Teenage years are a time for growing, learning and understanding yourself as a unique individual. It’s also a time for developing positive habits that will stay with you throughout the rest of your life. Some lessons are learned through experience, but others can be developed so that you can interact with the world and those around you in a positive, effective way. Here are five common habits of highly effective teens who positively shape their lives and the lives of those around them.
1. Be Proactive
Being proactive allows you to be in control of situations. In other words, by being proactive, you plan ahead for situations that might arise, rather than simply react to them as they come. This behaviour also includes setting goals towards what you want and working towards them. By doing so, you are able to be responsible for your own feelings and accomplishments, as well as anticipate any setbacks.
2. Learn to Prioritize
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Life is busy. Sometimes, it’s really busy. Learning how to prioritize will help you complete things that really need to get done, rather than being left to scramble over unfinished tasks. Prioritizing will also help you feel less anxious about deadlines, giving you more free time to spend time with friends and family.
To begin prioritizing in your own life, set up a schedule and keep a calendar of big events or school assignments. Make a list of things that you need to get done, particularly when you’re busy or stressed, and number them from most important to least important. Learn how to cut yourself some slack when those less and important things don’t get done right away and remember to celebrate everything that you do accomplish.
3. Build Relationships Instead of Burning Bridges
One thing that you will continue to learn as you go through life is that we will encounter many people who rub us the wrong way or who don’t “click” with our own, unique personality. Staying positive and treating these people with respect in spite of these differences is incredibly important and can benefit you in the long run. You never know what will happen down the road and how these relationships might change. While you don’t have to be friends with everyone, learning to be kind and respectful helps you to feel more positive, and those you encounter will feel more positive about who you are as a person too.
4. Cultivate Habits for Healthy Living
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It may sound obvious, but learning how to take care of yourself physically is a great skill to learn as a teen that will benefit you later in life and help you be effective now. When you were younger, your parents or guardian were responsible for taking care of your basic needs like sleep, food and hygiene. But as you become more independent, you need to match that by becoming more responsible. Learn how to eat well, exercise regularly, sleep the right amount and maintain proper hygiene. Not only will your physical health benefit, but your mental health will too.
5. Strengthen Your Self-Respect
Above all else, learning to respect yourself will go a long way in how effective you are both as a teen and as you move into adulthood. Learn how to manage and reduce negative “self-talk”— instead remind yourself of your strengths and talents. Surround yourself with people who are positive and who make you feel positive about yourself. Don’t ever forget your value and the unique beauty that you offer those around you, just by being who you are.
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