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This is the perfect time to pick up some healthy habits you won’t regret starting in your 20s!
Once you’re in your early-to-late 20s, you’re likely settling into life a little bit.
Maybe moving out of your parent’s house, finding a dream career, or navigating long-term relationships.
You finally start to feel like an adult, that maaaybe still needs to call her mom to ask how long to cook rice for.
Basically, our 20’s is a weird time. We may feel like an adult who still needs an adult.
So it’s totally okay if you’re ready to give up your adulthood and go back to the days when you had no responsibilities and didn’t have to have it all figured out.
However, there are some healthy (and easy) habits you can pick up to make your 20s feel a bit more… balanced.
These are 9 healthy habits you won’t regret starting in your 20s!
- 1. Meal planning
- 2. Get good at managing your money
- 3. Read personal development books
- 4. Find a creative hobby or outlet you enjoy
- 5. Create a daily routine
- 6. Implementing self-care that works for you
- 7. A workout routine
- 8. Setting boundaries
- 9. Journaling
1. Meal planning
The first thing healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s is meal planning. This is something that can save you a lot of money, time, and headaches throughout the week.
One bad habit to pick up is not planning out dinner and then realizing at 6:30pm that nothing has been taken out of the freezer, and you’re starving, so you order takeout. Again.
How do I know this is a bad habit? Because I did this. For a long time.
Meal planning makes it so much easier because you can plan for leftover nights. This means you won’t have to cook every single day.
You’ll also know what to prep or take out to thaw each day so you won’t forget.
Plus, if you’ve already decided for the week what you’re going to have, you won’t have to ask the “What’s for dinner?” question every single night when you have decision fatigue after a long day of work.
And the best part about meal planning in your 20s is you’ll save money!
You won’t overbuy food at the store, vegetables will be less likely to go bad before you get to them, and you’ll save money on going out to eat multiple nights a week!
Before meal planning my week, we would overbuy food at the store, never use it, end up ordering us anyway, and then throwing away the food we didn’t cook or didn’t finish.
Which isn’t an ideal scenario.
And this doesn’t mean you can’t switch up the plan or never go out to eat anymore, there will just be more structure in your week and you can plan for nights out.
So how do you get started?
How to start meal planning your week
I recommend getting a dry-erase calendar to help plan out your days.
I bought this one from Amazon, it’s a little flimsy and comes rolled up, but once you lay it out and pin it on the wall, it works great!
The spaces are big enough for you to add anything you need to do. Chores, work schedules, and meal planning as well.
- Decide what day to meal plan
This really doesn’t take all that long to do, maybe 20 minutes or so but pick a day you can meal plan.
The ideal scenario is that you’ll grocery shop the same day, but you don’t have to.
My day is Sunday because that’s when I do my weekly reset.
- Plan a variety of meals
Getting a balanced diet is obviously a healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s, so make sure to plan a variety of meals.
Before meal planning, my diet consisted of a lot of noodles. Spaghetti, soup, mac, and cheese… it was a bit much. But, it was also easy at the time.
So, grab your cookbooks and check out a variety of meals you can cook!
I know cooking isn’t exactly everyone’s thing (I could go without it!) But, it doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming.
If you don’t have a CrockPot or an air fryer in your 20s, you need to pick one up ASAP!
All you need to do is prep the food, throw it in the CrockPot, and wait! Dinner is served!
Could not be easier to do!
- Shop for what you need
Next, obviously, you can shop for what you need.
First, I’d recommend going through your cabinets and seeing if you already have some of the things you need so you don’t buy them twice.
I go to the store once a week on Sunday and find it a lot better than my last method of overbuying food four days after I ran out and had to go out to eat for dinner 4x in a row because we didn’t have food in the house.
Yes… it really was that much of a mess at my place.
I find some weeks there barely is anything to actually shop for because of how well we’ve planned things. Which is always a plus!
You can also be smart and try to reduce the amount of ingredient leftovers you have as well.
For example, if you know you’ll have tacos one night but won’t finish the taco shells, what else can you make that week with the leftover ingredients?
This way you won’t forget to use them and end up throwing them out when they go bad. Yet another money-saving hack!
2. Get good at managing your money
The next healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s is to get good at managing your money.
Budgeting and saving are important life skills to learn in your 20s.
Because if you’re just flying by the seat of your pants each month, spending money with your eyes closed and hoping your card doesn’t get declined…again… that’s going to get really old, really fast.
So set yourself up for a better future by keeping track of your finances!
Know what you make in a month vs what you’re spending. Come up with a savings plan and don’t get super far into credit card debt.
It’s good to build credit, but not accumulate so much debt you dig yourself into a hole you can’t crawl out of.
Let’s break this down a bit.
How to get in the habit of managing your money better
There are some pretty simple steps you can take to get in the habit of managing your money better.
If you were never taught good saving or spending habits, it can seem a bit daunting getting started.
But if you’re scared to see your bank balance each week or over-drafting your account repeatedly… it’s time to make a change! And I’m here to help.
- Start keeping track of your money
The first thing you need to do is keep track of your money.
Do you know how much you’re bringing in each month?
Do you know how much you’re spending each month?
If you don’t, that’s a pretty big problem.
Knowing where your money is going and how much you have to work with is the first important step to having a better relationship with money.
And if you have no idea where to start keeping track of your money, check out this Budget Tracker right here!
I’ve made it super easy to track your spending, savings, income, debt, and more. All in one convenient place on Google Sheets.
It’s super worth it, I promise. I use it every single month to keep track of my business income, all expenses, and finance for my husband as well.
So whether you’re a single household or a married couple, there is a tracker in here for both of you!
- Cut back expenses where you can
If you find that you’re spending more than you’re making, or you’re just spending way too much in one area, it’s time to cut back.
Especially if you’re not breaking even each month!
Now, this may take a few months in order for you to get a better picture of your expenses. Things change month to month.
I noticed an immediate change in my spending habits even after doing this for one month, and each month after has just gotten better!
But for you, it may take 3 or so months to see where you’re really overspending and get to a place where you’re happy with where you’re money is going.
This was also the case for me.
This could be a lifestyle change for some. If you find you’re spending too much money on fast food, or getting your nails done each month.
If that’s the case, you may need to get out of the habit of going out to eat and limit yourself to 1-2 times a week or less. (This is where meal planning can come in!)
Everyone’s lifestyle and level of comfort are different, so you’ll need to find what works best for you.
But don’t be super hard on yourself because you are making a positive lifestyle change and that make take a few months to adjust to.
If you change too much too soon, you may find it to be difficult and quit, going back to your old habits.
Make small adjustments over time until you’re at a place where you’re comfortable!
- Start a savings plan
Having a savings plan is literally so important because it is going to be your safety net for when things hit the fan.
You need to have a savings account with a decent amount of money in it because as I’m sure you’ve learned pretty quickly in your 20s, it’s not a matter of “if” something goes wrong- it’s “when”.
Your car gets a flat, you need to go to the doctor, your phone breaks, or worse- you lose your job.
Now, do you need to have $10,000 saved up by tomorrow?
No, absolutely not.
Wheat you need to do is begin saving any amount you can. If that happens to be $5, then that’s where you’ll start.
Any amount of money you can afford to save away is good enough! Because it’ll all add up over time.
There are two types of savings worth having, a rainy day fund and an emergency fund.
A rainy day fund is a smaller fund, typically $1-2,000, and is easily accessible, usually a savings account at the bank.
This is where anything small (like a flat tire) can come out of when you can’t afford it.
An emergency fund is for larger expenses, like losing a job or needing to buy a new car, and is where you can keep the bulk of your savings.
It’s recommended that you have 3-6 months’ worth of income saved here and it’s best to keep it in a high-yield savings account.
if you don’t know what a high-yield savings account is, this just means the interest rate is higher on the account, meaning you get more interest for your money here. And since this is going to be your larger account, it makes sense to have it in high-yield savings.
Now, again, does this mean you need to have all of this set up by tomorrow?
But I want to give you the information so you know what’s possible and give you a goal or a place to start when it comes to savings!
If you want to learn more about either type of savings, check out this blog post here!
- Update your money mindset
You may also need to update your money mindset a little bit!
If you have a negative reaction when it comes to spending, saving, or receiving money- your mindset needs a bit of an update.
There are so many people (Myself included!) who have a negative money mindset and don’t even know it! this could be the cause of a lot of your issues.
Having negative subconscious beliefs that “money is bad” or “money is never here when you need it” could be the reason why you never seem to have any.
You could be pushing the money you want away instead of attracting it into your life.
If you want to dive into this topic a bit deeper, check out the book You are a Badass at Making Money!
3. Read personal development books
Reading any books, in general, is great, but I find specifically reading personal development books has really helped me grow as a person and uncover things I didn’t know about.
Personal development books can help figure out some bad habits or trauma you have, uncover limiting beliefs and improve your mindset.
4. Find a creative hobby or outlet you enjoy
It is so important to have some sort of creative outlet in your life. And I understand that not everyone is creative, but it’s super important to have some sort of hobby you enjoy.
We spend a lot of our 20s just trying to keep our heads above water.
Working ourselves way too hard, trying to figure out how to manage a house and live on our own for the first time, navigating relationships, and trying to get some sleep in the process.
There’s a lot to manage!
But if you make your life all about work and sleep, you’ll eventually run yourself dry.
And you may feel this way already!
So a super important healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s is to have some sort of creative outlet where you can just shut off your brain from the stress of living and enjoy yourself.
That can be anything from reading, writing, listening to music, drawing, or playing video games.
Whatever it is that you enjoy and is good for your mental health is super important to make time for it. We were made to do more than just work and sleep!
5. Create a daily routine
You’ll also want to start getting into a daily routine.
You may already have some version of this, but you may need to make it more of an intentional thing over an automatic one.
For example, having a time you go to bed and wake up every day in order to make sure you get the sleep you need.
And actually thinking through your morning instead of just plowing through in an attempt to get started with your day.
This is going to look different for everyone, if you have kids or work really early in the morning, your routine may look different.
But if you can, sit and have some quiet time in the morning. Try to stay off your phone, or at least off social media in the morning.
Im sure you hear this a lot, but it’s true.
If you end up scrolling through social media, answering texts or emails right when you wake up, you’ll feel rushed and in response mode all day long.
I find that the mornings I don’t listen to this rule and scroll on social media, I am less productive throughout the day because I keep being drawn back to social media.
The way you spend the first hour of your day is super important and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
So be a bit more intentional about it!
If you go on your phone as a way to wake up in the morning or as a way to wind down, maybe you can download some games that aren’t as addicting as social media.
I’ve done this and found it to be hugely helpful, I have a puzzle game and a coloring game on my phone, along with a few others that I use morning and night.
They engage my brain enough but don’t keep me pulled in like social media does.
The same goes for your night routine.
Being on your phone watching YouTube all night or Tik Tok, Instagram reels whatever- that is going to keep you pulled in and awake longer than you should be.
These apps and videos were designed to keep you scrolling, so watching them at night may be the reason you’re losing sleep!
Just be aware of your routine, and make time for yourself- because that’s important!
6. Implementing self-care that works for you
A healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s is working on self-care, but not just any self-care. Specifically finding something that works for you.
I’m sure you know of all the usual ways people tell you to “self-care”– light a candle, take a bath, meditate, do yoga, read a book, journal… you know the drill.
But not all that stuff is going to work for everybody.
For me, I am not a bath person. You will never see me run a bubble bath ever.
But, for others, that’s their favorite thing to do!
- Give different things a try
I think it’s important to give all of these things an honest try, that way you can see what works for you. But not feeling pressured to do something if it’s not for you.
And have more than one self-care thing you like to do as well, that way you can switch it up based on how you are feeling.
You don’t need to do all of these things every day.
Maybe one day you’re feeling like journaling. And the next you have nothing to say, so you sit in silence and meditate.
Whatever works for you.
Something I’ve learned, however, is to not roll my eyes at these things and think they don’t work for me without trying them first.
I never thought I would be a person that mediates. I didn’t know how I’d sit still and control my thoughts that long and never saw how it could be helpful.
But, I tried it anyway. And lo and behold, it’s actually really nice.
I started out with 5-minute sessions while on the couch or lying in bed, which isn’t what I thought “meditation” was.
I thought you had to roll out a mat, get in yoga clothes, and sit in an uncomfortable position for 20 minutes, fighting with your brain to shut up.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can close your eyes and meditate right now as you are, all you need is quiet and closed eyes. That’s it.
So make sure you try out a few different things, have a few self-care methods in your back pocket, and do whatever works for you.
Even if it’s a little unconventional as well!
7. A workout routine
Next is to have a workout routine. And this doesn’t always mean you need to find a workout routine to help you lose weight.
Maybe that is one of your goals, but even if you’re happy with your body (Which you should be because you’re beautiful just the way you are) finding a workout routine you love is crucial.
Getting up and moving your body intentionally is a fantastic way to improve your mental health, and of course, make you look and feel better.
But, same as with self-care, not everyone finds every workout enjoyable.
For me personally, you will not see me running pretty much ever. With my asthma and bad lungs, I will not be making it very far down the block.
Some people enjoy going to the gym, while others prefer to work out in the comfort of their own homes.
You have to find a style and place that works for you.
There are so many options!
Going to a workout class, pilates, swimming or doing yoga or dance workouts in your own home.
You don’t need to think about this as “working out” either. I think many of us have a negative connotation around the term “working out”.
That it sucks, it’s hard to do. Maybe involves the gym, weights, and a lot of sweating. Something you do only when you hate your body and are trying to lose weight.
Think about it, when you think of “working out”, what thoughts come up for you?
If you immediately scrunch up your face at the idea, maybe you need to change up your mindset a bit.
Instead, think about it as simply finding a way that you enjoy moving your body.
Because that’s all it really needs to be right?
We don’t always need to change or improve ourselves and our bodies. But either way, we need to keep them healthy.
And moving them with a nice yoga session, a walk or something else is the perfect way to do that!
Stretching is another thing that goes hand in hand with this. Keeping your body stretched out will likely help you in the long run as you get older!
8. Setting boundaries
A habit that is hard to start in your 20s, but is sometimes very needed is setting boundaries.
This can be hard and uncomfortable because we set boundaries with the people we love.
And oftentimes, the people we set them with may not like it.
But setting boundaries is not about the other person. It’s not necessarily because you love them any less. This is for you and about you.
Sticking up for yourself, putting yourself first.
Loving yourself and listening to your needs.
Especially if that person is toxic. Those are usually the hardest boundaries to set because they will likely fight against them.
But, setting boundaries is for you, your mental health, and your well-being.
- Put your needs first
If you are prone to putting other people’s needs above your own, it’s way past time to start putting yourself first.
Because other people will more than likely put themselves first- and you need to do the same with your needs.
If you have a toxic friend or parent, it’s going to be hard to set a boundary, but it needs to be done. And this new boundary doesn’t even necessarily need to be communicated every time.
Sometimes you’re the only person who needs to know about it.
I recently set some boundaries with people in my family and they don’t know about them. They may feel my absence, but the boundaries are mine to know about.
Sometimes you have to look at someone and say “I love you, but you need to stay over there out of my life.” “I support you, but you’re no longer supporting the next level of my journey.”
Do you need to say this directly to them? Maybe, but not always.
- Not all boundaries are drastic
And boundaries don’t always mean you cut off all contact with them forever. Boundaries can be simple and set with everyone in your life.
Maybe you need some with your significant other. Maybe he likes to be loud and watch TV in the morning, but you prefer quiet.
Set a boundary or compromise with them that you need quiet time in the morning.
Maybe they wear headphones to watch tv, or they leave you alone for 10 minutes while you go meditate in another room.
Whatever you need, whatever makes you happy, that is a boundary that needs to be set.
Sometimes boundaries suck to set and they hurt. I know the ones with my family did.
But they were necessary for me, and in the end, you’ll feel better. Because I know I do.
Whatever it may be, get good at standing up for yourself and putting yourself first for once.
Journaling is one healthy habit you won’t regret starting in your 20s.
Journaling can be so freeing because sometimes the thoughts get so jumbled up in your head that you can’t think straight.
You may be anxious, sad, confused, or feeling all these overwhelming emotions. And with all the thoughts swirling in your head, it’s no wonder!
So writing them down, thinking the through, and allowing yourself to work through whatever you feel can be freeing.
I used to use my journal only when I wanted to complain about something. If I was having a bad day, I could just complain about whatever happened.
Using journaling as a negative outlet is definitely okay, but I think it’s also important to journal when something good happens as well.
Because you don’t want to associate journaling with negativity.
So now I use it to heal as well.
If I find an emotion or situation that was triggering to me, I write about it and work through it.
I’ve found that it helps me move past those events and get better for it.
So you may want to use journaling in tandem with other self-help methods.
Like reading self-help books or listening to podcasts in order to help you work through things you’re going through and even find things you didn’t know were issues!
If you want to learn more about how journaling can help your mental health, check out this blog post right here!