11 Things You Should Do Today To Set Yourself Up For An Amazing Life

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’re all getting older. It’s grim, but it’s reality—and hopefully, it’ll still be decades upon decades until our final days arrive. Now is the best time to start working on ourselves and be at our healthiest because our future selves depend on it. Here are a few things you need to start doing if you’re not already.

  1. Start exercising daily. It’s true—if you don’t use your body, you’ll lose your body. I’m not just talking about exercising for physical appearance either. I’m talking about exercising for future mobility. Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our bodies and it’ll help keep us healthy. You don’t even need to go all out and get a gym membership. Just take a nice stroll on a sunny day to get started.
  2. Consider going back to school. Whether you went from high school to the working world or just majored in the wrong thing, it’s always good to broaden your career path by going back to school. Sure, it’s expensive and yes, it may set you back a little financially. Still, if you know you’re on the wrong path, now is the time to do something about it. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the next few years wondering “what if?”
  3. Apply for the job you actually want. Do you know that so many women avoid applying to places unless they’re a 100% match with the listed job qualifications? That doesn’t necessarily stop men. Start applying for the jobs you want and not just the ones you think you’re going to get. Nobody’s going to look over your LinkedIn profile and laugh at you because you have got nine years of experience instead of the 10 they listed. Take a chance on yourself.
  4. Wear sunscreen. Seriously. You’re old enough to know that a guy won’t like you just because you’re tan. Summer is great, but you have the potential to do a lot of damage out there—and I mean more than getting a sunburn. It’s reported that 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every single day in the United States. Need more reason to grab the lotion? It’ll help you look younger as you age. A lot of skin aging is due to sun damage.
  5. Take your mental health seriously. It won’t get better on its own. Maybe you didn’t have good insurance before or figured your depression spells were just “normal” and “nothing to worry about.” However, these things can spiral really quickly and you owe it to your future self to be at your healthiest. Consider seeing a therapist or even just talking about your depression and anxiety symptoms with your doctor.
  6. Dump the guy you have no future with. Why are you still with this dude? He has no aspirations, doesn’t know how to pay bills or take care of the laundry, and he’s been known to stretch the truth on occasion. You deserve better than this. Find a guy who knows why cleaning is important and who knows at least one great recipe for a homemade meal. That’s the guy you belong with.
  7. Make a life plan with your partner. If you’re already in your relationship, you need to start thinking about your next steps. Do you want kids? When do you plan to have them? If fertility is an issue, would you consider IVF, surrogacy, or adoption? What would you do if one of you had to move for a job? These are all big questions, sure, but they’re important in making sure you and your significant other are on the same page. Your future self will be happy that you took charge of both your relationship and your life.
  8. Go to the doctor. Get check-ups, see your dentist, make sure your eyes are checked, and just take care of yourself. If you have insurance, use it. And don’t avoid the gynecologist—that’s one of the most important doctors that women tend to skip.
  9. Remove your makeup every night. It’s tempting to just crash in bed with a full face of foundation, but taking care of your skin is important and washing it properly will help you build confidence that’ll last a lifetime. Also, your pores will thank you for it.
  10. Find out who your true friends are. As you grow older, friends fade. That means you want to invest time into the ones that are actually legit. Think about the friends who have been there for you when times were hard and the buddies who never declined your phone calls, regardless of what time it is. Invest time in the people who invest time in you. The people who cause drama or just add negativity aren’t worth hanging onto.
  11. Meditate. There are meditations out there that are just a minute long, so you can’t use the excuse that you have no time. Meditating can chill you out, refocus you, and make you feel better about the day. It’s an activity that will be extremely beneficial in the future if you add it to your daily schedule.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.