Think of your 20s as the golden age of self-improvement. Most people will be fresh out of school, independent for the first time, and building careers or families. These circumstances make this decade the perfect landing strip for new experiences and personal growth. As exciting and transformative as this time may be, it’s also uniquely challenging. You’ll wonder, “Why is self-improvement so hard?” more often than you’d expect. That’s where a strategy comes in handy.
The truth is: self-improvement requires dedication, resilience, and a game plan. Setting clear and actionable goals can make the process a little less overwhelming. Do you want to know how to improve yourself for long-term success in your life and career? Start by committing to these seven steps. Each empowers you to become the best version of yourself – in your 20s and beyond.
1. Expand Your Skillset
Make strides in your career by growing your skillset. Become an expert in your chosen field, expand into related territory, and learn in-demand skills – even if they’re out of your comfort zone. Having varied and expansive competencies opens a world of professional possibilities. If your goal is to have your pick of desirable job prospects, it always pays to be a versatile candidate.
2. Try New Hobbies
You know what they say: all work and no play can make a person dull. That’s why it’s essential to cultivate hobbies outside of your work – they let you overcome boredom so you don’t stagnate. These activities also help you relieve stress, have no-strings-attached fun, and make you feel fulfilled, all while connecting you with a larger community. Try creative, hands-on hobbies like painting or knitting to nurture your artistic spirit, or grounding exercises like yoga to develop mindfulness.
3. Stick to a Routine
A routine can provide structure and consistency to your self-development efforts. Do you want to become an early bird? Create an uplifting morning ritual that motivates you to get out of bed. Are you trying to learn a new language? Sign up for online classes and stick to a consistent schedule. Routines improve your time management skills – an unbeatable asset in navigating a busy, bustling world.
4. Learn From Others
In your 20s, you’re bound to meet people with more years of experience than you have. They could be your managers in a professional space, older friends with similar life goals, or even mentor figures from your uni days. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice – chances are they’d be happy to help you on your journey. Experience is the best teacher, after all. When you’re still gaining some, it helps to look to others and learn from what they’ve gone through.
5. Read and Write More
Reading and writing, even for leisure, can make you a more effective communicator, critical thinker, and empathetic listener. Voracious readers also tend to have an expansive vocabulary, which gives them an edge in fields that prioritise communication skills – from teaching to medicine. On top of that, setting aside time to journal can help you understand yourself better, which can be incredibly therapeutic.
6. Go to Therapy
Therapy can be invaluable when you’re still figuring out how to work on yourself. A licensed therapist provides a safe, nonjudgmental space for assessing your emotional and mental well-being. In turn, you become better at identifying your needs. Therapy enables self-reflection, encourages healthy coping mechanisms, and helps you heal from past traumas that may hinder growth. Remember: you don’t need to be “depressed” to seek therapy – everyone can benefit from it, even if they’re in a “good place.”
7. Invest in Self-Care
Learning how to improve self-esteem is critical for personal growth. One way to boost it is through self-care. The practice involves prioritising your needs, approaching yourself compassionately, and looking after your health. Investing in tools and activities can also be part of the process. For example, ClearCorrect aligners treat misaligned teeth, boosting self-confidence by improving your smile. Addressing insecurities through practical solutions can also help you feel more in control during this tumultuous, ever-changing period.
Of course, these self-improvement goals only scratch the surface of what you can or should do. Reflect on what you truly want for yourself: when you know what milestones you’re working towards, your path becomes ever clearer. Don’t be afraid to fail, either. Self-improvement is never linear – if you’re trying, you’re giving yourself room to improve. Take it a day at a time!