12 Things 20-Year-Olds Should Do to Launch a Successful Life

Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked yourself “Is this the real me?” Sometimes we try to be someone that we are not. For fifteen years of my life, I was not sure whether I was on the right path to success or not. I didn’t even understand what success meant to me. I was completely lost.

Now you are probably here because your thinking resembles mine. You want to be successful, but you don’t know how, or where to start. You are in the right place at the right moment! Being young means you have your whole life in front of you, so you have the chance to be extremely successful if you begin planning now.

Step #1: Understanding Your Goals

There are so many young people taking life decisions based on what their family or friends believe fits them. That is a huge mistake. If you can relate, make sure you ask yourself the question “Do I really want this?” Setting up your own goals is better than setting up other people’s desired goals for you.

Do not limit yourself to career goals. Analyze other areas of your life – do you help enough people? Are you getting along with your parents? How is your relationship going? Setting goals is not about career only; it is about life, relationships, and being human.

Step #2: Making Valuable Connections & Expanding Your Network

Having good relationships is a big ‘must.’ There is more to life than you – it’s about finding out how other people feel and react. When we start paying attention to the others it’s when we truly understand life.

Career-related tip: It is also good to create strong relationships for your future career. You never know when you meet somebody that could change your life.

Step #3: Creating the Best Reflection of Yourself

Appearances matter. When you submit your resume to a company, they will look at your achievements first. If your image is not reflected correspondently, you will not take the job. By creating an online portfolio and updating it constantly, you will be prepared for anything.

Step #4: Learning and Growing

Being a college student it’s about expanding your knowledge and making the best out of your actions. By now, you may be a junior or a senior. Life is coming at you, and you have to be prepared. Take these last years in college to build up useful skills such as being productive, managing your time, or learning ways to cope with stress. Constantly develop into a better person!

Step #5: Being Productive

Having goals and setting up plans is not enough. You have to be organized and persuasive enough to reach them simply by being the most productive you at all times. Set up deadlines to improve your time-management skills. If you are commuting to college, listen to an interesting podcast on your way to school. Also, make commitments only if you can keep them, and be honest.

Step #6: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Having idols or role models is good up to a point. You have to stay original, and your actions have to reflect your own self. You have your own purpose in life, and you should not depend on others for it. Remember: you are unique and you should stay this way.

Step #7: Respecting People

While many would say that “chivalry is dead,” I still believe in it. I use this term to describe the action of being respectful. And it goes both ways – if you are a woman, you still need to be respectful to the people around you, right?  

Tip: Develop good manners while still young. As you get older, habits will get harder and harder to change.

Step #8: Staying an Opportunist

You might call yourself an optimist, a realist…maybe a pessimist? But regardless of that, you should stay an opportunist. Do not wait for the “right moment” to take an action. Do not make up perfect scenarios in your head and expect them to just happen. Seize the day and live your life accordingly. Make the best out of every moment, and take every opportunity you have! Sometimes, thinking too much hurts more than it helps.

Step #9: Managing Finances

My strategy of saving money is simple. I always ask myself “why am I buying this?” and let me tell you, there are many times I don’t find a good answer. So then, I stop and save. Organize your budget so that a part goes to expenses and a part to having fun – it is a nice way to stay motivated!

Also, take time to find some extra ways to make side income. This can be writing for blog or services such as Essaysontime, or you can try your hand at doing reviews of apps for money. That’s a very good strategy to succeed financially.

Step #10: Setting Boundaries

Creating connections is essential to success. But then again, if it interferes with who you are, you have to set a limit. Put yourself first, and make sure you clearly state your boundaries to the people you meet. They have to know you from the start. Help other people, but don’t step over your values to do it.

Step #11: Experimenting

Have you ever failed at something? Well, that happens to all of us. We call them experiences, and we learn from them. Don’t take life too seriously (nobody gets out alive anyway, huh?) Make sure you go out there in the world and experience! Now it’s the time. Take that less paid job which offers plenty of experience, or volunteer for that cause you really care about! In the end, our experiences define us.

Step #12: Staying Healthy

You can’t do anything if you are not healthy. Eat healthy, and practice daily. Even when you are too lazy to get out of bed, do it. Prove yourself that you are strong enough to stick to your goals. Work out every day and keep a nutritious diet.

I know there is a lot of information to be considered. But that does not mean you should stop living your life until you figure all these things out. Maybe you won’t – at least, not soon enough. Or maybe you will. Regardless of that, make sure you live every day of your life like it would be your last!

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.