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12 Magazines You Should Read In Your 20s That Will Inspire And Empower You

12 Magazines You Should Read In Your 20s That Will Inspire And Empower You

Books are the therapist of the past. Self-help books were often the way to go for individuals looking to find their direction in life, or to get tips to lives simplest questions. However, in this day and age, individuals don’t always have time to sit down to read a book. They are usually reserved for the few times a year we are lounging on the beach in the summer. However, there are ways in which individuals can get daily lessons. That is through magazines. From financial help to health advice, we will take a look at twelve magazines that will be your life’s guide as you go well into your 20s.

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    Current Affairs: Newsweek – Newsweek is a great source for individuals looking for news, opinion pieces, and interviews on subjects from around the world with a liberal perspective. This has been a magazine that has been around for over 81 years and was recently acquired by IBT Media. From Michele Bachmann’s eyes to the 2004 Steve Jobs and the iPod cover, the covers of Newsweek certainly are an interesting part of their publication as well.

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      Current Affairs: National Review – If you are looking for current affairs, but with a more conservative take, National Review is the choice magazine you are looking for. Unlike Newsweek, which features a ton of op-eds and pop-culture aspects, National Review is more focused on political stories and a conservative point-of-view on current events.

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        Financial Tips: Kiplinger’s – At Lifehack, we are all about looking for practical, step-by-step improvements to life challenges, questions, and issues. Kiplinger’s does that with personal finance. The magazine focuses on providing tips and tools on how to ensure you are out of financial despair, how to maintain financial choices, and how to build wealth for the future. The magazine is separated based on subject, which allows you to learn the material you need to know.

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          Financial Tips: Money Magazine – What Kiplinger’s gives in practical advice, Money Magazine gives in real life lessons. Money Magazine allows you to not only get tips and tricks on how to save the most money, it shows the success stories of individuals who made certain financial choices and even some risks. In my opinion, go to Kiplinger’s for hard advice and Money Magazine to found off your financial knowledge.

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            Travel: Conde Nast Traveler – Conde Nast Traveler is the magazine for individuals who want to travel the world but want to get a deeper look at the places they are visiting, not simply the tourist tracks. While this isn’t the magazine i recommend for getting day-to-day tips on life, it certainly is a great place to start for your vow to travel more in your 20s. You can get inspired on what places to visit, get behind-the-scenes advice on how to make the most of your time there, and more.

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              Travel: Travel + Leisure – Travel + Leisure is the magazine of choice for those who are looking for hard advice on not simply extravagant, few-in-a-lifetime getaways, but also for short weekend or weeklong vacations in the United States. You’ll always find great hotel recommendations, as well as recommended places to eat and visit.

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                Health: Men’s Fitness – This is the magazine that not only gets you off the couch and into the gym, it gives you the confidence you need for everyday life. From leaving the house to get the paper or going out on the town with friends on a Friday night, Men’s Fitness improves every aspect of a man’s lifestyle. What I enjoy about this magazine is that it truly is accessible for every male out there, not simply the physically active or fit.

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                  Health: Shape – This is truly a magazine that is the female equivalent of Men’s Health. With a woman’s perspective, you are able to get tips on fashion, eating right, and staying on the move. The featured celebrities each issue also share their tips on having a great lifestyle. Some readers may find that their advice isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but their words of knowledge can give some the added push to change one aspect or another of their lifestyle.

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                    Men’s Fashion: GQ – There is a specific set of men who will get a lot out of GQ. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a magazine that you won’t get anything out of. Every man will learn a thing or two from it. However, if you are in your 20s, in the work field, possibly even the dating field, GQ will give you some amazing pointers on not only dressing etiquette, but also social etiquette too in this modern world.

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                      Women’s Fashion: Vogue – Vogue certainly isn’t the teen-poppy fashion magazines of your past, that includes interviews with Justin Bieber along with tips on how to look good for back to school, this is truly a woman’s magazine. Vogue, by no means, is as pretentious as some may claim. It is a magazine that offers fashion tips, overcame mistakes, and personal narratives for women of all backgrounds; from Yuppies to grand-mothers alike.

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                        Homemaking: Fine Homebuilding – This is the magazine that you’ll collect and refer back to from time to time. Fine Homebuilding not only offers tips on how to keep your house from falling apart, it also offers small tips to make large projects more approachable. This is the magazine for those looking to become the next amateur Bob Vila.

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                          Homemaking: Cook’s Illustrated – I am all about recommending life inspiring magazines that you will not put in the recycling bin the next month, and Cook’s Illustrated is certainly a magazine that you will refer back to for years to come. The recipes included are unique, mouth-watering, all while being useful for the kitchen veteran and novice alike. Issues come out every two months, proving once more than this isn’t your typical magazine. Cook’s Illustrated is as much of a keeper as you will be, once your significant other gets a smell of what you’re whipping up in the kitchen.

                          Featured photo credit: The NY Post via thenypost.files.wordpress.com

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                          Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                          How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

                          How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

                          There’s no denying that goals are necessary. After all, they give life meaning and purpose. However, goals don’t simply achieve themselves—you need to write an action plan to help you reach your goals.

                          With an action plan, you’ll have a clear idea of how to get where you want to go, what it will take to get there, and how you’ll find the motivation to keep driving forward. Without creating a plan, things have a way of not working out as you waver and get distracted.

                          With that in mind, here’s how you can set goals and action plans that will help you achieve any personal goal you’ve set.

                          1. Determine Your “Why”

                          Here’s a quick experiment for you to try right now: Reflect on the goals you’ve set before. Now, think about the goals you reached and those you didn’t. Hopefully, you’ll notice a common theme here.

                          The goals you were successful in achieving had a purpose. Those goals you failed to accomplish did not. In other words, you knew why you put these goals in place, which motivated you to follow through.

                          Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, explains:

                          “Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best. When you can do that, you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward.”

                          That, in turn, enables better decision-making and clearer choices.

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                          I’ll share with you a recent example of this in my life. Earlier this year, I decided to make my health a bigger priority, specifically losing weight. I set this goal because it gave me more energy at work, improved my sleep, and helped me be a better father—I really didn’t care for all that wheezing every time I played with my kids.

                          Those factors all gave me a long-term purpose, not a superficial short-term goal like wanting to look good for an event.

                          Before you start creating an action plan, think about why you’re setting a new goal. Doing so will guide you forward on this journey and give you a North Star to point to when things get hard (and they inevitably will).

                          2. Write Down Your Goal

                          If you really want to know how to create an action plan for goals, it’s time to get your goals out of your head and onto a piece of paper. While you can also do this electronically through an app, research has found that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goal if it’s written down[1].

                          This is especially true for business owners. If they don’t schedule their time, it’ll be scheduled for them.[2]

                          When you physically write down a goal, you’re accessing the left side of the brain, which is the literal, logical side. As a result, this communicates to your brain that this is something you seriously want to do.

                          3. Set a SMART Goal

                          A SMART goal pulls on a popular system in business management[3]. That’s because it ensures the goal you’ve set is both realistic and achievable. It can also be used as a reference to guide you through your action plan.

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                          Use SMART goals to create a goal action plan.

                             

                            By establishing a SMART goal, you can begin to brainstorm the steps, tasks, and tools you’ll need to make your actions effective.

                            • Specific: You need to have specific ideas about what you want to accomplish. To get started, answer the “W” questions: who, what, where, when, and why.
                            • Measurable: To make sure you’re meeting the goal, establish tangible metrics to measure your progress. Identify how you’ll collect the data.
                            • Attainable: Think about the tools or skills needed to reach your goal. If you don’t possess them, figure out how you can attain them.
                            • Relevant: Why does the goal matter to you? Does it align with other goals? These types of questions can help you determine the goal’s true objective — and whether it’s worth pursuing.
                            • Time-bound: Whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly target, deadlines can motivate us to take action sooner than later.

                            Learn more about setting a SMRT goal here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

                            4. Take One Step at a Time

                            Have you ever taken a road trip? You most likely had to use a map to navigate from Point A to Point B. The same idea can be applied to an action plan.

                            Like a map, your action plan needs to include step-by-step instructions on how you’ll reach your goal. In other words, these are mini goals that help you get where you need to go.

                            For example, if you wanted to lose weight, you’d consider smaller factors like calories consumed and burned, minutes exercised, number of steps walked, and quality of sleep. Each plays a role in weight loss.

                            This may seem like a lot of work upfront, but it makes your action plan seem less overwhelming and more manageable. Most importantly, it helps you determine the specific actions you need to take at each stage.

                            5. Order Your Tasks by Priority

                            With your action steps figured out, you’ll next want to review your list and place your tasks in the order that makes the most sense. This way, you’re kicking things off with the most important step to make the biggest impact, which will ultimately save time.

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                            For example, if you have a sedentary job and want to lose weight, the first step should be becoming even a little more active. From there, you can add more time to your workout plan.

                            The next step could be changing your diet, like having a salad before dinner to avoid overeating, or replacing soda with sparkling water.

                            Learn these tips to prioritize better: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                            6. Schedule Your Tasks

                            Setting a deadline for your goal is a must; it prevents you from delaying the start of your action plan. The key, however, is to be realistic. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that you’ll lose 20 pounds within two weeks. It’s even less likely that you’ll keep it off.

                            What’s more, you should also assign tasks a start and end date for each action step you’ve created, as well as a timeline for when you’ll complete specific tasks. Adding them to your schedule ensures that you stay focused on these tasks when they need to happen, not letting anything else distract you.

                            For example, if you schedule gym time, you won’t plan anything else during that time frame.

                            Beware the temptation to double-book yourself—some activities truly can be combined, like a run while talking to a friend, but some can’t. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can both write and catch up on Netflix simultaneously.

                            While you can use a paper calendar or planner, an online calendar may be a better option. You can use it to set deadlines or reminders for when each step needs to be taken, and it can be shared with other people who need to be in the know (like your running buddy or your mentor).

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                            7. Stay on Track With Healthy Habits

                            Without healthy habits, it’s going to be even more challenging to reach your goal. You could hit the gym five days a week, but if you’re grabbing burgers for lunch every day, you’re undoing all your hard work.

                            Let’s say your goal is more career-oriented, like becoming a better public speaker. If you practice your speeches at Toastmasters meetings but avoid situations where you’ll need to be unrehearsed—like networking gatherings or community meetings—you’re not helping yourself.

                            You have to think about what will help transform you into the person you want to be, not just what’s easiest or most comfortable.

                            8. Check off Items as You Go

                            You may think you’ve spent a lot of time creating lists. Not only do they help make your goals a reality, but lists also keep your action plan organized, create urgency, and help track your progress. Because lists provide structure, they reduce anxiety.

                            There’s something else special about lists of tasks completed. When you cross off a task in your action plan, your brain releases dopamine[4]. This reward makes you feel good, and you’ll want to repeat this feeling.

                            If you crossed out on your calendar the days you went to the gym, you’d want to keep experiencing the satisfaction of each bold “X.” That means more motivation to go the gym consistently.

                            9. Review and Reset as Necessary

                            Achieving any personal goal is a process. Although it would be great if you could reach a goal overnight, it takes time. Along the way, you may experience setbacks. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, schedule frequent reviews—daily, weekly, or monthly—to see how you’re progressing.

                            If you aren’t where you’d hoped to be, you may need to alter your action plan. Rework it so you’re able to reach the goal you’ve set.

                            The Bottom Line

                            When you want to learn how to set goals and action plans—whether you want to lose weight, learn a new skill, or make more money—you need to create a realistic plan to get you there. It will guide you in establishing realistic steps and time frames to achieve your goal. Best of all, it will keep you on track when you stumble, and we all do.

                            More on Goal Action Plans

                            Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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