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6 Signs You’ve Become an Adult Without Realizing It

6 Signs You’ve Become an Adult Without Realizing It

As kids, we tend to think that we simply “become adults,” as if someone waves a magic wand one day and imparts us with all the knowledge needed to run the world. As we get older, we start to realize this doesn’t happen overnight. Adults are created over time by knowledge, wisdom, and experience. The transition from teenage young adult to full-fledged grown-up happens so gradually that a lot of us don’t realize it’s happened until we catch ourselves looking forward to a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. At that point, you’ll look back and be able to pinpoint everything else about your life that makes you as “adult-ish” as you can possibly be, such as:

1. You save money for different reasons

As a teen, money existed just so you could buy new things and go new places. As a young adult, though you had a few bills to pay, they were an afterthought; money was still primarily used to have a good time. As an adult, you realize your money is never really yours, as it goes straight from your paycheck to your monthly bills. And the money you do keep gets stashed away for long-term savings. While you used to think nothing of spending $50 on a video game, you now see that $50 bill as money that could be put toward your wedding venue or to pay off a credit card. As an adult, you’ll realize you’re making more money than you ever did before…but you somehow still have less of it.

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2. You actually need to exercise

When you were younger, going to the gym was no big deal. You went to bulk up, improve your mile time, or play basketball with your friends. But if you skipped a day or two, it wouldn’t make a difference. As an adult, you’re not so much worried about bulking up or improving your mile time as you are actually being able to lift the weight or finish the mile in the first place. It’s no longer about getting “better”; it’s about maintaining. And if you miss a day, you know you’ll be paying for it for about a week. Just like your money, your health is no longer an afterthought.

3. You don’t live for crazy weekends anymore

I bet you can remember the times in your 20s when you passed on going out with your friends. You were always so afraid you’d miss something awesome, so you’d force yourself to get dressed, shell out $50+ on cover charges and alcohol, only to realize the night was a repeat of the weekend before (and the one before that, and the one before that…). As an adult, you really don’t care if you “miss out” on some huge party – because you know you’re not really missing out. You have other things to do with your life, and going out until two in the morning will only take away from these other, more important, events.

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4. You don’t care what’s “cool”

Remember as a kid when you used to make fun of older people who weren’t “with it”? Now, you’re one of those people! But that’s not a bad thing. It means you’ve stopped caring about what other people think about you, and are now focusing on what you want to do in life. You’ve stopped trying to fit in with a crowd that you weren’t meant to be in; you don’t even have time to worry about fitting in anymore. By focusing on your own life, you’ve fell in with other like-minded individuals, and enjoy not only their company, but the person you are when you’re around them.

5. You actually enjoy wholesome activities

If you told the 21-year-old me that in nine years I’d be looking forward to going to craft fairs with my wife, I would have thought you were nuts. As you get older, the weekends are no longer about who can drink the most and who can out-crazy who. The weekends become a time during which you can focus on who you are, and who you want to be, as a person. You realize there’s a lot of fun in exploring the local shops in your town that you always ignored growing up. You go to events not for the free drinks, but because you care about the actual event. And, perhaps best of all, you wake up feeling completely fine the next day.

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6. Your life didn’t turn out like you thought it would, but you’re okay with it

As I’ve alluded to, kids look at adults as if they have everything figured out, and are exactly where they want to be in life. Most adults know this is definitely not the case. Many, if not most, of our hopes and dreams never come true. But mature adults know there’s nothing wrong with that. As adults, we know we have the power to change our life if we really want to. It might take much more effort than we thought it would as kids, but the true freedom of adulthood is the ability to make something out of ourselves, and to show the world how much we’re worth.

Featured photo credit: Grown Ups / Maryam Hassan via farm2.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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