At some point, everyone comes to that place in their lives where they realize they're not living up to their fullest adult potential. (Though, in their defense, adulting is hard.) Still, it is inevitable — and with 2017 just around the corner, maybe it's time to consider New Year's resolutions to make you a better adult. As crazy as it sounds, committing to be a better adult can kind of take the edge off of being a grown-up. When you have to go about your daily agenda of adult things but you aren't that great at being one yet, you're basically a salmon swimming upstream. You can save yourself some serious hassle by simply learning to swim downstream, and that happens when you embrace being an adult.
Before getting into the specifics, though, let's just get this out of the way: there is no finite definition of adulthood. Sure, there is a textbook definition of adulthood ("the state or condition of being fully grown or mature"), and psychologists generally agree that young adulthood extends from 19 to 45 years old. But being an adult looks different for different people. That's totally cool — no one is asking you to give up all the childlike wonder of the world or stop being you.
Making resolutions to be a better adult is basically just saying that, going into 2017, you'll resolve to be the best version of you as an adult. It's a sliding scale, but here are a few resolutions to get you on the spectrum somewhere.
1. Stop Hitting The Snooze Button
Or reset it for 10 minutes later. And then five minutes after that. And then 12 minutes after that. This also applies if you have more than three alarms set on your phone that go off within a half hour window of each other. If you need to go to bed earlier to accomplish a life free of snooze buttoning, so be it. Your grown-ass is tired anyway, right?
2. Think Before You Tweet (or Whatever)
Before you hit enter on whatever Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook status you've been ruminatin' on for the last five minutes, stop and ask yourself if the post is really worth it. Just T.H.I.N.K.: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If the answer to more than one of those is no, maybe skip it. You've got your whole life to come up with witty zingers.
3. Swap One Reality Show You Watch
Listen, I'm not judging reality show watchers. (I am one after all.) But there are so many incredibly smart and insightful scripted shows, and if adults don't start tuning in they'll go away and take the smart and insightful script writers with them. My recommendations? Rectify or Transparent.
4. Disagree With Your Parents
As a Southerner, I was raised to never talk back to my parents. But being a better adult means standing up for what I believe in, whether that is my personal lifestyle choices, who I voted for, or why Everybody Loves Raymond will never be as funny as Modern Family (sorry, Mom.)
5. But Also, Admit Your Parents Are Right
This might sting a little, but adulting means learning from your mistakes. And a lot of times, that will probably entail calling your folks to help you figure out what you did wrong so they can help you fix it or relying on some morsel of advice your parents passed on to you when you were growing up. You know, the ones you said you'd never use. Touche, parents.
6. Actualize Your Pins
It's great to have goals and make plans to improve yourself, your home, your cooking, etc. Having aspirations is definitely an adult-like thing to do. But does it count if you never actually follow through? Not so much. Start small but following through on one goal a month.
7. Ask For Help
For many, this is the greatest struggle. You think being a grown-up means being independent and self-sufficient. And although it is those things, people who are really good at adulting know that being able to ask for help is a sign of maturity and makes you even better at the whole grown-up thing.
8. Treat Sleep Like The Precious Commodity It Is
Brace yourself: you are getting older. You cannot party quite like you used to. Don't feel bad or sad about this. Feel happy, because now you can actually get away with telling people you are too tired to go out every night.
9. Get Your Finances Straight
Everyone has played the "Will this check bounce" game, along with the "If I put this in my grocery cart, can I still pay the cable bill" game. It's a tough situation to be in. And when you get your finances straight, you usually wind up with a little money to treat yo' self at the end of the month.
10. Cull The Herd
Following someone you can't stand just to see what crazy sh*t they post might be amusing at first, but ultimately it sucks you into their circle of toxicity. Same goes for keeping people on your friends list that you have to constantly give a pass to (i.e. "But he was so nice in high school.") Learn the art of the Unfriend.
11. Be Cool With Where You Are
I'll be the first to tell you that it sucks to look your life expectations right in the eye, because it forces you to realize you might not be anywhere near where you thought you'd be. You might not have the job you wanted at your age and your apartment might be smaller than you imagined it would be, but let this buoy you: everyone wishes they had someone else's life at some point, and someone probably wishes they had yours right now, too.