Your ultimate adulting checklist to get you organized for the year ahead
Back-to-school season isn’t just the time for students to pencil exams into their planners—adults should, too. This fall, it’s time to hop back on the adulting train and schedule some long overdue tasks that you’ve been procrastinating all summer long.
Breast exams, dentist appointments, planning a budget for the new year—no, these things aren’t exactly fun, but that’s why you’ve been putting them off for so long. Stop allowing that mountain of routine tasks to pile up and start kicking it down instead.
You might be thinking, “Where do I even start?” All of these grown-up duties can seem daunting, so we compiled a list for you to start checking off one-by-one. This fall season, dust off your big girl pants and start adulting.
No one loves doctors’ appointments. They’re not exactly something that you see on your calendar and think, “Yay! I’m really looking forward to having a stranger floss my teeth next week.” And that little puff of air they shoot in your eyes at the optometrist? Ouch. But as uncomfortable as they can be, doctors’ appointments are not something you should allow to go by the wayside. Bite the bullet and schedule your yearly medical exams for the year ahead.
Key appointments to book:
- An annual (or biannual) teeth cleaning
- An eye doctor appointment
- A breast exam
- Women’s health tests at your OB-GYN, including a pelvic exam, Pap smear, and STD tests
One of the most important parts of planning for the year ahead is taking a look at your finances. Becoming financially responsible and independent is a long process, but setting boundaries and goals for your financial habits will make it less of a stressor in your life this coming year.
First thing’s first: Create a budgeting system for yourself, which will make tackling other financial responsibilities will fall into place more easily. Other financial habits to adjust or incorporate: Start building credit and monitoring your credit report and pay into an emergency fund, a 401K, or investment accounts. Organize your student loans and other debts and make a payment plan for them.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to check in with your overall career goals. Don’t let things that seem small—but are super important—slide when you have your hands full hustling every day. Did you get so caught up in the duties of your new job that you forgot to add them to your LinkedIn page? Go type that hard-earned position title into your profile.
It’s key that your professional profiles, résumé, and website are up-to-date and reflect the boss that you are. You never know who might stumble upon your information, so ensure that they’re seeing all of the awesome things you’re accomplishing.
Next, reach out to those contacts with whom you’ve been meaning to grab coffee. It’s easy to slip into a routine and become comfortable with where you are in your career, but there are always people to meet and learn from. Networking is never overrated.
Finally, turn inward and look at what you need to work on personally. Maybe you need to challenge yourself when it comes to cooking. Heating up ramen noodles in the microwave every night was acceptable in college, but that doesn’t cut it anymore. Commit to cooking a new meal every week, or even just learn how to make five decent meals that you rotate weekly.
Check in on your drinking habits, if alcohol is a part of your life. Ask yourself: Am I consuming a healthy amount to build the lifestyle I’m working toward?
If you’ve been holding grudges against people in your life—maybe even against yourself—let them go and work toward forgiveness.
Renew your license or passport. Note every local election coming up in your calendar and vote.
Finally, set one (or several) mental health goals that you will actually stick to in the coming year. Even starting small, like promising to be kinder to yourself, can make a huge impact.
Now, imagine how great you’ll feel when January rolls around and you’ve checked all of these items off of your to-do list—just in time for a fresh start with the new year.
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