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30 New Year Resolutions 20-somethings Should Make

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30 New Year Resolutions 20-somethings Should Make

The new year has already started, but it’s not too late to make some resolutions. Our 20’s are the years during which we learn the most about ourselves, and really develop into who we will be in the future. It’s a time to make mistakes, learn from them, and move into being the person we want to be. In that spirit, we have compiled a list of 30 resolutions all 20-somethings should embrace in 2015.

1. Finish what you start

Often times life gets so busy that we don’t finish something we start, or maybe we just become uninterested in it. Either way, it’s extremely important to follow through with whatever you start. If you don’t think you can finish something, or just aren’t interested, then don’t agree to start it. Finishing a project or even making a deadline will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Finishing what you start will turn into a habit, and it’s a good one to have. Start with following through on your new year’s resolutions.

2. Learn to make your own decisions

You’re in your 20’s now, you’re an adult. It’s time to start making decisions for yourself. It’s nice to have mom and dad’s advice of course, but in the end it’s your life. You will make decisions that turn out great, and you will make some that don’t go so well. But that’s what life is all about. At the end of the day it’s your life, and you will be happier with decisions you know you had full control over.

3. Focus on being more logical about things

Sometimes we make decisions based solely on emotions. And that’s fine, but being logical will help you make less mistakes. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with being emotional, but not thinking things through logically won’t get you far. Logical decisions are easier to back up when necessary. Being logical also makes you think differently about situations, and might open your eyes to things your emotions would have cut off.

4. Spend more time focusing on your passion

We only have this one life, so do what you love. In your 20’s you have more time to focus on you and what you enjoy. Find your passion and make sure you incorporate it into your daily life. You might work at a job you don’t exactly like, but going home and doing something you love can change your whole attitude. If you don’t focus on a passion of yours, life can seem more routine than you might like, and no one likes to get stuck in a funk.

5. Follow your dream – If not now, then when?

If you have a dream, then go after it. A lot of people have dreams they wish they would have chased after, but never thought they could achieve. You don’t know what you don’t try. Your 20’s are a time of living and learning. What better time to chase something you have always had your eye on then? It’s not so much that you can’t follow a dream when you’re older, but you might regret not trying it sooner. If it doesn’t work out, you still have plenty of time to try something else.

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6. Spend less time focusing on unimportant things

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of your friends, family, or even the world. Try to focus less on those things, and more on the important things in your life. This will help get rid of the things that no longer matter, and make some room for the things that do. If it’s not important to you, then what are you doing spending so much time on it anyways?

7. Spend more time with family

As a teenager, your family can fade to the background, and your friends can seem to be the most important people you know. That all ends in your 20’s. You come to the realization that your family will always be there for you no matter what. You have probably found this to not be so true of some of your friends, though. Spending more time with your family will bring you greater enjoyment than you previously could have thought. Enjoy them while you can.

8. Weed out the people who don’t need to be in your life

Another thing that changes in your 20’s is the company you keep. Start to get rid of the toxic people, and only keep the ones who enhance your life. Life is too short to not enjoy the time you spend with others. Why waste your time with people who bring you down?

9. Focus on being honest

Let’s be real for a second here, lying gets you nowhere. Focus on being a better you in 2015 by being more honest. Not only with others, but with yourself as well. You might not always get what you want with being honest, but you won’t feel bad about it. Make this one a priority, and as soon as you do, you can achieve more than you ever thought.

10. Get into shape

In your 20’s your metabolism will start to change. You can no longer not work out, and still keep your figure. The good old days of eating whatever you want and not seeing a difference in your body are going out the window. If you don’t start to get in shape now, it will only get harder. Develop a habit of being more physically active now, and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

11. Start to change your eating habits

Getting healthy isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s definitely worth it. Once you start to eat healthier you will be amazed by how it makes you feel. You will feel better about yourself, and your body will start to feel better as well. Along with eating better, drink more water. This will go a long way with your skin and body as well. Changing your eating habits in your 20’s will help you stay healthy in the future. It might get hard, but don’t give up.

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12. Focus on keeping your mind healthy

This is a lot like getting in shape. Your mind is just as important as your body. Today there are plenty of apps that you can get on your phone to help exercise your brain. Those are great, but don’t forget about the old fashioned way as well – books. Start reading again in your 20’s and keep your imagination strong. Cut out some of that television time, and read. You might even find it to be a nice escape from your crazy world.

13. Be more independent

At some point in your 20’s, hopefully you will move out of your parents’ home and start to fend for yourself. Being more independent can be a scary change, but there is no better way to figure out who you are. Start doing things for yourself this year. And this includes not depending on others for your own happiness.

14. Spend more time alone

In your 20’s you go through some weird stages of trying to figure out who you are. It can be hard to figure out the answer to that question when you are constantly with a friend, a significant other, or family. So give yourself some time to really be alone, and enjoy it. Figure out the things you like, and the things you don’t like. What makes you happy, and what makes you tick. Being alone will ensure that no one else influences your thoughts. Dig deep enough, and you might just find out who it is that you want to become.

15. Work on building your self-confidence

You’re coming into your own in your 20’s, and that can cause some doubt in yourself. Things might not have gone how you had hoped, but don’t let that get you down. No matter what someone else thinks, you’re amazing. Having confidence in yourself will help you in your job, your relationships, and your sense of self. Stop being worried about what others think about you, and start realizing what you have to offer the world.

16. Stay up-to-date on current events

Remember in high school when you had to present a current even to the rest of the class? That was a long time ago, but we all remember how much we hated it. However, in your 20’s it’s more important than ever to be up on what’s going on around the world. Staying up to date will help you be more informed, and help you make your own decisions about your political views. Plus, it’s nice to actually be able to hold a conversation about what’s going on today.

17. Learn to communicate effectively

Communication goes a long way in all areas of your life. Communicating effectively can help you in your career, and in your relationships. Often times misunderstandings come from communication failures. Once you are able to communicate your thoughts and ideas to those you interact with, you will find that your life gets a lot easier, and those misunderstandings happen less often.

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18. Make meaningful connections

In your 20’s you start to start to realize who your true friends are. Some people you used to talk to all the time will slowly go down different paths than you. And that’s okay! This year, make it a priority to only make meaningful connections that will last. This could be through networking at work, or simply making new connections in personal relationships. At some point in your 20’s you will realize that not everyone is worth knowing, but that there are also some people you couldn’t imagine your life without. Find those people and enjoy what they bring to your life.

19. Only stay in romantic relationships that have potential

When we were younger, we would stay in a romantic relationship because it was fun. We enjoyed that person’s company, or maybe being with them benefited us somehow. Either way, we knew the relationship wasn’t going to materialize into anything more than what it was. In your 20’s, if you don’t see the relationship going any further, then get out. Don’t waste your time on something that isn’t going anywhere. We may still be young, but you don’t want to miss out on something that could have led to finding “the one,” for someone who you knew wouldn’t last. Focus on finding someone that you truly love.

20. BE HAPPY

This resolution can get you further than any of the ones above it, or below it for that matter. If you aren’t happy right now, change that. Your 20’s are some of the best years of your life. You’re more carefree now than you probably ever have been, or ever will be. So don’t waste them being unhappy. I can’t tell you how to be happy, but I can tell you that once you figure it out, your whole life will change. Focus on you and enjoy the little things in life!

21. Believe in yourself

Why would you not believe in yourself– you’re one of a kind! Work on trusting and believing in yourself in 2015. You know yourself better than anyone else, and if you believe in yourself others will follow. If you push yourself you will be able to see how great you truly are.

22. Find a mentor

Your 20’s are full of first time experiences. Mentors are there for you when the going gets tough, or even when you just need some advice. These could be people you admire in your life, or people at work that you look up to. Getting advice about a situation someone else has previously gone through can add value to the situation for yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone.

23. Focus on progress

Your 20’s are a time of change. Focus on the progress you see in yourself and in your work, rather than the failures that might have came along. Each step we take forward is an accomplishment that should be embraced. This year, stop looking back on your past, and start looking toward the future. Let go of the things that you currently allow to hold your back.

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24. Give up a bad habit

We have all heard the line that it’s easier to quit now than it is when you’re older. Your 20’s are a time to let go of any bad habits you might have. This will allow you to be healthier in your future, and yes, it will also be easier now than it will be when you’re older. Smoke? Binge drink? Don’t sleep enough? Snack out of boredom? The list goes on. It’s time to give one of your bad habits up, and start living toward a healthier life.

25. Embrace your quarter-life crisis

Turning 25 this year? It’s absolutely crazy how different the day before your 25th birthday and the day after your 25th birthday can feel. All of a sudden (even though your birthday is nothing new to you) you’re 25 and you don’t have anything to show for it. Thoughts like, what am I doing with my life? Where am I headed? Who am I? Start to run through your mind. It’s okay, it’s normal. There’s just something different about being 25. We feel like real adults now, who need to start thinking about marriage, babies, and our career choices. Whatever it may be, take your freak out in stride and live with it. Maybe you do need to make some changes, but trust me, you’ll live.

26. Realize there are some things you just can’t control

Some parts of your 20’s you feel like you have no control over anything, and other times you feel like you need to have total control over everything. Life just doesn’t work that way. If you are a control person, try to work on understanding that you can’t control everything. Especially when it comes to your work situations. You might be in control of the work you do, but you aren’t in control of your boss, or deciding who your co-workers are. Try to loosen up a little, and not having control won’t seem so bad.

27. Make some time to travel

Again, your 20’s allow for more freedom than many other decades in life. If there is a place you really want to visit, make it happen. If you don’t do it now, you will end up regretting it later. Take some time off work and just go. The experiences you will get from your travels will be well worth it.

28. Don’t feel sorry for yourself

Your life isn’t nearly as as bad as you think it is, and there’s almost always someone out there going through something worse. In your 20’s, your life isn’t typically as problematic as you think. So, start working on solving the problems, rather than dwelling on them. Be a little more selfless and give back to your community. That is a sure way to help you understand that you don’t have it as bad as someone else. If you keep feeling sorry for yourself you will never be able to feel better about yourself.

29. Quit the job you dread going to

If you wake up every morning absolutely hating the fact that you have to go to the hell that you call work, then it’s probably time you start looking for a new job. In your 20’s you’re still new to the career thing. You probably haven’t been anywhere long enough that you feel trapped, but if you do, then you should definitely get out. There probably won’t be another time in your life when you can just quit a job and your whole world won’t blow up. Don’t get stuck doing something that makes you miserable. Find something new and move on.

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30. Start saving for your future

I don’t mean you have to put away hundreds of dollars every month, but a little bit can go a long way. In our 20’s we don’t always think about the future, and many people don’t start saving until their 30’s. Starting to put some money aside now will put you in a better position when it really matters.

Featured photo credit: Browse more: bridge, girl, italy, rialto, summer, sunny, veniceTest Drive image Take a look how this image can be used! Girl on Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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