Buzzfeed is filled with .gifs and jokes for the many problems of twentysomethings. This category might sound odd, but it does largely cover a group of people who are in a phase of flux. For many people in their twenties, and often into their thirties, a question of "now what?" is often inevitable. This period can be marked by a slump in people's lives because they don't have a clear-cut path anymore. This is the time where everything about you is in transition: who you're dating, who your friends are, what city you live in, what job you have, even what your end-goal in life is. Nothing is settled or permanent. Nothing is figured out. Your twenties, and even thirties, can be a chaotic period, to say the least, but it can also be the perfect time to get the most out of your life. Here's how to make the most out of the time and find comfort in the chaos:
1. Plan further ahead than next week's brunch.
Where do you want to go and what do you want to do? Set goals. Where do you want to be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? 10 years sounds scary. How can you possibly know where you'll be in 10 years? Don't worry about "will" but think about "want." Goal setting helps you end up where you want to be. Your 1 year goals and 5 year goals will help you reach your 10 year goals, so work backwards and write them down. Put them somewhere you see them every day to help you remember what you're focusing on. I'm a fan of visualizing goals with inspirational boards. I keep a fitspiration board and a year board, to help me remember to work out and to visualize my goals for each year. Prefer a more digital approach? Wishbomb is a site where you and your friends can set goals, track progress and support each other. We often tell ourselves that we can't do something, without thinking about the why. Anytime you tell yourself 'I can't do that,' ask yourself why not?
2. Make some habits that don't involve happy hour.
Routines are often the key to success in any area. Want to eat healthier? Exercise more? Write a book? Save more money? Setting a routine helps you to keep these goals going by making it easy and automatic. For instance, if you want to eat healthier, find a few meals you really like and stick with them. Making a green smoothie for breakfast everyday will set a habit so that on busier days, you will automatically reach for it without having to figure out what you want for breakfast. If you want to write, have set times every day that you sit down to write, possibly an hour in the morning and an hour at night. If you do it every day, you'll wake up and reach for your laptop before you even think about it. Setting a routine for eating habits can save a lot of money if most of your meals are consumed at home and help you to spend less on lunches at work. Try scheduling everything on a calendar. If you write everything down the same way you write down doctor appointments or plans with friends, you'll be much more likely to stick with it. Try this motivational planner for extra inspiration along the way.
3. Stop being lazy and do something about it.
Your career may not be where you want it to be. You may not be married, or have kids, or any of what you want long term for your life. So prepare yourself for what you want. Do you work in accounting but want to act? Don't sit there and be sad about it, take an improv class on the weekends! Contrary to popular belief, ignorance does not equal bliss. Read more on the topics you're interested in. Amazon might make ordering things easy, but you can't really browse for books. Head to your nearest physical bookstore and browse the shelves for a topic that you want to learn more about. Another important aspect of preparing yourself for the life you want is focusing on self-awareness. Are you tired all the time? Or find yourself irritated but can't figure out why? Focus on learning more about yourself and figuring out what works for you! Perhaps you need more alone time or need more sleep. Maybe you have a very negative friend that drags you down too much every time you see her. Focus on figuring out what you need and you can make a routine around that.
4. Be all about Y-O-U.
No, this isn't being selfish. This is key. Are you being too passive and not taking control of your own situation? I've seen too many people graduate college and not want to leave their college town because it means their friends would be going off in different directions. People are scared to move to a city where they really want to live but don't know anybody. I always get frustrated when someone expresses this view to me. The longer you stay in a city, the more you become tied down to it, with rental agreements, a job, friends and even a significant other. If you're not content with your city and the career and life you can have there, then leave. This is the time for change and growth, but you should focus on consciously directing those changes towards the life you want. Ask yourself questions and figure out where you'd be if you weren't held back. If you live in New York City, but dream of moving to London, do it before you are weighed down with responsibilities that prevent you from doing such. We all may want to live in an episode of Friends, but in reality, people change. Don't make life decisions based on a few friends, because who knows who you all will be in a few years. It sounds disloyal, but we all have grown apart with friends before, so you know how it works. Go where you want, because real friends will be happy for you. So go on and find success for yourself.