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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 May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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