its because you just don’t know what it is yet. You should use your 20s to discover what you really enjoy. Once you’ve found it, spend time developing it. It will be of great value for you in the future.

11) Looking for quick fixes and shortcuts.

The media tends to convince us that there are easy fixes to difficult problems. But you don’t tend to realize the truth until you see that it was all designed to get you to ‘buy their products.’ The real solution is often a bitter pill to swallow‒it’s hard work and effort that will provide you with long term solutions.

12) Looking at life in black and white.

When you’re young, you think you have life all figured out, only to end up seeing something that tarnishes that belief a few months later. This happens throughout your entire life, and you eventually realize that there really is no set belief or construct that governs the world.

Everything is open to interpretation. What’s important is how you personally define it for yourself.

13) Managing your money badly.

When you get your first taste of money with your first paycheck, it’s very easy to splash it out on things you once were not able to afford. This is a big mistake and will build bad habits toward your relationship with money.

Instead, learn the difference between assets and liabilities and focus on investing your money in places where you’re likely to make even more. The sooner you learn to do this, the sooner you’ll experience financial security. And another thing‒lay off the credit cards!

14) Watching too much television.

Television is perhaps the biggest influencer of all the media. It instills beliefs and values without you even being aware of it. While some TV is good, limit it as much as you can in your daily activities and replace it with things that are designed to mentally stimulate you.

15) Being influenced by friends.

Your friends will seem like your backbone in your 20s. They’ll appear to have your back during tough times. As a result, you won’t want to let them down and will do anything to conform to their ways. The truth is this: they will all move on and start their own families. You will see less and less of them as you get older.

You will come to realize that no one else really has your back besides you and your own family. Learn to count on yourself and be the one to judge your current state in life.

16) Not focusing on the big picture.

Whatever it is you do when you’re young will make a dramatic impact on your life later on. In general, life gets harder as you age. People will no longer go easy on you because you’re young and inexperienced and will begin to expect more from you.

The sooner you focus on the outcome of your future, the better equipped you’ll be at preparing yourself and becoming focused.

17) Doing things with no thought of where it will lead you.

As with point #16, it’s important to know where your actions will take you prior to doing them. It might seem fun in the beginning, but it’s always wise to weigh things up before taking the plunge.

18) Worrying about what other people think of you.

When all is said and done. No one really cares whether you succeed or fail. All that matters is what you think of yourself‒are you happy with what you’re doing? If you are, stay on track. In the end, that’s all that’s really going to matter.

19) Not focusing on your talents.

Spend time discovering what you’re really good at and nurturing it as much as possible. By the time you reach your 30s, you will have acquired 10 years of expertise and have developed a skill you can market and sell moving forward.

20) Not giving it your all in the things that matter.

Whatever you do, DON’T dabble. If you decide to do something in your life. Give it your best shot and become ambitious. You will feel a lot better about yourself and move your life towards a more prosperous direction.

Current research shows that some of the most commonly used and seemingly positive phrases we use with kids are actually quite destructive. 5 Things To Stop Saying to Your Kids and What to Say Instead

Featured photo credit: girl in the city at night, illumination, seen from behindvia Shutterstock

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