I do my best not to regret the past. I can’t do anything about it now, I can only change what I do today, and tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other. Now that I’m in my 30s, and hindsight is always 20/20, there are a few things I wish I would have done in my 20s. Maybe you can learn from them.
1 // I wish I would have traveled more.
I don’t have kids and am not limited in that way, but funny enough, my husband and I did very well for ourselves in our 20s, but we didn’t do much traveling. We should have. My hotel standards were lower back then, and now that I’m an entrepreneur I tend to work all the time, even when I’m on vacation. So I regret not traveling more when I was younger.
2 // I wish we wouldn’t have bought a house.
My husband and I bought a house just two years after we graduated college and got married. Back then we thought it was what you were supposed to do. No one told us that real estate isn’t always a good investment. We put a lot of money and sweat equity into the home, and then ended up selling it at a loss thanks to the awful economy. I’m past it all now, but looking back, we would have saved a lot of money if we didn’t buy a house. It was just bad timing and a bad location. We got screwed by economical events that were out our control.
The upside is that I learned a lot about being a home owner. We also had two dogs and a house with a yard which made it easier to have two large dogs. I also learned that I will go with my gut the next time we buy any property.
3 // I wish I would have started and kept a workout habit.
I didn’t workout for the first few years of my marriage. I grew up really skinny and didn’t really need to workout, except that I never built any muscle. I always played sports that were more cardio driven and less about muscle. And now that I’m in my 30s, I really wish I would have made working out a habit in my 20s and built muscle then. Now I’m trying to build muscle from scratch, and it sucks. Trust me, your body and metabolism changes in your late 20s/30s, and catching up is much harder than maintaining.
Girls, I am dead serious about this. If you don’t have muscle, aren’t in shape, don’t workout, don’t lift weights in some way START NOW. I promise you will be so glad you did later in life. You will prevent so much injury and illness by having a strong healthy body.
4 // I wish I would have saved more money.
Like I said, my husband and I did well in our 20s, and we lived in Kansas City which is a very affordable place to live. I had a really good retirement account so we didn’t think to get additional retirement accounts (Roth IRAs) until later. If you don’t have one, start one now, don’t wait. We are still young, so it’s no big deal, but it’s just smarter to start earlier and we had the money to do so back then, and just didn’t.
5 // I wish I would have read more books.
What the heck did I do with all my free time? Honestly I don’t really remember. I read a lot of magazines, but not a lot of books. Did a lot of blogging, and going out to eat (and drink) with friends, but I wish I would have read more books, and probably watched less stupid TV.
6 // I wish I would have done something more meaningful with my time and started traditions.
This is a bit broad, but I wish I would have thought about life a little more deeply, what I wanted out of it, and started moving in that direction. I feel like my 20s were sort of a blur. They were fun, stressful at times, but I have a hard time remembering things, and I think had I set goals and done them I would feel like I actually did something meaningful.
It’s not like you have to have everything figured out in your 20s, that’s when you do the figuring out, but I wish I would have done things like, go on an annual trip with my girlfriends, go to a different country each year with my husband, do certain physical challenges, things like that. All things I can start doing now.
Is there anything you wish you would (or wouldn’t) have done in your 20s? Please share in the comments!
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