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30 New Year Resolutions 20-somethings Should Make

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.

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 September 30, 2020

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

The Importance of Living in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

Step 1: Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

Calm Your Mind

When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

Understand Mindfulness

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Live in the present with mindful eating.

    Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

    So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

    • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
    • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
    • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

    You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

    Mindful Activities

    Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

    Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

    You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

    Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

    Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

    The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

    More About Living in the Present

    Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

    Reference

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