Now I know I’m a handful of years off yet but I was sat thinking about this today. Cast your mind back to your 10-year-old self’s daydreams about your 21st birthday. Maybe you were convinced you would be living it up at your dream university, learning by day and partying by night. Perhaps you fancied yourself a world traveler, backpacking across Europe and spending your days sipping wine with the world’s most fascinating people.
If your dreams didn’t quite turn out as planned, it’s OK! Being in your twenties is a time for adventure and self discovery. Many of us will settle down someday, create beautiful little families and become permanent fixtures in our villages, towns or cities of choice. For me, that’s soon, hopefully, but for most of you twenty-something people, that’ll be far off!
To fill some of my time between now and thirtydom, I’ll be attempting to do more things out of my comfort zone, to make goals and surpass them and finally, to make memories I will never forget.
Here we go…
- Travel somewhere you don’t know the language.
Now I’ve done France a million times and can speak a bit of French, or at least follow a conversation but, going somewhere you can’t easily communicate with other people is terrifying. Not only would doing this enlighten you and make you savvy to another culture, it would also force you to really learn the language — something we’re rarely forced to do.
- Date someone who isn’t your “type.”
For those of you who know me….I’ve already checked this off my list! You will learn and grow from being around people who are different from you. I most certainly did and it taught me that it’s OK to not put up with certain things and to say no, but I shan’t go on!
- Start saving for your retirement.
Retirement might be a blip on the map but it will be here before you know it. Do yourself a favor and start saving now. Especially if your company offers matching packages which most do nowadays. Grow money, grow!
- Take a risk: Go bungee jumping or skydiving or swim with sharks.
I’m talking to you non-adrenaline junkies and typical stay-at-homers. Get outside, put yourself in the hands of trained professionals, and experience that exhilarating feeling of being thisclose to staring death in the face…I know I will be!
- Buy some shares.
This is a risk in itself. It’s something I’ve always thought of doing but have no idea how to! Take advice from here or have someone else do it for you. No risk, no reward.
- Write a book.
Something again I’ve always wanted to do. My Dad once told me that I’d been through so much in my adult life already that it would make a great book. I guess I just have to get down to doing it!
- Stop holding grudges.
Past grievances are overrated. You don’t need negativity in your life and you definitely don’t need it over something that happened years ago. Move on.
- Start a collection.
Something fun, quirky and totally you. Be passionate about it but don’t be a hoarder. My collectable of choice is mugs, especially ones from TK Maxx as you’ve probably seen recently! They take up a lot of space, but I keep them at work so it’s totally OK.
- Take a cross-country trip.
Now I’ll never be able to afford one of those ones you do across America but I do need to see more of the UK. It would be great to experience so many wonderful new places and you can support local businesses too.
- Pay off your credit card debt.
No one wants this to begin with, but you have a chance to start off your thirties with a clean financial slate if you play your cards right (or in this case, not at all). I managed to pay mine off a couple of years ago, granted I have spent on it again but the plan is to pay it off before I hit 30!
- Set a reading goal.
I could bore you with the list of benefits of reading, but I won’t. I recently got into reading this year and love it! It’s so relaxing and you can get yourself a bit of “me” time.
- Overcome a fear.
Sometimes your fears hold you back, but don’t let them. Take steps to overcome your fear of public speaking or heights. Once you know you what you are capable of, anything is possible. Personally I don’t know how I’ll get over my fear of spiders haha (holding a tarantula is not an option…)
- Get a tattoo.
My mother will kill me for this one as I already have four that she hates! Permanence is scary, so make sure it’s something that really represents who you are at this point in your life, particularly if you’re prone to regret. Make up your mind, do your research and go for it.
- Treat yourself to something really expensive.
…and pay for it in cash (like five pound notes 😉 ). Whether its a new computer, a Chanel handbag or a weekend away at an upscale resort and spa, you totally deserve it for working hard.
- Be the first person to apologise.
It’s hard to admit when you are wrong. But it’s usually for the greater good and does make you the bigger person. People will respect you more if you can admit fault and they will be less likely to hold it against you. Plus, life is too short for fights and arguments.
- Run a marathon.
Or a triathlon or a 5k. Pushing yourself physically is not only good for your body but good for your mind. And plus, you’ll feel really awesome with your medal. I recently ran the Yorkshire Warrior and was so proud when I completed this! 10k and god knows how many obstacles.
- Forgive yourself for mistakes.
Realising you made a huge mistake by passing over an amazing job offer might seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. Forgive yourself and move on. This goes along with letting go of grudges, don’t hold them against yourself.
- Learn how to cook.
I’m not saying you should aspire to be Mary Berry or Delia Smith…just learn how to make a few fancy dishes for one of those special occasions. They might come in handy sooner than you think. Personally I love cooking and if I could afford to cook fancy meals every night, trust me, I would.
- Eat really expensive food.
Treat yourself (and maybe your significant other) to a meal at one of the world’s top restaurants. Find out what all of the fuss is about and indulge in food made by someone who invented the cooking method.
- Pay it forward.
Ever had someone help you out when you didn’t ask for it? Even if you haven’t, you can still start a chain of positive events by paying for someone’s coffee or helping them change a flat tire. Positive momentum is a powerful thing!
- Attempt to break a world record.
In the Guinness Book of World Records, of course. There are records for everything, so round up your friends and give it your best shot. Even if you don’t quite break a record, it’s still a pretty cool memory to have (god knows what I’d even try!).
- Attend the Olympic Games.
Now I missed my opportunity when we held them in London but whether it’s Winter or Summer, you’ll never regret being in the presence of the world’s elite athletes and having the opportunity to watch history in the making.
- Pick a cause and be passionate about it.
Whether it’s Cancer Research or Help for Heroes, donate and make efforts to help others. Don’t just say you’re interested in a cause, go live it and be it — volunteer your time, organise a fundraiser or donate. Change doesn’t happen by sitting at home on your sofa.
- Make your family tree.
There is no history more interesting than your own. Figure out who your ancestors were and how they impacted the world and your own life. What you find out might surprise you. I’m quite lucky that my Auntie has already started some of ours and hopefully when she’s finished she’ll share it with us all.
- See a West End show.
Put on your best dress or your tux, live it up and sing along!
- Become a connoisseur in something.
Whether it’s cheese, wine, tea or coffee, your knowledge will always help you make small talk but also enrich your life in ways you haven’t even imagined.
- Start a workout routine.
The sooner you start working out, the better chance you have in maintaining a set routine for the rest of your life. It should go without saying that exercise controls your weight, mood, decreases stress and prevents a lot of negative health conditions and diseases.
- Bag your dream job.
There’s something to be said about working various jobs since they can all teach you a variety of skills. But, do you want to be doing all that changing around for the next 20 or 30 years? Find your dream job and make sure you work hard at it.
- Go on holiday with friends.
Whether this is on a couples holiday or just with your friends. Go and experience things with them and make memories that will last a lifetime.
- And finally, make a list of 40 Things to do Before You Turn 40.
If only because it’s fun.