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50 Things Most 20-Somethings Should Stop Doing Now

50 Things Most 20-Somethings Should Stop Doing Now

Be honest. Are you living your dream yet? Is this the way you wanted your life to be?

You were sure by now you’d be living In Menlo Park working for Facebook, making enough money to buy whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. You were sure you wouldn’t be sleeping with two dogs and empty sushi containers. Where is that special someone who’s supposed to be beside you? What is going on? Why is this happening?

If you can handle it (and I hope and pray that you’re ready), here are 50 mistakes that you should stop making right now if you want to turn your dreams into reality.

1. Living in Denial.

It’s time to grow up and face reality.

2. Avoiding a trip into the real you.

Don’t be afraid to take a good look in the mirror. It’s not as bad as you think. If you look beyond the surface, you will see an awesome side of yourself that you’ve never seen before.

3. Lying to yourself and others.

Admit it — admit everything. Let it all go. If things aren’t working out for you, something needs to change right now.

4. Being untrue to your unique self.

To thine own self be true. Take an honest self-inventory. It’s all the only way you will find your hidden talents, gifts, and abilities.

5. Saying “I want it.”

Ask yourself if you really want it or if you just want to want it. Sometimes you think you want something, but it’s just something your mother, girlfriend or boyfriend thinks you should be getting or doing.

6. Thinking you have to love everything you do.

I’m sorry to tell you, but the hard reality of life is that you have to do things you don’t love, and sometimes you have to do things you hate. How do you think Kevin Durant got good at his game? Do you think he loved every minute he practiced shooting hoops?

7. Making excuses.

You’re right, there are many reasons you shouldn’t change; but how long do you want to go on like this?

8. Avoiding debt.

Ignoring debt collectors does not make them go away. Debt accumulates. Start chipping away at your pile of bills by making small monthly payments.

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9. Complaining

If you stop complaining, you’ll be able to see that you’ve got a lot to be thankful for. If you flip the switch on your negative outlook, you will begin to see the good things in your life. Complaining people are not happy people.

10. Over-sharing your life on Instagram.

The world does not need to see everything you eat or every time you get in your car. Dignify yourself. Share the good stuff.

11. Putting your drinking pictures on Facebook.

Even though your boss isn’t your Facebook “friend,” she might be friends with your friends and know the real reason you called in sick to work. Be careful what you make public. Think about who might see what you post.

12. Saying “it’s too hard.”

This is a sabotage statement. The more you say it, the less you will accomplish. Try saying, “it’s going to be hard, but I’m going to push my way through the rough spots.”

13. Being a victim.

“Poor me” doesn’t cut it anymore. Take action to change your perspective. This will change your life.

14. Doubting your abilities. 

Develop a new “I can handle this” attitude. You’ll be surprised when you find talents you didn’t know you had.

15. Calling your mother with every little problem you have.

Be resourceful. Google it. All the answers you need are there; if not, you are smart enough to figure it out. Save the big drama for your mama. You can manage the small stuff.

16. Texting everything.

Once in awhile, pick up the phone and let someone hear the sweet sound of your voice.

17. Thinking you’re not good enough.

You are capable of so much more. Think of the times when your strengths and talents shined. Everyone has them. Find yours.

18. Blaming your parents.

Yes, they made mistakes, but they did the best they knew how at the time. They were 20-somethings once, and also made mistakes.

19. Living week-to-week financially.

Get off your butt and find a second job. If you want to stay home all day, then start a money-making blog or online business. The internet is a goldmine open to everyone.

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20. Being lazy.

Get out of bed and shut off the TV. Work harder. You can never tell where your passion might be hiding. A job at the local bistro could inspire you to go to France for cooking school. One day, you can have a business of your own.

21. Buying things you can’t afford.

Budgeting is a helpful skill that will stabilize you for the rest of your life. Ask yourself, “do I really need this? Can I afford this right now?”

22. Drinking during the week.

Parties are for weekends. Curb your alcohol appetite. It might be interfering with your ability to wake up on time the next morning.

23. Sticking out your tongue when you take a picture.

Unless you are licking a lollipop at Disneyland, keep your tongue in your mouth. It’s not your best look.

24. Saying “I don’t care.”

You really do care — you just don’t want to get upset if things don’t work out for you.

25. Avoiding reality.

How long can you keep hiding from it? Bills need to be paid. Jobs need to be found. (Unless you’re willing to live without water, electricity or a cell phone.)

26. I can’t go back to school — I have no money.

This is one thing your parents will be happy to help you with. If they say no, bartend.

27. Taking in another animal.

Do you really have the money to take care of another pet? It needs shots, flea medicine and grooming. Can you afford that?

28. Eating out every night.

It’s expensive and fattening. Learn to cook. It’s fun, and homemade food is much healthier than smothered cheeseburgers and beer. Invite your friends over for dinner.

29. Saying “I’m bored.”

Learn a new language. Go to they gym. Ride your bike.

30. Watching a full season of Game of Thrones and Dr. Who.

Sure, they’re awesome — but break it up into segments.

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31. Asking your parents for money.

If you don’t have enough, earn more.

32. Remembering your past failures.

We’ve all got them. Mistakes are the best teachers.

33. Thinking if you get knocked down you won’t get back up.

You are resilient. You’re a survivor. Pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

34. Being afraid.

FEAR= False expectations appearing real. Fear is not reality; it’s all in your head.

35. Making excuses.

Develop a no more excuses frame of mind. Your dog ate your homework when you were in fifth grade, but the time has come to accept responsibility and speak the truth.

36. Quitting everything you start.

Fight through the yuck. When times get tough, just get tougher.

37. Procrastinating.

The pressure of procrastination does help you get things done, but it’s also stressing you out. Be prepared.

38. Gaming.

Games are programmed so that you become addicted to them.

39. Saying “I don’t feel like it.”

That worked when you were five, but it doesn’t work anymore.

40. Squashing your dreams.

Make them real. Envision them, then go after them.

41. Feeling overwhelmed.

Little baby steps get you to your goal. Seeing how high a mountain is, can definitely keep you from climbing it.

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42. Expressing every emotion you feel. 

Chill out. Breathe in and slow down before the words come flying out of your mouth. Think before you speak.

43. Being narcissistic.

Everything isn’t about you. Think of others.

44. Eating unhealthy foods.

You’ll be shocked at how great you’ll feel afterwards. You won’t run to the bathroom or fall asleep.

45. Making excuses for not going to the gym.

You are tired. Your friends call you to go out. You just want to hang on the couch and space out. Getting to the gym is the hard part, but it’s so worth it when you can easily zip up your tight jeans.

46. Comparing yourself to others.

There are people better than you. There are also people whose lives are much worse than yours. Check out thebadassproject.com if you want to compare yourself to someone.

47. Blaming your genetics.

Ok, so maybe your father was an alcoholic — that doesn’t mean you have to be one. It means you have to stay on guard. You cannot drink. Have a coke, and no one will know the difference. Who cares if they do?

48. Worrying about what other people think.

Do you really know what other people are thinking? Own your choices. Listen to your inner voice. If it’s wrong? Oh well, you are now smarter and stronger.

49. Living in the past.

It’s over, done. What happened happened, and you can’t change it.  Learn from it and then throw it in the trash.

50. Believing this is who you are.

It’s not. These are simply bad habits that you’ve gotten used to. Replace them with good habits.

Stop these mistakes, and you will be as awesome as your mother thinks you are.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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