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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 August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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