Adulting: Three Little Habits that Have a Big Impact

After years in the nest, setting out on your own is exhilarating—and maybe a little daunting. Sometimes it can take years to feel as adult as you appear on the outside. Whether you’re 21, 25, in your thirties (or older!), you still may not feel as though you’ve got everything figured out. That’s ok. It’s normal. And most of us feel that way at some time or another. But there are some effective, and simple, ways to take the reins and feel like you’re in control of your life. These are habits that are useful for all of us, no matter what stage we’re in. But they are particularly relevant in that transitory period after you’ve completed your education and are ready to set out on your own. Here are three little habits that have a big impact:

Live within your means

When you are finally making a living for yourself, especially if you’ve been a poor student in the recent past, it can be so tempting to go nuts spending money. You earned it, and you’re in charge now. But it’s crucial to make sure you’re not spending more than you make. It’s also important to make a habit of saving. 

Some sources say you should save 20% of your after-tax income. If you can’t, commit to a smaller amount that you can put away each month. When an emergency hits, you’ll be glad you have a nest egg. And you’ll be more confident in your ability to weather life’s ups and downs when you have a safety cushion. 

Pull yourself together

You don’t have to put on a suit, or full makeup and heels, but you do need to groom yourself and get dressed. Every day. If you’re a recent college graduate, maybe you have been used to going to class in your sweats. Pandemic Zoom life also got everyone comfortable being a little sloppier than normal. But pulling yourself together on the outside helps you feel put-together on the inside. It’s a habit that’s worth cultivating.

Get enough sleep

This is easy for some people and really dang difficult for others. You know which you are. If you’re still staying up late just because there’s no one around to tell you to go to sleep, stop. There are tons of benefits to getting enough sleep, including better productivity, minimizing health risks like heart disease and diabetes, staving off depression, and improving your immunity, just for starters. Plus, you just feel better when you’re well rested. That episode can wait until tomorrow night, so go to bed!


These three little habits are small, but they have a big impact that extends into other areas of your life. Pick one and start working on it today. You won’t regret it.

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