1. What do I need out of a career in order to feel inspired and fulfilled?
For some people it’s consistency. For others it’s variety and challenge. But in any case, you’ll be spending the majority of your adult life at work – so it’s best to get an idea early on of which environments allow you to thrive.
2. What kind of love am I looking for?
We all need love in our lives, but we need it in different forms and to varying degrees. And it’s important to know what kind of love you need in order to thrive. Do you want a wide social network or a few close friends? Do you want a partner who challenges you or a partner in crime? It’s hard to form healthy relationships if we aren’t sure which types of relationships we need to stay healthy. And by 25, it’s about time we put the work into figuring it out.
3. How much money do I need to feel secure?
Some people need a hefty lump of savings in order to secure, others are fine flying by the seat of their pants or living paycheck to paycheck. You may not be completely financially sound by 25, but you should at least have an idea of what your financial goals are – and what you consequently need to do to achieve them.
4. Which short-term pleasures am I willing to sacrifice for long-term fulfillment?
We can’t always have our cake and eat it too. So which cakes are you willing to temporarily pass up in order to achieve what you truly want? Maybe you’re willing to sacrifice your social life for a few years to get ahead career-wise. Maybe you’re willing to put your career aside to look after children should you choose to have them. Regardless of what the sacrifices look like, you should know which ones you’re willing to make – and what you’ll ultimately end up drawing from them.
5. When do I feel the most proud of myself?
Do you feel the most accomplished when you’ve hit a new career objective? When you’ve done something to help someone in need? Or simply when you’re living life in whichever way feels most authentic to you? It’s important to take note of which situations bring out the best in you – and when you feel the most confident in your own skin.
6. What am I naturally good at and how am I harnessing that strength?
We all have natural strengths. But more important than the strengths themselves is what we’re doing build on them and how we’re making the most of what we’ve got.
7. What do I need to do to feel at peace with my body?
We have to live our entire lives inside of one body – which is a hell of a long time to spend inside of a place we don’t like. Finding a way to take care of your physical health and wellbeing is going to be crucial as your body ages and changes. Setting habits you’re comfortable with at 25 are going to pay off indescribably in the future.
8. What does self-care look like to me?
At what point do you need to take a step back from whatever else is plaguing you in life and turn your attention to your own wellbeing? Maybe self-care means taking a day off of work to relax. Maybe it means a night of socialization. Maybe it means making large changes in your life that will inspire you to grow. But whatever the case, it’s important to know what you need to keep you sane. Because there will be times where you feel anything but.
9. What are my core values in life and how am I adhering to them?
Which core morals are driving the majority of your decisions? How did you arrive at those and what do they mean to you? If you can answer these questions confidently, decision-making becomes a hell of a lot easier. And by 25, you’ve already started to make some very real decisions.
10. Which mistakes have I made over and over and what is behind them?
None of us get it right all of the time. And some of us find ourselves falling into the same traps over and over again in life – loving the wrong people or choosing the wrong opportunities or repeating the same self-indulgent mistakes. Recognizing why you’re continuously repeating a bad choice is the first step to fixing it. It’s time you stopped bandaging up the same old wounds and finally got down to the root cause.
11. What or who keeps me grounded in life?
Through all the chaos and calamity of our twenties, we all need those things that keep us grounded – be it a person, a physical place or a routine that we can always fall back on. Knowing what makes you feel like you, even when the world is collapsing around you, will get you through more than you can possibly imagine.
12. What are the boundaries of my comfort zone and in which ways am I looking to push them?
‘Comfort’ means something different to all of us, and so does stepping out of our comfort zones. Some people need to travel the world to expand their horizons, others need to learn to stick with one or two things that really matter. It’s important to understand which activities push you out of your comfort zone in a way that grows you and which do not. Because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
13. Which internal battles am I fighting?
We all have our internal demons to fight. And regardless of what those look like to you, it’s important to be aware of what they are and how they affect your day-to-day life. The only thing worse than struggling internally is struggling internally and remaining oblivious to the impact that that struggle is having.
14. What kind of lifestyle allows me thrive?
Maybe you draw inspiration from a consistently changing environment. Or maybe its external structure that allows you achieve the best results. Whatever the case may be, its important to understand which lifestyle or routine best suits you – and how you can implement it effectively in the years to come.
15. Which personalities challenge me in a positive way?
Which types of people push you to grow, expand and become a better version of yourself? Are you seeking those personalities out in friends, partners and loved ones? And if not, how could you be?
16. What makes me a good friend or partner?
We tend to focus heavily on what we want from loved ones – but many of us scarcely pause to think about what we have to offer in return. By the time the first quarter of your life is complete, you should be aware of what you have to give to others – and how you can draw on those strengths to become a better friend or partner to those around you.
17. What makes me a bad friend or partner, and what am I doing about it?
Just as we all have natural strengths in our relationships, we also all have natural weaknesses. Coming to terms with which habits make you a not-so-ideal partner is the first step in fixing them. Because if you aren’t ready to be a good partner to someone else, you can’t expect the same treatment back.
18. Which of my long-term goals are most important to me?
If you had to line up your long-term goals side by side (taking into account career goals, personal goals, family goals, etc.) which would be the first one you’d drop if you had a gun to your head?
Our twenties present us with some incredibly difficult choices. But the more aware you are of your own priorities, the easier those choices are to make. All it takes is a bit of reflection.
19. In what areas do I tend to hold myself back and why?
Which roadblocks do you throw in your own way? Which limitations have you internally decided on? Just as we need to know the ways in which our environments hold us back, we need to know the ways in which we’re limiting ourselves – because those can be some of the most important barriers we ever learn to overcome.
20. How do I take care of myself during the times when I am not at my best?
Life isn’t always smooth sailing. And when the going gets tough, it’s important to know what you need to do to keep yourself afloat. Understanding how you function when you’re not at your best is crucial to learning how to practice self-care in a way that corresponds. And the better you get at taking care of yourself during the worst of times, the sooner the best of times roll back around.
21. What does self-actualization look like to me?
Most of us haven’t achieved self-actualization at 25 – but it’s important to have an idea of what that might look like for you. In your ideal world, what work are you pursuing? Which skills have you mastered? Who are you surrounded by and which goals are you achieving? Even if you aren’t anywhere close to your big-picture goals at twenty-five, it doesn’t hurt to maintain a vague idea of what they might look like.
22. What do I have to give back to the world?
We often spend so long focusing on what we want from the world that we forget we have anything to offer it in return. And ironically, what we need from the world and what we have to give back to it are often almost inexorably intertwined.
23. What makes me feel the most alive?
Regardless of which skills you’ve developed and which accomplishments you’ve collected, what still possesses the unique ability to get your blood pumping and your heart racing? Because no matter what choices you make over the course of your life, your true strengths will always lie within whatever makes you come completely to life.
24. What do I want to accomplish before I die?
You don’t have to have all of your goals mapped out at twenty-five – but it probably doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what you would regret never having gone after in life. The small scale decisions become a lot easier to make once your general guiding principles are mapped out.
25. What have I been waiting my whole life to do – and why haven’t I done it yet?
We grow up telling ourselves ‘later.’ Later is when we’ll pursue our dreams, engage our interests, change our ways and grow into the people we’re dying to become. But if you’re a quarter of the way through your life and you’re still pinning your greatest hopes on ‘later,’ it may be time for a reality check.
The timing may never be right. The stars may never align. But at twenty-five, you still have time to take a chance on whatever it is that you have been holding out on. And once you do, you may just wonder why you waited so long in the first place.