Life is relatively easy when you’re a child. You have people looking out for you, there’s always someone to guide you, you have plenty of encouragement and you’re given a push in the right direction if you’re unsure of what your next move should be. It becomes so much trickier as an adult- sure, you might have a great support network but to truly stand on your own two feet you have to start making decisions for yourself. You have to be in control of your own destiny and live in a way that’s authentic to you, but none of us are perfect. It’s fine to make mistakes if you’re going to grow from them, but sometimes you could be selling yourself short without even realizing it. You can take the wrong path and stay stuck on it for longer than you should, or just settle when really you deserve better. If you want to make a positive change in your life, make sure you’re not selling yourself short. Here are some areas you could address.
Aim high when it comes to your career
Your career is so much more than just a way to earn money. It’s part of your identity, and it’s something you should find interesting or rewarding in some way. Get this wrong and you can find yourself stuck in dead-end jobs, trapped in the rat race and wishing half your life away while you watch the clock. While money is a motivator, your career should be seen more of an extension of your passions and interests. If you’re trapped in a job you don’t like, know that there are ways out. You could go back to university or study from home to gain the qualifications you need. You could look into training courses and apprenticeships- anything from nursing to pilot programs depending on what you want to do. You could do some voluntary work to build up the experience you need to apply for paid positions. Don’t be stuck doing a job you hate or feel that the career you want is out of reach. Make a plan, work out what you need to do to get onto the ladder and aim to work your way up.
Don’t settle in your relationship
Relationships can be tough at times. You’re two individuals with your own thoughts and ways of doing things, but coming together to live under the same roof and go through life’s ups and downs. Conflicts of personalities and opinions are always going to occur, even if you’re generally placid and non-argumentative. While arguments are normal and can be healthy if dealt with correctly and lead to a resolution, it’s easy to fall into the habit of arguing constantly. You might even reach a point where you stop arguing, because either you, your partner or both of you have mentally checked out. If things no longer feel right then don’t just settle. It’s not about giving up at the first hurdle, but if you’ve tried and failed on a number of occasions, sometimes the mature thing to do is accept that you’re not right for each other and both move on. If there has been any kind of abuse- emotional, physical or financial then you should always end things. Even if things naturally fizzle out it can still be hard when things end, but as the saying goes, when one door closes another opens. Later down the line, you’ll meet someone else who’s better for you and you’ll have learned lessons on how not to make the same mistakes going forward.
Take care of your health
Health really is everything. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s so easy to lose sight of this. We’re surrounded by convenience foods, restaurant meals are served in huge portions, getting hold of tasty yet unhealthy snacks is extremely east and we work sedentary jobs so struggle to burn any of this off. When you start living independently and are no longer being served healthy, home-cooked food by your parents every night it’s down to you to make the right decisions. Learn how to cook, start with a few simple meals and work your way up until you build up a good repertoire. Create a weekly menu and shop to this which will save you money and time when it comes to preparing meals. Get more active, join a gym, walk or cycle to work or take up a sport that enables you to burn off calories and tone your muscles. Diet and exercise are something lots of people struggle with in early adulthood, there’s no one there to tell you not to order your third takeaway of the week or provide you with nutritious meals. But don’t fall into a habit of living badly, it will affect your health in a big way.
Find hobbies you enjoy
Looking after your health isn’t just about your physical body, but keeping your mental health in check too. Life can be busy, most of us have pressures from work, friends, relationships and have commitments that can lead to stress. Finding ways to manage this is crucial, and having hobbies is a great way to go about it. Hobbies help to break the ‘work, eat, sleep, repeat’ cycle which can become incredibly dull and depressing. They teach you new skills, enable you to meet like-minded people and keep you productive when you’re not working. Routine is useful as it helps us to manage our time, but if it feels like all you do is work, do chores and other things you’d rather not be doing then it’s a quick way to burn out. Hobbies are enjoyable and can reduce stress, and are crucial for people of all ages. Have a think about things you’re passionate about, or consider hobbies you used to enjoy when you were young.