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20 Things I Wish I Did In My 20s

20 Things I Wish I Did In My 20s

20s are always awesome. You are young and free, with your whole life ahead of you. You have the choice to achieve anything you want, and are free from many of the responsibilities that come with being in your thirties. However, usually only when you’ve turned 30, you realized there’re much you haven’t done yet. And it’s harder to achieve them once you enter another stage of life.

These are the things I wish I did in my 20s. If you’re in your 20s, maybe it’s time to take action right now.

1. Travel to a farther country

In my 20s, when I still have time and freedom, I didn’t travel to many countries that are far far away. Because I didn’t have much money. Now I have some money, but I don’t have enough time. If I can go back, I’d find more ways to earn the money or any ways that can support my traveling.

2. Reject people who don’t deserve a position in my life

There’re some people who aren’t meant to stay in your life. At that time I was too afraid to hurt others and always hesitate to reject people. At the end, everyone hurts, or everyone wastes their time.

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3. Apply for my dream job even if it’s low-paid

When you’re still young, never let anything stop you. Looking back, I was worried about too many unimportant things that told me not to go for what I really like.

4. Travel alone

The world is beautiful, and there is so much of it to see. Travelling alone means you get to do everything that you want to do, and it will make you more independent and self-reliant.

5. Learn to cook a few healthy meals

Take-out food is expensive (and normally pretty unhealthy). Learn to cook a few meals that you love so you can always eat something delicious and healthy. What you ate would be reflected by your body in your 30s.

6. Travel with friends

Have an amazing time in another country with your best friends. It will be one of the best times of your life, and you will never forget the memories. When you enter your 30s, it’ll become much harder to find a time to just see your friends.

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7. Let go of grudges

The past is in the past – they are only weighing you down.

8. Spend more time with my parents – and forgive them

I used to be too hard on my parents. I thought they were not good enough. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, even your parents. Spend time with them and work on your relationship together.

9. Ditch toxic relationships

Stop holding onto relationships that make you feel upset or stressed out. They will never change, and real friends don’t make you feel awful.

10. Talk to everyone (and anyone)

Small talk can lead to new opportunities and friendships.

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11. Be honest with myself and others

Your life will be much happier and less stressful – lying always complicates things.

12. Find a type of exercise that I enjoy

Exercise is a lot of fun if you are doing something that you actually enjoy. There are lots of options out there; yoga, basketball, soccer, hiking, walking, or even salsa.

13. Brush and floss my teeth

You only get one set of teeth. Look after them every day!

14. Take more risks

Not just one risk – take as many as you want! Life is very limiting when you are motivated by fear instead of passion.

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15. Stay up all night having fun with my friends

As you get older, it will be harder to go without sleep. Make the most of it now by staying up late with your friends and having fun together. Go to a club, a bar or a concert and stay out until the sun comes up!

16. Be as busy as I can be

Staying busy means making memories and achieving goals. When you do nothing, nothing obviously happens as a result.

17. Make more new friends

Replace your toxic relationships with happy, fulfilling new friendships.

18. Start paying off my debt

Make your debt disappear in your twenties so you have the extra income in your thirties for other responsibilities.

19. Spend a night under the stars

Camping is a lot of fun, and it’s awe-inspiring to take in the night sky.

20. Write a letter to an old friend

This is a sweet gesture that shows your friend how much you appreciate them, and they can treasure the letter forever. Sometimes it’s a small gesture that can keep your friendship forever.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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