10 Simple Changes to Make in Your 20s

10 simple changes to make in your 20s.

Note: I originally published this back in December of 2015 on Medium. Reposting it here. My writing style has changed over the years, so please be nice.

 

How you spend your 20s is hugely important for determining who you’ll become — personally and professionally — in the future.

Start waking up early.

Countless studies have concluded that early risers are more successful. Sleep experts say that if you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body will be more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, which offers more restorative sleep

Start traveling.

Don’t be a tourist but a traveler. This will help increase your vision and make you realize how big and small the world is at the same time.

Start taking care of your health.

The simplest and most important action you can take is to protect your health. Once it’s gone, it’s really hard to bring back. Most people in their 40s and beyond would trade money for health.

Start showing loved ones you care.

Little gestures, kind words. It’s not about constant contact, but more about finding mutual ways to share your life with the people you care most about.…And if you have a partner, show your love. Take nothing for granted. Life happens.

Start learning how to cook.

You might live alone now, but chances are at some point, you’ll be cohabiting with a significant other and/or kids — and this skill will come in handy.

Start asking questions.

By asking questions, you’re getting different perspectives from different people. Scientists say this kind of curiosity and knowledge-seeking can strengthen your personal relationships because you spend time listening, and boost your performance at work because you always want to learn and improve.

Start practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings. Experts say it can help you perform better at work because it allows you to deal with stress in a more healthy way.

Start appreciating failure.

Take risks. Merely out of our teens, taking risks and failing is the best thing that can contribute to the making of an adult. The more we fail, the more we learn.

Start taking alone time.

Experts recommend spending at least half an hour every day in solitude. Make sure you don’t have your phone with you: Researchers say humans need true solitude, away from texts and Twitter, in order to understand their own behavior and experiences.

Stop feeling bad about the past.

There are two kinds of people in the world: People who live their lives looking back, and people who live their lives looking forward.

Why You Should Write Something Every Day

Why you should write something every day.

Note: I originally published this back in July of 2015 on Medium. Reposting it here on my personal blog. My writing style has changed over the years, so please be nice.

Not everyone loves writing, and I’m not convinced people should love writing.

It’s hard work.

I have a love-hate relationship with writing that has been cultivated over several years.

In college, there is no greater skill than the ability to communicate. We communicate every day.

You communicate with your professors in person and through email; with our friends and relatives through social media, like Facebook and Twitter; and with yourself as well as larger potentially unknown audiences in blog posts and other ways.

You communicate even when you don’t think you’re communicating, and the basis for much of communication is still the written word.

Five reasons you should write daily:

Writing enhances your ability to communicate.

In this culture, communication is so often hampered because we don’t know how to express ourselves, whether it be verbal or written. If you have trouble communicating what you want or asking tough questions, regular writing will give you a mind for structuring words quickly to achieve the desired effect in a diplomatic way.

Writing will remove stress from your mind.

Writing can be therapeutic. It can be a way to vent all the pent-up frustrations burdening your mind into a far less volatile form. Writing can serve as a form of cathartic stress relief where you finally get to say what you can’t say out loud. Note: be careful, don’t burn any bridges in the process.

Writing will develop your analytical skills.

Working through your problems with a piece of paper encourages you to think things through clearly, in both linear (sequential) and non-linear (creative) ways.

Writing regularly online will build your personal brand and help with job seeking efforts.

If you’re seeking a job after college, you’re going to need all the help you can get. Instead of spending hours binge-watching Netflix(don’t deny this fact, I see your Snapchat stories), you could spend 30 minutes a day writing and have something to show for it at the end of the summer.

Writing every day makes you good at writing.

The ability to write well is a powerful skill to be good at nowadays. Write every day to keep your skill with the written word sharp. Like any skill, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and aesthetically degrades without practice.

There are no bad writers — only inexperienced writers.

Conclusion

And that’s just the start. The full benefits of this regular habit are, ironically, not something you can put into words, but something that must be experienced to be known.

Over time, you’ll learn the power of interaction with your audience, and draw inspiration and lessons from the audience. But for now, just get started.

Personal Goals for 2018

Chase Dittmer's personal goals for 2018.

2017 was a big year for me. I accomplished a lot, but I also dropped the ball in some areas. Overall, I would say that it was a successful year. However, I’m nowhere near where I want to be.

I’m writing this list and making it public primarily for myself. I want to hold my self-accountable for accomplishing my goals and there is no better way than making my goals public and accessible to anyone.

I plan to add to this list as I reach the goals, add additional goals, and refine the goals listed below.

1) Track every dollar I spend.

2) Drink less alcohol.

3) Move to California.

4) Write a blog post/article every week.

5) Record one podcast episode every week.

6) Eat less meat and eat more vegetables.

7) Prioritize intermediate fasting.

8) Road trip across the states.

9) Get 1% better every day.

10) Read 20 books in 2018.

 

I’m working on writing a piece on my professional goals for 2018 and plan to share that in the near future. So, stay tuned for that.