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15 Smart Things Every 20 Something Should Do To Get The Most Out Of Life

15 Smart Things Every 20 Something Should Do To Get The Most Out Of Life

1. Travel

Whether you grew up in a big city or a small village, you have been stuck with certain ideas and attitudes. Traveling the world can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, being and help you broaden your horizons. Even if you have no-one else to go with, grabbing your backpack and going it alone will only encourage you to engage with local culture and people more.

2. Change your attitude to money

When you’re a kid, it can sometimes all be about flashing the cash, particularly if you’ve listened to too many rap songs. Money is not an aim in itself – learn that it’s something you need to live on, not something to make for the sake of it.

3. Find your own path

As teens, most people wanted desperately to fit in and be just like their friends. In your 20s, it’s time to learn who you really are, what you really want, and what is important to you. And that’s going to be something totally unique to you. Your 20s is really a time to start to get to know the real you ‒ and what life-path will fulfill you.

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4. Start to take care of your body

In your teens, your body will take a lot of abuse. Overindulging in junk, missing sleep, and not exercising won’t seem to affect your ability to bounce back and get on with life vigorously. As you enter your 20s you’ll notice that your body will start to really show its ingratitude for being treated badly. If you want to stay looking and feeling good, start treating your body right.

5. Tame your tech use

Do you seriously want to live in a virtual world, or would you prefer to actually engage with real people and live a real life? Social media may be fun for teens, but if you don’t ever tone it down, it can become an obsession that stops you from getting out there and having real adventures. Learn to limit your use of technology, so that you develop your interpersonal skills, meet real people and have real fun.

6. Forgive yourself and others for mistakes

Teenagers often have the attitude that if someone does something wrong, then they’re a bad person and should be begrudged forever, instead of realizing that there are often several sides to a story and many ways of looking at things. Learn to see mistakes as mere disagreements or setbacks, not reasons to judge and condemn – especially ones you make yourself.

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7. Distance yourself from drama

Some people like to cause drama for the sake of it. In the end, it’s really not worth getting involved in the mental stress of it. By all means, learn when your friends really need help and lend them a hand, but protect yourself from toxic people and situations – it’s a waste of your time and energy.

8. Slow down

There’s no reason why you can’t fill your life with exciting things in your 20s, but it will also add a greater quality to your life if you allow yourself to slow down and breathe. Learn to become grateful, mindful, and enjoy the little things.

9. Invest in self-improvement

Whether it’s learning something new, reading more, or investing in coaching sessions to help build your strengths and make yourself a better, wiser person, you’ll thank yourself later for taking your personal development seriously in your 20s.

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10. Know your values

By your 20s, you should have started to notice certain things about yourself – things that make you happy, people you admire. These things are all reflections of your true values. Make an effort to notice what really matters to you, so you can ensure you live your life in a way that adheres to your values. I guarantee you’ll be much happier if you do.

11. Find your true friends

As youngsters, we often hang out with people who are in the same class or neighborhood – and sometimes we do end up friends with these people for life. But in your 20s it’s important to find a group of people who really ‘get’ you and who you can always rely on. These ‘kindred spirits’ can support you on your life journey.

12. Don’t lose your ‘childishness’

By your 20s, you should be mature enough not to be having temper tantrums or whining if things don’t go your way; but there are some very special childlike qualities you should hang onto as you get older. Keep your sense of curiosity, adventure, and fun. Your whole life will be better if your keep these great traits.

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13. Learn to economize

It’s too easy in your 20s to not think about your 30s, 40s and beyond. Learn how to invest or save money so that you’ll never be struggling for cash at whatever grand old age you manage to reach.

14. Set goals

You don’t necessarily have to have a whole timeline of your life laid out: marking out when you want to get married, have kids, write a novel etc. But if you want to achieve anything important, it’s smart to start setting step-by-step goals of how you’ll get there. Otherwise, all these things may remain aimless dreams forever.

15. Sort out your ‘issues’

You could go through your whole life suffering from low self-esteem, fears, phobias, jealousy, anger and other unhelpful emotions. Your 20s is the perfect time to tackle these issues properly. You should be mature enough to do it at that age, and doing so will ensure you live the rest of your life free from unnecessary suffering.

Featured photo credit: WanderingtheWorld /Chris Ford via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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