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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 July 17, 2019

                          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                          The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                          What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                          Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                          Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                          According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                          Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                          Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                          Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                          The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                          Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                          So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                          Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                          One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                          Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                          Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                          The Neurology of Ownership

                          Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                          In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                          But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                          This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                          Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                          The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                          So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                          On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                          It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                          On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                          But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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                          Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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