I hate to say it, but I’m in my late 20s. While my life isn’t perfect – I think most of my family and friends would say I have my shit together. I”m living abroad which is something I always wanted to do. I have hobbies that make me happy. I have had a number of enriching life experiences.
In the last couple of years, I made some little changes and tweaks to my life – nothing too big but sort of categorical touchstones to make sure I felt like I was on the right track. So here’s a list of some small changes you can make in your late 20s that might make a huge difference:
- Get yourself an electric toothbrush – Ok so let’s start small. Go on Amazon or go to target and get an electric toothbrush. Not only are they way more effective at cleaning your teeth, I find them relatively fun to use (call me weird).
- Stop buying trendy clothing pieces just because they are trendy – instead, invest in good quality staples for your wardrobe and indulge in trends only when you really love them (and also they are flattering and age appropriate). It’s not a bad idea to go for a capsule wardrobe. My favorite inspiration for capsule wardrobes is blog and YouTube channel, The Anna Edit. She has a great way to breakdown how to build this kind of wardrobe. Here’s a post for how to get started and a video of same.
- Get some sort of planner system that works for you – We all know I’m a huge proponent of a physical planner. There has been somewhat of a surge in the “planner community including a New York Times article laying out the case for why to go with a paper planner. However, even if you go with an electronic system, figure out a way to make it work for you.
- Stop neglecting your skin – Just because you don’t have a huge budget, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be using skin care. Bare minimum you should be wearing an SPF every day. There are lots of low cost alternatives to fancy moisturizers and creams. You can even DIY your own face masks using grocery items.
- Find a place in the community – maybe you love animals, maybe you want to be more vocal with equal rights or maybe you want to help refugees. I’ve spent well over a year of full time work volunteering. I spent six months in Americorps and four months in Colombia. I helped coach a wonderful team of students with a creative problem solving organization (Destination Imagination – here’s the link for my state’s information). I’ve also worked countless events and tournaments with the same organization. I love helping students. So I found ways to give back in an area that interests and nourishes me.
- Clean up your social media – I’m not saying to completely sweep all “fun” from your feed. However, I think it’s actually not such a bad thing to have a few parts of your profile completely public. Those should be clean and represent you as the adult you want to be. As young adults, it’s obnoxiously difficult to be taken seriously. So sure, maybe instead of your profile picture being you holding a margarita – it could be one of you hiking or on vacation or at a family event. These are things that realistically represent all of us but are a little more work appropriate. Future and current employers will google you so you might as well give them something personal but professionally appropriate to look at.
- Go on that one big trip you’ve wanted to go on – I hate to remind everyone of this – but you are only going to get older. It’s never easier to travel than when you are a young adult. Sure, the expense may be tough but you can swap out a few expensive splurges for budget alternatives. Instead of staying at a four star hotel, look for a decently rated Airbnb. If you are traveling alone, consider a for a few nights of your trip. Just remember, you have less responsibilities, more energy and more personal flexibility now than you ever will again. So buy the flights, reserve the rooms and go for it. If you need any help travel planning: I’ve written a post about it.
- Create a weekly menu plan – I may not specifically plan out every single meal I eat, however I can tell you that I always have breakfast prepped for the week. For lunch, I eat either salad or leftovers. And two or three times a week, I make one of my go-to dinner recipes. For me, those are stir fry, pasta, soup or chili. This limits the number of times I eat out in a week to one or maybe two (if I’m invited by friends), saves me money and makes shopping really straight forward.
- Find a creative outlet that works for you – Whether it’s drawing or painting or coloring or singing or making models, having a creative outlet is such an important thing. For years, I avoided being creative because I was worried that I wouldn’t be good at something. Now I realize it’s a great thing to have these creative outlets to keep my mind sharp, develop skills and continue to explore how to be alone.
- Make sure your career is what you want it to be – so most people don’t have a career that’s where they want to be in their late 20s. I’m not completely happy with where my career is. However, I am happy with what I’m doing. I like being a teacher. I like working with students. If you hate the actual “what” of your job – now is the time to remedy that before you are too far down a career path to change. There’s nothing wrong with starting over but it may be a little bit easier now than in your 40s.
So there you have my 10 top life changes to make in your late 20s that aren’t anything too difficult. Is there anything else I should add to this list? I would love to hear from you and your experiences in the comments below!