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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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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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