Claiming my youth by identifying as a “twenty-something” has pretty much been my lifeline for the past decade. But, as 30 rolled around – I realize that there are certain things we’ve just got to lock down when it comes to adulting. 30 is not the new 20 and there are changes in our brains and bodies that happen during this transformative decade that prepare us for adulthood. Granted, I’ve pretty much given up on being able to fold a fitted sheet, but I think there’s still hope when it comes to self-care and communication. Here are six habits that you should start in your twenties:
They say that the best time to take care of your skin is when there aren’t many issues to deal with. Prevention is key. You know this, so why are you ignoring it. Now is the time to do your research and invest in skincare products that will keep your skin firm and cared for as age starts to catch up to us. As a rule of thumb, if you are in your teens – make sure that you are cleansing your face properly (and yes that means double cleansing) and wear SPF religiously. If you are in your 20s, that means adding in a retinol serum, and if you are into your 30s consider adding in a Vitamin C serum. I have tons of posts about skincare so you can catch them all on my skincare tab here.
Time is a luxury and it will be the most sought after commodity as we move into this next chapter in our lives. Thought you were busy in high school? Wait till you get to college. And then when you are a young professional you’ll realize how much time you had in college. It’s a vicious cycle that just gets worse as you get older and responsibilities pile on. Make a habit of finding a practice that you enjoy! Not all fitness as to be terrible. No really, it’s true: dance class, boxing, there’s even drum fitness or surfboard yoga. I once went to a trampoline class that kicked my butt. Sample group fitness or a running club to see what makes you sweat, but not dread. See if you can start working in a morning or lunchtime sweat session, I’ve heard that if kids are in your future- evening workouts are pretty much impossible. I’ve been loving the live classes on the Classpass app, I’ve taken classes from trainers in London, Dubai, California, and one of my favorite barre instructors is in Minnesota! How cool right?
At this point in your life, you should know yourself enough to know the best way to communicate. How do you like to receive criticism? Give criticism? What is your love language? How often are you talking to your parents? What about long-distance friendships? Are you assertive enough at work? Key elements of communication stem in knowing yourself, so take steps to define who you are as it relates to working with others whether that’s in your personal or professional lives.
We’d be kidding ourselves if we thought life was the busiest before 30. It’s only going to get worse from here, so like fitness – we need to schedule in time to get shit done. Figure out when you are most productive. Is it early in the morning? At night when all of your distractions are tucked away? Making a game plan for checking off your to-do list is essential. I love making lists and find the most success when I’m organized. This isn’t to say that you won’t have unproductive days or even weeks – but you should know yourself enough to be able to buckle down when you need to. Daylong Netflix binges are totally acceptable from time to time – especially as a form of self-care.
LEARNING TO SAY NO
Yall, trust me: FOMO is real. But in the age of “insta-perfection”, we need to remember that putting yourself first is key. That means that missing out on social events or rescheduling dinner with a bestie is sometimes essential. Make a list of 3-5 goals every quarter that are your priorities. When you are feeling the pressure check that list and make decisions that will serve your greater goals. For example, if your goal is to get stronger and lose 5 pounds – then is going to a decadent dessert shop with friends really a good idea? Maybe skip out and suggest a makeup pilates date with your friends. Balance is tricky, but self-love is essential.
HAVING A CLEAN HOME
Gone all the days that your mom sorted your laundry, washed your clothes, and put them away. Unless you live 30 minutes away like I do, in which case this happens like once a month for me! #LiveByYourParents. No one wants to be a thirty-year-old laundry virgin. Remember Schmidt from New Girl?! Know how to care for your home like you own it. Don’t put off doing the dishes every night. Make your bed in the morning. Arrange your throw pillow before you leave a room. These are little things that will make a big difference. Buy a steam mop & spend that holiday bonus check on a Roomba instead of a leather jacket. Trust me, these investments are worth it.
Final Thoughts on Habits in Your 20s
Claiming your 20s is one of the most transformative things that you can do. Science tells us that your brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood. So anything we want to change about ourselves it should happen now. It’s a fact that 85% of life’s most transformative moments happen before you are 35, so now is the time to take control. Decisions that we make in your 20s will define our adulthood, so it’s a good idea to take baby steps to create the best version of yourself before adulthood really kicks in.