20 Habits That Make Me Think Like An Adult.

I am fortunate enough to have a lot of inspirational people in my life, and I strive to learn from them on a daily basis. I’m attempting to make the following 20 points seem like second nature to me, as I really respect the impact that these kinds of behaviours can have. As always, let me know if there are any other habits you think should be added to the list!

  1. Send a thank you card when someone has you over for dinner or gives you a gift.
  2. Give a damn about what you eat.
  3. Have a documents folder for your important paperwork. ‘I can’t find it’, is an excuse you should probably stop using once you leave high school.
  4. Be savvy with money. Regardless of how much you earn, it never hurts to stop and think about what you’re buying before you swipe your debit or credit card. So many unexpected bills and invoices have crept up on me over the last couple of years, such as paying to renew my passport, cancellation fees for subscriptions I no longer needed, and paying the deposit for the house I’m renting. Seriously, I have spent several hundreds of pounds on things I didn’t even know I needed to spend money on, and if I hadn’t put some cash aside, I would have been in real trouble. Being thrifty is a great habit to have!
  5. Get to know yourself, really well. Having a few introspective moments now and then will help you to piece together why you are the way you are, and why you act the way you do. And this will make navigating your relationships and day to day interactions a whole lot easier.
  6. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Try to admit when you’re wrong, but also when you’re not giving yourself enough credit.
  7. Think before you speak.
  8. Try to practice gratitude on a daily basis. It’s inevitable that as you get older, you have more responsibilities. You have to pay bills, feed yourself, do laundry, plan your life around others, support your loved ones maybe one day be financially and physically responsible for your children and parents. We don’t get a choice with many of these things. But we do have a choice about how we deal with the less glamorous parts of life. Terrible things happen, a lot of the time to the most undeserving individuals; people pass away, get ill, companies fold, accidents happen. Mildly irritating things happen too; hard work ends in futility, colleagues annoy you and bad customer service in shops seems to be on the rise in many places. But focusing on the good things that happen in a day rather than the bad things can help you to stop complaining and ultimately make you, and those around you, happier.
  9. Treat children with respect. All the times an adult refused to take me seriously is still painfully fresh in my memory, and it can really do a lot of damage.
  10. Be aware of people around you – notice people who may need help with carrying things, and hold doors open for people. If people have made an effort to help you, thank them, and if you’ve inconvenienced them, apologize.
  11. If you’re lucky enough to be on good terms with your family, contact members of your immediate family weekly and give your extended family a quick text or phone call on a regular basis. It can really mean a lot to them that you’ve bothered to get in touch.
  12. Accept the fact that not everyone is going to like you.
  13. Know your limits, and learn to recognise when you need some time off, even if it’s just 10 minutes away from your desk. No one’s going to be impressed with your hard work if you burn yourself out and get ill.
  14. Surrender your sense of control. You don’t and can’t control every aspect of your life, as I have learned. The sooner I accepted that, the happier I became.
  15. Have integrity. If you don’t think you’ll be proud of it later, don’t say it, or don’t do it.
  16. Make good use of a planner, whether it’s digital or on paper. Continually forgetting things can lead to embarrassment and a decrease in self esteem over time. I try to write everything down, as it minimises the, ‘it was in my head a second ago!’ moments. I also like to prioritise 2 or 3 things I need to complete in a day, so my to-do list doesn’t seem so daunting.
  17. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  18. If you drive, drive safely.
  19. Start saving early. Even 10% of what you earn will add up to a good amount over time.
  20. Keep an eye on what you’re consuming and what you’re throwing away. Donating clothes and books to charity does so much more good than throwing them away, and recycling packaging from what you buy is better than putting it in a landfill!

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I completely understand that different things are important to different people. Many of you will love fitness and say that exercise is a vital part of leading a good life. Others of you would swear by travel and broadening the mind with books and documentaries. These are just the things I am working on, let me know what you think!

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