I’m definitely a newbie “20-something” but I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I have been doing to reach the point I’m at in my life. So I decided to make a blog post to share some life-changing hacks I implemented to try keeping my life as well-rounded as I possibly can. Here are seven habits that you should start in your twenties.
We aren’t getting any younger, and believe it or not, neither is our skin. Prevention is key, so start hydrating your skin by drinking ample water and consistently moisturizing, incorporate fruits into your diet (I’m terrible about this so I throw them in a blender for a quick on-the-go breakfast) and take vitamin supplements if needed. Use SPF generously (even when you’re inside the house) to prevent aging from UVA rays, exfoliate frequently, use a gentle retinol-based under-eye night cream, and give yourself a little facial day once in a while to treat yourself.
2. START A SIDE HUSTLE
We’re young, thriving, and have the most time we probably ever will before we have to tend to bigger responsibilities. Your full-time job may not be the most fulfilling, so figure out what you love and start your own passion project to fill free time. If you enjoy it enough, it may even lead to some extra money on the side. Who doesn’t love a little financial freedom? Your side hustle can be anything like starting a blog, a photography business,writing for online publications, becoming an Uber/Lyft driver, a movie critic, slam poet, or even a private tutor.
As we get into the routine of working full-time, it’s so important to keep our minds churning with ideas. Listen to podcasts when you’re driving to work and I promise, you’ll be so much more creative and inquisitive of the world around you.
My favorite is NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast, where the host discusses a different topic each episode about society and the human brain. I usually get bored of listening to audio, but this podcast does a spectacular job at keeping me engaged. For a more business related podcast, NPR’s How I Built This features a different CEO each episode, where they discuss how their small hustles turned into successful companies like BuzzFeed, Amazon and more. Highly recommend this one to all of you bosses out there.
Life will inevitably get in the way of your workout routine, so it’s important to figure out when you can take time out of your day to get that workout in. Do you have 10 minutes before your nightly shower to cram in a power workout? Are you an early bird and love morning runs with your dog? Or do you like to step aside from your cubicle during lunch to hit the gym with coworkers? I personally love going to the gym on a daily basis, but when I’m particularly swamped with work and school, I like to follow quick workout videos from my all-time favorite pilates guru, Cassie Ho from Blogilates. She has as quick as five minute videos that are intense, but tone up your target area of choice. Boy it hurts, but it’s so worth it for the few minutes you’re taking out of your day.
4. SAY YES TO LIFE
My philosophy on life is, it’s too short, so try crazy things while you can. If you don’t do it while you’re young, then when? If you’re not comfortable doing things alone, then take a little road trip alone and figure out what makes you happy in the absence of another person. If you’re scared to put yourself out there, take an improv class and loosen up. Always wanted to do slam poetry? Go to your local poetry meet and attend a workshop. If you love sports but kinda suck at it (me), then join your community team and put yourself out there.
How can you be scared of something you’ve never done? The only thing that scares humans is the unknown, but once you force yourself to do something, within five minutes of being there, you realize everyone there is just as scared as you are. So go find your community and network with people who share the same interests.
5. SAVE UP
As millennials, we love living life to the fullest, as you should. But it’s also important to invest in your future and plan for emergencies. My favorite financial app is Acorns. Say you buy yourself a latte for $3.35. This app invests the remaining 65 cents that would have made up a $4 round figure. I’m weird and liked to pay in cash, so most of my purses have an extra two pounds of weight from all the change in the pockets. Who knows how much I could have saved if I just invested all of that extra change from each purchase? So now I just linked up my bank account info to the app (yes, it’s safe), and invest an additional principle $5 a month. Based on my purchase history, the app then calculates how much I will have in savings every five years for the rest of my life. The best part is, you can cash it out at any time.
6. NO SUCH THING AS “TOO BUSY”
Life is tough as it is, so it’s important to keep your loved ones close no matter how busy you get. The saying I live by is ‘No one is ever “too busy.” They are just “too busy for you.”‘ Prioritize the important people in your life and keep in touch with acquaintances you meet along the way. As you climb up the corporate ladder or try to “make it” in whatever field you’re pursuing, you never know who knows who. Add acquaintances on LinkedIn the day after, and add a little note reminding them of where you met, mention a memorable conversation you had, and ask to stay connected. Shoot an email every three months to people you want to keep up with, updating them about what you’ve been working on. I promise, it helps incredibly in your career and widens your social network monumentally.
7. DISCOVER YOURSELF
We all know the best way to get to know someone is to travel with them. So why not travel by yourself to learn who you are when no one’s by your side influencing you. What are your interests? What are your values when no one’s around to keep you in check? How do you make friends in a new environment? What inspires you? How adventurous are you really? How much do you trust your intuition? All of these are questions you slowly start to learn the answers to when you’re on your own. It can be scary at first, but once you do it, I promise you’ll ask yourself why you never did it earlier.