A week ago, I turned 27, Yay!!. It was a very exciting day for me day, time to party but also time to reflect on a lot of things like how much I've grown, what I used to dream my life would be like when I turn 27, which goals I had and whether I've reached them or not. This inspired me to write down a list of the top 7 things I think everyone should do before turning 27.
1- Learn financial literacy
Financial literacy is probably one of the most important skill I've learned in my life. 27 is around the age when most people start taking charge of their financial future. The best way to do so is to learn about basic personal finance. No need to be an expert here, all you need to know is basics like how much you earn and how much you spend, the difference between assets and liabilities, good debt and bad debt. It's always good to have an idea of what your net worth is. Unless you managed to pay off your school loans by the time you turn 27 (lucky you!!) your net worth is a negative. But it's good to have an idea or be aware of what it is.
2- Give yourself some slack
If you're like me then you probably have a tendency to be too hard on yourself. I know because I used to do it all the time. If you know a bit of my background you know I'm originally from Cameroon and my first language is actually french. When I moved to the US at 19, I knew how to read and write English, but I didn't know how to speak it fluently. I used to put myself down or feel really self-conscious about my English. I never thought it was good enough or fluent enough (even though no one has ever complained about my English at all, I had put in my head that my spoken English just wasn't good enough). I never wanted to speak loud or speak in public because I was worried of saying the wrong thing and look completely dumb. I realize now that I was just being way too hard on myself and for no reason really. I was setting those crazy unrealistic expectations for myself. I don't need to be perfect or always say the right thing all day everyday, I just need to be me. And it's okay to make mistakes. It's called being human.
3- Set a financial goal
This kind of goes back to the first one on the list. Everyone should have some kind of financial goal set up by the time they turn 27. This could be saving up for something you want to buy, setting a certain amount of saving you'd like to have in your savings account setting up a target net worth you want to reach by the time you turn 30, 40 or 50. This is good because it gives you something to work towards and something you'll be proud of once you reach it.
4- Exercise Regularly
By the time you turn 27 you want to have a well rounded exercise routine. You don't need to be a gym rat for this. You just want to have some kind of physical activity that you do a couple of times a week, something that works for you and that is sustainable in the long run, whether it's dancing, swimming, running, yoga or anything else you'd like. Developing healthy habits now will make it easier to stick to them later in life.
5- Learn to be happy on your own
Taking charge for your own happiness is the best thing you could do for yourself, trust me on this one. This means living a fulfilled life where you're happy on your own and you don't need anyone to make you happy. If you always expect others to make you happy you will always be disappointed. Happiness is something that comes from within, it's not something someone else can bring to you.
6- Accept your body
If I could talk to 20 year old me, I would tell myself that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my body. Hating or criticizing your body doesn't change it, it just makes you sad for no reason. Learn to be in a good place with your body and be comfortable in your own skin. Embrace my body and take care of it the best you can.
7-Learn to Say No
Learning to say no is by far one of the hardest things I had to do thus far in my life. I, too, used to be afflicted with the people-pleasing disease. We've all been there. I used to want to please everyone and make everyone happy. I just wanted to be the nice girl, the kind person. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to make your friends or family happy, but you shouldn't feel compelled to say yes all the time. It's okay to put your foot down sometimes and not feel guilty about it. It might seem scary to say no because you don't know how people will react but you have to know it's ok. It's about doing things on your own terms, not on someone else's. Just do you boo.
There is my top 7 things every 27 year old should know. What do think? Let me know in the comments below.