It's time the world takes us seriously...but it starts with us.
1. Follow Through with Commitments
Being committed means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you. When we can consistently follow through completely we build an inner integrity that gives us the courage to accept more responsibilities for our lives. If we can’t uphold commitments we’ll lose the trust of those around us and stunt our own growth to take on more. And if we’re going to be taken seriously as adults in today’s society, it’s time we be men and women of our word.
2. Wake Up Earlier
Take it from someone who favors late night inspiration over early mornings. Waking up early always gives us a head start on the day. Not only that but the world is already moving and getting things done. If we’re really going to be serious about our lives and take care of business it’s time to stop hitting the snooze button 5 times and get with it! The way we start our day is always a game changer. Plus, having that moment of quiet time in the morning is the difference between entering your day in a chaotic rush or a refreshing peace.
3. Practice Being On Time
It ain’t easy, it ain’t easy. Sometimes things come up! The car got a flat, the alarm didn’t go off (thanks Siri), we get lost, we came down with a disastrous case of the hiccups and yadda yadda. I struggled with being on time basically as long as I can remember. Until I got so frustrated with myself and always apologizing to everyone. It just looked bad! Again, it shows you can’t be taken seriously.
So, here’s what I do. Prepare for the worst. Don’t hope for it but prepare for it. Trick yourself! Set the time in your calendar 30 minutes before the event actually happens. Muahaha I love it when I get the best of myself. Have a plan B if what you expected doesn't come through as planned. When you fail to plan you plan to fail! Check the car, make sure there’s enough gas and if worse comes to worst call the individual 24 hours in advance to reschedule. That’s just proper people. Pinkies up!
4. Develop Clear Communication
You’ve been on this earth for 20 or so years now and talking for about 18 of them. Sounds like enough experience to me. It’s about time we learn how to use words to firmly clarify our desires, expectations, intentions and goals. This holds so many people back from getting what they’re going for.
Say what you mean, mean what you say and say it boldly. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying there’s a high chance others won’t either. Make sure your thoughts are in order before presenting your ideas. If the concept isn’t simple and clean it may get lost in translation. What are you trying to accomplish and how do you want to go about it. Make the grey areas clear so nothing is left to assumption.
5. Choose Priorities Over Teenage Desires
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. - 1 Corinthians 13:11
I'm sorry but, it’s time to let the teenage years go. There was a lot of fun there and a lot of careless great memories. But we’re in an entirely new phase of life and we can’t move forward while looking back. If it's a decision between going out with friends or having enough money for food (hello, survival) for the week let’s think wisely and think long-term. We have responsibilities now that our lives and possibly others depend on. Start committing to make the responsible decision even if it’s not necessarily the “fun” one. Emotions don’t usually consult with reality.
6. Budget Finances
It’s never too early to learn the concept of managing your money instead of letting it manage you. There’s power in knowledge; especially when it comes to the knowledge of where your money is going. We could think we’re spending little amounts here and there but those small amount every day add up to big amounts and then you wonder why you’re short at the end of every month. Decide where all your money is going before you spend it so that priorities are taken care of and you don’t consistently find yourself in crisis. Dont forget to put some aside for emergency funds and giving back!
7. Face Conflict Head On
Do not run from your problems. They will still be there when you get back and probably worse than before from all the build up that could’ve been dissolved had you built the courage to face it in the beginning. Whether that’s in relationships, finances or work projects the best thing we can do is learn how to overcome obstacles by using clear communication to face our problems head on. And a lot of times you’ll find they’re not as catastrophic as you thought them to be once you work through it. We have to start getting in the habit of manning (and women-ing?) up to take responsibility for our part in conflicts and trying to find the best solution.
8. Learn Home Economics
Seriously, it’s about that time. I know we’ve been running from this all of our lives up to this point. Doing the dishes, cooking actual meals, sorting out bills, keeping the place clean and in order, changing the tire, doing an oil change, etc aren’t the most attractive. But they all keep our personal lives in order and in peace. Maybe one day you will make those millions and have maids and cooks and all that...I get it, really. But right now, it’s time to buckle down.
9. Commit to Spiritual Discipline
Discipline is not a fun word. But it will save your life. Proverbs 13:18, Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.
Poverty is more than material depravity, it's a mental depravity and a spiritual depravity that leaves us empty and in shame. Many of us have already been to that place and it was a depressing place to be in. God is calling us to a life of structure in His word, His spirit and His will in order to keep ourselves on a path of abundant life. Abundant in peace, in joy, in wisdom and in spiritual wealth. It’s time we take the state of our soul seriously and commit to a life of prayer, of service and of reading the Word. Here’s an article if you don’t know where to start in the Bible and want to get into the habit of reading consistently.
10. Let Go of Unforgiveness
When we hold onto our unforgiveness for others we’re actually letting THEM have a hold on US. It's a bait and switch! You hold onto the hurt or disappointment that someones caused and overtime it even becomes a bit more obsessive than you’re willing to admit!This “enemy” may have even become a center of your life unconsciously. It begins to preoccupy you so much that it affects the quality of your relationships with others and you begin to let this individual(s) distort your entire perspective of life. You’re watching their posts and comparing your life. Every time you see them it rubs you some kind of way.
Get in the habit of letting people go once and for all starting now before it becomes a constant weight in your future. Don't live another day bound by people and limiting the freedom of your own life and mental state. But forgive them because they’re imperfect just like you and you're only robbing yourself of peace by not doing so.
11. Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
The people you surround yourself with will either help uplift your life in the right direction or continue to drag you down in the wrong direction. They will either empower your thoughts or degrade them. And this is just the beginning of a trajectory into your future. Now is the time to decide what your life will be and what will and will not be allowed in it. Start having enough respect for yourself to have healthy standards.
12. Be Content with Where You Are
This is one of the best habits we can assume. Your life will change through various seasons. Many times it won’t look like those around you. Sometimes you’ll feel like you aren’t where you want to be. So change where you can but be content with the rest. We will never be happy with ourselves if we’re always trying to be someone or somewhere else. God wants to work on you right where you are. There’s something to be learned and mastered right where you stand in order to advance to the next level in your life. Be happy with what you have, be happy with where you are. You’re living, you’re breathing and someone somewhere is praying for what you have right now. Stop looking around. Just learn to be present and be satisfied in that.
Being in your 20's isn't the easiest place to be. There's the struggle between thinking you should have it all together and realizing life is the total opposite but chasing the dream in our heart anyway.
Don't forget to comment below! Is there anything you'd add to the list or find yourself trying tackle at the moment? I'd love to hear back. Let's talk about it.