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20 Things Every Woman in Their 20’s Should Do

20 Things Every Woman in Their 20’s Should Do

The 20’s are a time to make mistakes, learn, love, have fun, and adventure. They are a time to thrive to for us to get to know ourselves. They are a mess, but the mess is so beautiful. Nothing will ruin your 20’s more than thinking you should have your life together already.

1. Make out with a beautiful asshole.

Beautiful people are fun to make out with. Assholes are not fun to date. Have fun, and be done.

2. Travel alone.

You don’t have to fly out of the country for this one. You know that city you have always wanted to explore? Buy a plane ticket or hop in your car and go check it out! Go stay in a cabin and take a solitude weekend. Spend time getting to know yourself. See what you like to do when the only agenda that you have to be concerned with is your own.

What gets you excited? Notice how you feel throughout the day when you get to make all the decisions. Take what you learn and apply it to your every day life. Do more of what makes you happy, and less of what does not. Big bonus: The confidence you get from being independent and doing things alone is huge.

3. Get a nice set of PJs.

Why? Because you deserve it. Take care of yourself. Lounge around and look cute- just for you.

4. Ask your crush out.

Let’s be real. If you are in your 20’s and reading this you know by now that men are not the chivalrous, confident princes that Disney makes them out to be. We are living in an incredible time where gender roles are changing. Take your love life into your own hands— don’t wait around for a guy to ask you out because he probably wont. Don’t be afraid to make the first move because you are smart, strong, funny, and beautiful!

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5. Go commando for a day.

You will find yourself smiling all day long because you have a little secret that no one else knows.

6. Say “I love you” first.

They are three words that carry a lot of vulnerability. Saying I love you and meaning it opens up doors to go deeper into a relationship. This doesn’t apply to just romantic relationships, but to friendships too. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and see the magic that comes from that beautiful space you create. Say “I love you,” and say it a lot.

7. Quit your job.

Stop doing something that makes you miserable just for money.

8. Cultivate creativity.

Sign up for a pottery class. Do a paint and sip night. Practice hand-lettering. Cut out your coupons and go to the craft store to start a new project. Re-arrange your apartment. Paint your walls. Pick flowers. Sketch on a napkin. Left brain is logic, right is creativity. Get out of your left brain and into your right brain.

9. Journal.

Journal because you need to figure it out. Journal because you want to remember. Journal because you think you have a lot to say (you do!). Journal because you are funny. Journal because you have dreams. Journal because it is good for you.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, journaling can help raise your IQ, evoke mindfulness, help achieve goals, boost memory and comprehension, expand your emotional intelligence, improve communication, strengthen self discipline, spark creativity, foster healing, and build self confidence.

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10. Drink water.

You cannot argue with this one. Get a water bottle and make that water bottle your best friend. Water flushes out the system, helps you feel energized, plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight, is good for your skin, and it helps your body function. Water makes your body feel good and work to its fullest potential.

11. Make time for self-love.

Sometimes we get caught up trying to save the world. Saving the world begins with taking care of yourself. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone spent an hour everyday loving themselves.

12. Spend time volunteering.

Through volunteering you are exposed to new experiences and different demographics you may not have encountered otherwise. You don’t have to fly to Africa, just go to your nearest food bank or volunteer at your local library. Ask yourself what you can give to the world and then give it.

“Happiness is not having a lot. Happiness is giving a lot.” – Buddha

13. Get off social media.

Get off social media for a week and see how much more connected you feel with the real world, not the world you see happening through a screen. 

14. Get out in the woods.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

We often associate the woods with quiet, but there are still a lot of sounds- birds, animals, water, and insects. What happens is that when we are in the woods our minds become quieter.

15. Make peace with your body.

And I said to my body- softly- ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath, and replied ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.” – Nayyiah Waheed

The body is not an extension of the mind to be configured how you think it should look. Your body and mind are not separate. You are one unique, beautiful being. Your body is what carries you where you go, it is home to a life, be gentle with it.

16. Don’t spend money for a week.

Spend a Saturday splurging out at the grocery store, filling your car up with gas, paying bills and getting a little treat (of course!). Then Sunday to Sunday you save. It feels so good: one week of saving will make you aware of your spending habits and help you realize all the amazing free stuff in your life.

17. Forgive.

In the words of the amazing role model and feminist leader Cheryl Strayed: “You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.” Forgiveness isn’t always the clean mess free process we want it to be. It is messy. It is hard. Forgiveness takes time. Forgiveness means not sweeping something under the rug, rather taking the hurt and pain and working with it and getting messy and dirty and then let it go, sweeping it out the door.

18. Go skinny dipping.

Why? Just for fun! And in the words of Ernest Hemingway, “When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.”

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19. Ditch the meal plan.

Gluten free? Dairy-free? Yo-yo dieting? No amount of carrots of celery is going to satisfy you when you just want a piece of chocolate. Eat the piece of chocolate- just don’t eat so much that your stomach hurts. Eat what makes you feel good. Enjoy your food.

20. Go with it.

Sometimes we make a choice and it ends up being an amazing adventure and sometimes it ends up being a big mistake. Just remember – maybe you are face-palming but you are not face-planting. Mistakes happen and often they lead to the most amazing self-discovery and a path you did not even know existed.

Take a second to think: where you would be if everything you ever wanted had turned out exactly right? Everything is constantly changing — go with it. Listen to your gut – research says that women have stronger instincts than men – own that!

Featured photo credit: Favim via Favim.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

What to Write Down

Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

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Dates of Events

Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

Names of People

Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

Theories or Frameworks

Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

Definitions

Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

Arguments and Debates

Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

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Images

Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

Other Stuff

Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

Your Own Questions

Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

1. Outlining

Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

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For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

2. Mind-Mapping

For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

Here’s the idea:

In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

3. The Cornell System

The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

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About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

The Bottom Line

I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

More About Note-Taking

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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