20 Non-Negotiables To Live By In Your 20’s

Kendyle Nelsen

1. Create a Bucket List

Write a list of all the things you would like to accomplish before you hit the next stage of ‘adulting’ i.e. before your 30’s. It can be anything from crazy adventures like skydiving, to reaching personal goals, like writing a book, to being social-media famous. Aim to experience as much of life that you can while you have no responsibilities.

2. Avoid Debt

There is good debt, like paying off your student loans. Then there is the bad debt, like credit cards. Avoid the habit of feeding into the buy now and pay later culture that we live in. That small piece of plastic can ruin your credit rating and is just added stress that you do not need in your 20’s.

3. Live like a bachelor/bachelorette (at least for a little while)

‘Modern’ dating has completely changed the dating game. You no longer have to settle down with the boy or girl in your home town. Dating apps have opened up a new world for young 20-something’s to live life like a bachelor/bachelorette. As shallow as it sounds, you simply have to swipe left or right. This does not mean you can not meet a potential partner in real life but you now have more options. Exercise those options in your 20’s so that you can filter out those that are not looking for anything serious to those seeking long-term relationships. As long as you make your intentions clear from the start, enjoy dating in your 20’s. It is supposed to be fun!

4. Travel

Go and travel abroad at least once. Just do it. Yes, you will most likely get the travel bug and want to keep on travelling. You will probably not want to come back to normality. This is the time in your life where you have no real commitments that tie you down. You will probably not have this much free time in your life again, so take advantage.

5. Read Everyday

This does not include Twitter and Facebook updates. Read a book, a newspaper or a magazine article daily. Reading has so many benefits, from expanding your vocabulary, to improving your memory to increasing your knowledge. Reading has just as much entertainment value as an episode of Game of Thrones.

6. Binge Watch Netflix

(While eating pizza.) Lazy weekends require only three items, pajamas, Netflix and pizza. Binge watching your favourite shows every once in a while can only be a good thing, right?

7. Stay Healthy

Exercise regularly, eat a healthier diet and drink more water. You will notice a difference in your skin and your overall mood. Remember, health is wealth.

8. Pursue your dreams

This is the time to put in the groundwork to pursue your dreams and make them a reality. So you want to be a writer, start writing now. You want to become an entrepreneur, start your business now. Stop thinking about it and make it happen.

9. Work Hard

Find your path and start grinding. Put the hours in and work tirelessly to get what you want. You may find out later on in life it was the wrong path. That this was not the career that was meant for you. Your 20’s are all about trial and error.

10. Fail

Fail miserably. Make mistakes. Fall flat on your face. That’s life. There will be a time when you do not get the result that you hoped for and will feel like you failed. Fall down, cry, shout. Then dust yourself off and start over. Be persistent. Failing is just a minor bump in the road. Perseverance is key.

11. Play Hard

Go out, party hard, get drunk and suffer the worst hangover EVER. So bad that you will not even look at another glass of wine or bottle of beer again without feeling nauseous.

12. Let go of negativity

Quit the job you hate, let go of unhealthy friendships and pay dust to toxic people. This is the time to cultivate meaningful relationships that inspire you. It is about forging relationships that contribute to your mental health and emotional well-being. Rid yourself of ‘Negative Nancy’s.’ They will just drain your energy.

13. Network like crazy

Attend networking events, expand your social media presence and meet new people. Make connections with people online and offline. Networking the right way can bring new opportunities, improve your social skills and bring success. It is scary and you will feel super awkward reaching out to people you don’t know. But once you have done it a few times, it becomes a breeze!

14. Take risks

People tend to play it safe in their 20’s. Possibly out of fear that our peers or loved ones will give us major side-eye if we do something out of the ordinary. Taking risks and doing something extraordinary will change your life for the better. Risk being vulnerable with your crush, risk uprooting and moving to a new place to start a fresh. You will be amazed at what you achieve when you simply break the mold.

15. Learn to say ‘no’

We are the generation with major FOMO. We suffer with ‘The Fear of Missing Out.’ We don’t want to miss out on anything so we say ‘yes’ to everything. Learn to say no. You don’t have to attend every festival or concert your friends are going, too.

16. Spend more time with your loved ones

Visit your parents more often, hang out with your siblings more frequently and chill out with your relatives every once and awhile. They are the ones that will always have your back.

17. Be an Innovator

Don’t follow the crowd. Create your own lane and start new trends that make others take note. Be the inspiration and get creative.

18. Meditate

Take time out of your day and practice meditation. Even if you have never practiced before try it today. Practice mindfulness and switch off from technology, social media and all the other distractions you face for at least 15 minutes a day.

19. Be Present

Start living in the moment. Stop obsessing over the future, stop beating yourself up for past mistakes. Life is too short to worry unnecessarily. Chill out.

20. Ignore the rules.

There are no rules for living YOUR best life. Create your own rules. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

A self-proclaimed dreamer, navigating life through my words.

Keep up with Michelle on Instagram, Twitter and shelleyandmichelle.com

More From Thought Catalog