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What Really Matters in Your 20s?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Navigating your 20s and young adult years can be both scary and rewarding.

Everyone's Got an Opinion

Your parents got one, your friends, your boss, even you. Navigating your 20s is both one of the most exciting times and one of the most scary. If you browse YouTube or Instagram, you'll find content creators whose whole platform is optimizing their 20s. Which is great, but can also make you feel like you're falling faaaaar behind if you don't own a house, make 6 figures, and have a spouse. So today, I'm outlining 5 things that I think actually matter.


You're going to be making mistakes in your 20s. It's a journey. So as we move into my list, remember shame is really not the goal here, but awareness is.

So, here's my list.

1) Get Clear on Your Values

What is your goal? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? What are you looking for out of life? What things would make you feel like you are successful (remember, that benchmark moves!)? Many times we start to flounder in our 20s because we can't figure out our direction. Again, making mistakes is part of the process, let those mistakes guide you to try new things and learn. If you want to one day work for yourself, figure out the reason why and why that's a value to you. If you want to one day have kids, what would you want that to look like? Spend some time dreaming of what matters most to you in this life.

2) Explore What You're Good at and What You Like

Your parent's will have opinions, but remember this life is yours to live. Take inventory of your skills. What are you good at? What do people ask you for help on? What do others praise you for? Figure out what skillset you have, then hone it. Develop your skillset and work reallllly hard at cultivating a good tool belt. This is not just for career, but for family as well. If you value family and want to have your own someday, develop skills to achieve that.

3) Create Good Habits Now

You know when we say things like, "I'll have that car one day" or "I'll be financially responsible when I get married".... how? You are your habits. If you have a habit of spending money without checking your budget, that habit will follow you into your 6-figure job. If you have a habit of staying up too late and then being too tired to work out the next day, do you think that will get easier if you get that promotion or have kids? Probably not. Maybe. But probably not. On the other hand, if you are in the habit of waking up early to work out before your 9am meeting, you're more likely to maintain that habit when you get that promotion. The best time to start a new habit is now.

4) Build a Supportive Social Network

Even in a digital age, it's so important to have close friendships. Navigating adult friendships can be BRUTAL, so this is not an easy step. Transition, moving, marriage, so many monumental moments can affect a friendship dynamic. I've covered this topic a lot on Instagram, so feel free to browse over there, or watch a LiveChat I did, here.

3) Start Saving Now

I know this is the least exciting point I'm making... but just hear me out. I know on Instagram all your friends are traveling and buying cool bags and all that, but its not a bad idea to think of the future. Again, you're going to make mistakes. That's what your 20s are for--figuring it out. But if you can practice being a good steward of your finances now, that'll only set you up for success in your 30s. You don't have to save everything you earn, but even $100/month is better than $0.

All in all, your 20s are about discovery. Discovering your passions, your goals, your identity. Everyone's going to try and give you advice on how you should be utilizing this season, but ultimately, you're not going to know what you want this to look like until you start trying. No one has it all figured out. And I don't think you're supposed to. But once you start dreaming and getting clear on your vision for your 30s, you'll be surprised how clear your path in your 20s starts to look. Example: if you want to be married by 35, what would it look like to prepare for that at 25?

And one last thing... "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Alright! That's it for now.

Take what fits and leave the rest.

You Got This.

Samantha Hoover, LPC

Thorn & Rose Counseling, PLLC

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