Yes, I’m only 2 years into my twenties, but so far this decade has honestly been my most transformative in terms of growth, change, new habits, and personal development. But, that’s what our twenties are for!
Throughout every year I try to improve most areas of my life to continue to learn, grow, and become a better version of myself.
These next 20 habits are things I’ve actively worked to incorporate in my life within the past couple years, and have done wonders in improving my health, mood, mindset, and attitude.
Please don’t feel overwhelmed by thinking you need to be doing all of these things. These are simply just habits that have worked for me and make me feel my best. I’m no expert, rather just someone constantly striving to improve and learn more from others.
Each of these habits I only just touch upon and scratch the surface of everything I have to say. I’m most likely going to write individual blog posts about each of these!
Yoga was something I wanted to do for the longest time, but it was kind of intimidating. I felt like I could hold my own from dancing, and took the leap last summer at Balance and totally fell in love. I like yoga because it’s all about progress. After dancing all my life it was refreshing to enter a space free from stressful competition. It was so nice to be in an environment where it didn’t matter what level I was at, you could stay in child’s pose the whole time if you wanted!
Allowing myself to be a beginner again is actually pretty fun, because I know I have so much to learn.
Recently, I started doing hot yoga at YogaWorks and WOW is it challenging.
But I’ve never felt stronger or more at peace.
If you need some time to yourself or want to take a step for a healthier mind or body, try taking a yoga class!
2. Having a Morning and Night Routine
This has been a GAME CHANGER for me. There’s nothing worse than jumping right into your day. Without taking a second to breathe, it’s hard to set yourself up for a successful and productive day. It’s taken a few months to really get into the habit of making sure to take time for myself at the beginning of the day and end of the day to unwind and reflect.
I could write a whole blog post just about my morning and night routine. If you’re interested please let me know in a comment!
3. Reading for Pleasure
I made it a goal for myself in 2019 that I would finally take the time to actually read for pleasure. After about 14 years in school where all of my reading was chosen for me, I barely had time to read books I actually had an interest in. Instead of constantly making an excuse that I had no time because of school, I planned for it in my morning routine.
I knew that in order to actually follow-through, I would have to make it an attainable goal. So instead of saying I’m going to sit down and read, which can be overwhelming, I decided I would read a chapter a morning or for 15 minutes. This seemed more realistic for my morning and is something I now really look forward to. I’ve also totally jumped on the “Personal Development” book train and these are the ones I’ve loved so far.
- You Are a Badass
- You Are a Badass at Making Money
- You Are a Badass Everyday
- Girl, Wash Your Face
- Girl, Stop Apologizing
- High Performance Habits
I also have a whole list of my next books on deck!
4. Investing in Personal Development
Other than reading personal development books, I’ve actively tried to take the time to implement the habits and tips that I’m learning. “Investing” in personal development doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary, but more a time investment. Taking the time to track my progress, make goals for where I want to go, and a plan on how to get there.
5. Listening to Podcasts
My last investment in personal development has been adding podcasts into my everyday life! I feel like I’m definitely late on the podcast bandwagon, but fell in love with them at the beginning of this summer when I had a lot of long drives.
Some podcasts I’ve been loving are…
6. Using Sunscreen Everyday
We need to be wearing sunscreen every. single. day! Yes, even if you’re only going outside for a little while or even if it’s not summer. I found this super helpful info …
“Ultraviolet rays that are the cause of sun damage and skin cancer are always present,” explains Dr. Shilesh Iyer, M.D., a Board Certified dermatologist with the renown New York Dermatology Group. “They are independent of cold or hot weather, and are not blocked by clouds. On overcast days, only visible rays (but not UVB rays) from the sun are blocked. The best way to protect the skin is with sun protection.”
Personally, I use Tarteguard and mix it with my moisturizer every morning.
7. Drinking More Water
We’ve all heard this a MILLION times before, and because it’s SOOOO true for a healthier life, better looking skin, and your body! They say to drink half the amount of your weight in ounces depending on your activity.
I use a Hydroflask to stay hydrated throughout the day.
8. Taking Vitamins
Especially as a non-meat eater, it’s super important for me to make sure I’m getting all my vitamins in like B-12 and iron. I’ve heard the best way to get the most of your nutrients and vitamins is through your food, but vitamins can be a great backup or addition.
I’ve been taking DEVA’s Vegan Vitamins because they’re the cheapest for the amount I’m getting.
If you would have asked me three years ago to meditate I would have never even considered it. I would have made up excuses like
“It doesn’t even work,” “I don’t know how,” “I have no time.”
Since I’ve gotten into yoga, mindfulness and meditation have been introduced into my life. And as corny as it sounds, it’s been so eye-opening. The more I’ve read and learned within the personal development space, the more I’m seeing that these high performers are using meditation as a primary tool in their life. These are some amazing and informative podcasts I’ve listened to that explain everything and speak about the many benefits.
I started out meditating for just 5-minutes every morning using Headspace and now I’m trying to do 10-15 minutes using a mantra and positive affirmations. Ideally I try and do it every morning which definitely does not always happen. If I don’t get to it, I just try and be more mindful throughout my day and check-in with myself.
10. Walking More
If you’re like me and do the majority of your work sitting down on a computer (who’s with me??) then you’ll notice that your Apple Watch keeps bugging you to stand up. To have an optimal healthy lifestyle you need to keep moving! Simply walking is one of the best forms of movement on the body and you don’t need to do it for that long.
Since it’s summer time, I like to go on walks outside for about 20 minutes and listen to a podcast during a lunch break. It’s all about planning the time to fit this in whether is be before work, during lunch, or after work.
And who doesn’t love when they hit their Move goal?!
I’ve always been a big planner and organizer so having a routine planned out for me is ideal! In order to fit a lot of these habits into my schedule I need to actually plan out the time for them. I plan out my meal times, social time, and hobby times.
This has really helped me actually ACCOMPLISH doing these things instead of just saying I’m going to do them. This is a great resource if you want to learn more on time-blocking.
12. Tracking a Budget
Your twenties are THE time we need to start planning for the future and getting ourselves in a good financial standpoint. And I know, it’s not the most fun thing to talk about, but it definitely needs to be taught more when we’re younger. Student loan debt definitely doesn’t help this situation, but creating and sticking to a budget will set you up for success and savings.
Especially since we just moved out and are paying for everything now, it’s crucial to track our budget and cut down on unnecessary spending. I like to use Mint because it keeps track of my credit, savings, and credit card accounts while automatically tracking my budget.
13. Getting 8-Hours of Sleep
I began to realize that one of the reasons I was constantly feeling lethargic and not myself in high school and college was because I was NOT getting enough sleep. I thought I could get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep and then sleep for about 10 hours on the weekend (so unhealthy!).
Lack of sleep is something that is oddly admired and praised in society where you hear everyone saying…
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” or “I don’t need 8-hours, I can function on 4.”
It makes me cringe now because it’s so backwards and I totally used to be the same way. But I LOVE my sleep. It’s definitely become more of a priority and something I don’t want to give up. I typically need about 8-9 hours of sleep a night to feel my 100% self. Here’s a great article with more info.
14. Paying Attention to How Food Made Me Feel
I have noticed that in my twenties more than ever, I was noticing the effects food had on my body. When you’re younger you can eat mostly anything and feel fine. I started to notice certain foods that would make me feel bloated or heavy or slow.
I try to practice intuitive eating and have been cutting back on the foods that make my gut feel awful.
15. Taking Steps Towards Sustainability
We need to face the facts: Climate change is real and it’s serious. We can no longer keep our same wasteful habits and expect everything to be okay.
I’ve tried to make great strides in reducing my carbon footprint and one-use items.
Here’s a few things I’ve done (more to come!):
- Stopped eating meat
- Limited animal food products (dairy and fish)
- Invested in reusable items
16. Scheduling Time for Family and Friends
I bet a lot of us can agree that as we get older and are working more, it’s harder to spend time with our family and friends due to distance and conflicting schedules. I really try to make an effort and schedule the time to reach out to my loved ones and make a plan to see each other.
17. Saving Money
This goes along with having and sticking to a budget. When I opened my savings account a couple of years ago, I automatically took out $30 every week from my checking account to my savings and its grew! Some ways I’m trying to save money right now are making a meal plan and sticking to it, cooking from home, packing a lunch, and very limited online shopping.
My boyfriend really likes Acorn for investing and saving some money.
18. Flossing Consistently
It’s not the most exciting thing, but dental hygiene is important people! Flossing was always the thing I’d be like “Yeah I totally do that….” and never did. And I don’t know why because it takes like 2 seconds! I aim for flossing every night or at least 5 nights a week.
19. Investing in Quality Clothing
Forever21 and H&M are great and all when you’re on a budget, but they’re not quality products or made in a sustainable way. I noticed that I was spending more money on clothing because they wouldn’t last me long. I found this awesome article explaining the negatives of fast fashion.
Now I try to save up to invest in higher quality products from good companies, or go thrifting.
20. Meal Planning
Meal planning takes away all the questions about what meals I’m going to have throughout the week. It leads to less waste from produce I never ended up using, plus it saves you money and makes for healthier meals.
Recently I’ve been using Mealime for new recipe ideas!
If you try any of these I’d love to know which works for you! If you want to know more about one topic, REACH OUT! It’s super helpful to know what to write next!
Originally posted August 15th 2019 and reposted here with permission from Sydney. To read more of her posts check out Simply Sydney a blog about self-love, lifestyle, planning, organization, community-building, tips & tricks, health, fitness, skincare, fashion, food, travel, sustainable living, and much more!