If you’re like most people, your first year as an adult feels a lot like being on a tightrope. You’re trying to keep your balance while making major life changes and navigating new territory. Here are the 10 best adulting tips to help you survive (and even thrive) during your first year on your own:
1. Get organized
This is the first of the 10 best adulting tips for a reason.
If you’ve been living in a chaotic, disorganized manner as a young adult, now is the time to make some changes. Start by creating a to-do list and organizing your belongings. This will help you stay on track and minimize stress.
Once you are organized you can then set some goals. What do you want to accomplish in the next year? When you have some objectives in mind, it will be easier to focus on developing a plan and getting things done.
If interested, I wrote a helpful article on how to organize your life. You can check it out here.
2. Set realistic expectations
Your first year as an adult is not going to be a walk in the park. Don’t expect everything to be perfect or go according to plan. You will make mistakes and that’s okay. Just remember that it’s okay to take some time for yourself – you have worked hard to get here.
2. Be financially responsible
When you’re an adult, it’s important to start thinking about your finances.
Seriously. It is extremely important and one of the most impactful of the 10 best adulting tips!
That is why it is important to get your finances in order as early as possible. Once you have them in order, it is even more important to stay on top of it.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents — bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs — so you can understand your financial situation and make smart decisions. These documents will always be important to your financial standing. Always remember to keep updated and accurate records.
On the more day-to-day level, it’s also important to start building good financial habits. Money is one of the biggest sources of stress for adults. If you can get your finances under control, you’ll feel more relaxed and in control.
Start by creating a budget and sticking to it. Extra points if you can do this early on while avoiding common pitfalls like “bad debt”.
If you don’t have any savings, now is the time to start. Begin by setting aside a small amount of money each month. Over time, this money will grow and provide you with security in times of need.
If interested, I wrote a detailed post about the importance of an emergency fund and how to build one. You can check it out here.
3. Make time to care for yourself
It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Make sure to schedule time for activities that make you happy, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with friends.
In order to do this though, you have to be honest with yourself. Understand what annoys you and what recharges you. If you’re not happy with something in your life, make a change. It’s okay to be honest with yourself and ask for help when you need it. Heck, sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves and tell ourselves “no” even when it might be easier to give up.
Read More: 6 Self-Care Practices for Young Adults
This is where setting boundaries come into play. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and spending time with positive people. It’s also important to know when to say “no” to commitments that will drain your energy.
This includes saying “no” when you need to, setting limits on your time and energy, and knowing when to walk away from difficult people or situations.
4. Make relationships count
Your friends and family are your support system, so make sure you nurture those relationships. Spend time with loved ones, confide in them, and lean on them when you need to. These people are your lifeline, so don’t take them for granted.
One thing I am learning quickly is it is better to not go through life alone. You will face many challenges and some you will overcome and some you won’t. At the same time, you will have many triumphs that you will want to share with those important to you.
Regardless, the goal is to have people in your life that you can rely on, whether it’s for a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or just to know you’re not alone.
We all need someone to help us through the tough times. So make your relationships count and remember to not take them for granted.
5. Embrace change
If you’re used to doing things the way you’ve always done them, it’ll be difficult to change course and adjust to new challenges. But change is inevitable, so learn to roll with the punches and take whatever comes your way.
No matter how well you plan, life will always throw curveballs your way. But that’s okay because you can fix things if you let go of the control and give in to the unknown.
Marcus Aurelius in his book Meditations said that “All that exists is the seed of what will emerge from it.”
Everything will see today will change, grow, diminish, and so much more. We have to adapt and embrace what is ahead of us.
6. Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your new life as an adult. Being an adult is a lot of work. But it’s also a lot of fun. So don’t be discouraged if things take a little longer than you anticipated.
It may take some time to adjust to the changes, but be patient and stay positive. You’re on your way to a better life, and everything will happen in its own time. So keep your head up and don’t give up on yourself.
7. Be healthy
When you’re under stress, it’s easy to let your health suffer. Being an adult stress is guaranteed. But you can’t let that stress take over your life.
So help prepare yourself for adult life by taking care of your body and your mind. Remember earlier I said to make time to take care of yourself. Staying healthy is an essential part of that.
So, make sure to get enough exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep. Doing these things will help you maintain your energy levels and keep your body healthy.
8. Keep Learning
You’re never too old to learn something new. In fact, it’s essential to keep learning as you go through life.
As an adult, we are constantly called upon to assume more responsibility. So it’s important to have both the knowledge and the skills to meet the challenges ahead.
So keep your learning muscles exercised by taking classes, reading books, and attending educational events. Doing this will not only help you grow as an individual, but it will also improve your social, financial, and networking skills.
I strongly encourage you to seek out financial learning opportunities as you cannot succeed in life without money management skills. Money is a powerful tool, and it’s important to know how to use it wisely.
Take advantage of the resources that are available to you and never stop learning. After all, knowledge is power.
9. Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to cope with the challenges of adulthood, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your problems and find solutions. Just be sure to find a professional who is qualified and certified to help you.
It might even be helpful to get their perspective on your adulting journey and ask for insight on some adulting tips they deem as important.
10. Enjoy yourself
Lastly, being an adult doesn’t have to be all work and no play.
Make time for the things you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to indulge in a little bit of fun. It’ll keep you feeling young and happy, and that’s what matters the most.
Read More: Why Adulting Is More Fun Than You Think
There’s no one right way to make the transition into adulthood. But if you’re feeling lost and confused, these 10 adulting tips can help you get your life on track. Just remember to take things one step at a time, and always seek professional help if you’re struggling.
Thanks for reading!
Share your thoughts. What would you say are your 10 best adulting tips to know early on?
Best of luck adulting!
Adulting Starts Here
Thanks for reading! If you saw any value in this article, please share it with others. Adulting Starts Here is all about making adulting 101 easier. So share the information – help increase access.
Disclosure: This post may contain some referral links, if you follow them and purchase anything from the recommended services/products, I might receive some commission. I can assure you though that I would never recommend something I don’t trust myself. Thanks for supporting Adulting Starts Here!