Level Up With This 31-Day Adulting Challenge
Having trouble with adulting? Don’t want to grow up?
The transition from becoming an adult at 18 to actually becoming a grown-up human who self-identifies as an “adult” is a long one. Don’t worry, though, you’re not alone!
Whether you’re fresh out of college or fresh into your mid-30s, adulting is an ongoing challenge that isn’t always fun. After all, it means becoming more independent, paying more bills, and even cleaning up after yourself once in a while.
Adulting Is Hard. Reward Yourself!
Adulting is a challenge. It takes a lot of hard work -- and a lot of time -- to develop a routine for managing adulthood and all its unpleasant tasks, like doing laundry and paying your income tax. Maybe you know a young adult you're proud of and you'd like to show it. Or maybe you know a know-it-all young adult and you'd like prank them a little bit. Keep them motivated with IRLA Adulting challenge medals. Get a series of five medals that mark your milestones for adulting tasks. As you set more goals and make progress in your adulting challenges, your IRLAs give you the motivation to do more and more.
The good news is that with a little effort and some intentional steps, you can start feeling more in control and independent… like the proud adult you are!
To help, we've put together a 31-day adulting challenge to help you tackle common adulting tasks and get on track toward the life you want. (IRLA Adulting challenge medals make great gifts, too!)
Your 31-Day Adulting Challenge
This challenge is designed to help you tackle common adulting tasks, from financial management to fitness, organization, and more.
Each day, you’ve got a new task that will help you develop important life skills and build confidence in your abilities.
Still, adulting can be tough, and sometimes it's hard to stay motivated. That's why we've created the Adulting IRLA Pack – a set of five challenge medals to reward yourself for your hard work and keep you motivated throughout the challenge.
Whether you want to celebrate cooking all your meals for a week or setting up a retirement savings account, these medals are a fun way to acknowledge your accomplishments and keep pushing yourself to achieve even more.
Day 1: Make a budget for the month and track your expenses
Having enough money to pay for your bills and expenses may just be the most important part of being an adult. Adulting can be expensive!
Day 2: Clean and organize your living space (e.g. de-clutter, deep clean, etc.)
When you’re living on your own, there aren't any other adults to clean up after you. So your adulting challenge is to give your personal space a sweep or vacuum once a week (and put those socks in that laundry hamper, mister!).
Day 3: Research and compare different health insurance plans
Part of adulting is learning how to live as long as possible. That starts with being healthy, so spend some time today making sure you’ve got the right health plan.
Day 4: Learn how to change a flat tire and check your car's oil
Head to YouTube today for some quick tutorials on basic car maintenance. While AAA may be there for you in an emergency, being able to do the basics for yourself is a satisfying step toward adulting your best.
Day 5: Schedule a dentist and doctor appointment for a checkup
Don’t remember when your last check-up was? Then it’s time to schedule your next one.
Day 6: Write a thank-you note to someone you appreciate
Thank-you notes aren’t just for when you get gifts. Let people know that you appreciate them (even when they’re not sending you money!). Part of adulting is learning that positive interactions with people makes you feel good.
Day 7: Cook yourself your day’s meals
Having a few go-to recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is always going to come in handy, so challenge yourself to spend today in the kitchen cooking.
IRLA Pack Challenge: Cook all your meals for the week
Day 8: Set up a regular exercise routine
Think about the time you have available to yourself throughout the week and pick a few days that you could reasonably commit to a type of exercise you like. You may need to consider dieting and weight loss before diving into serious physical challenges. Are you into strength and weightlifting challenges? Drinking plenty of water is important in all activities, so make sure you stay hydrated.
Day 9: Start a gratitude journal
Spend 5 minutes in the morning noting what and who you’re grateful for.
Day 10: Make a plan to pay off any outstanding debts
While you may not be able to pay off all your debts in a single day, you can certainly find out how much you owe and what steps you need to take.
Day 11: Learn how to invest in the stock market
Find a low-risk, consistent way to invest in the stock market that fits within your budget to help set yourself up for a more comfortable future.
Day 12: Practice time management skills
For those wannabe adults whose days are always getting away from them, make a To Do list of your day’s tasks, then note the time it takes to handle them. This will help you better plan your days in the future.
Day 13: Sign up for a system to track your expenses
This will help you get through tax time even more easily next year.
IRLA Pack Challenge: File your taxes
Day 14: Plan a trip or vacation
Vacations don’t always have to be spur of the moment. Give yourself something to look forward to by planning a trip six months in advance.
Day 15: Find a mentor or role model who inspires you in your career
Another way of adulting is modeling yourself after the adults in your life. Or, if you feel like you’ve leveled up to this stage of adulting already, consider becoming a mentor yourself.
Day 16: Practice self-care and relaxation techniques (e.g. meditation, yoga, massage, etc.)
Finding a healthy way to deal with stress and fatigue is a sure sign of adulthood.
Day 17: Make a meal plan for the next week and grocery shop accordingly
Grocery stores aren’t just the place to find pre-made salads for lunch. Look up a recipe that you can make for multiple days of meals, then go shop for it.
Day 18: Learn how to negotiate and advocate for yourself in the workplace
You may not have a negotiation coming up tomorrow, which makes this the perfect low-stakes time to look up some basic salary and benefits negotiation techniques to better prepare you for the next time.
Day 19: Set a savings goal and create a plan to achieve it
In addition to getting out of debt and investing for the future, adults should also be setting aside a small amount of money in case of emergencies.
Day 20: Take an online course
Whether for professional development or personal interest, sign up for an online course that engages your curiosity and encourages your learning.
Day 21: Make a list of all the monthly bills you have
Just setting up automatic bill pay isn’t enough. Make sure you are aware of what your bills are and how much you’re paying each month.
IRLA Pack Challenge: Pay a bill by yourself
Day 22: Practice networking skills and connect with someone in your desired field or industry
Networking doesn’t have to be stressful or icky. Reach out to an old colleague and see if they’ll introduce you to a professional connection for a Zoom call or a coffee.
Day 23: Volunteer or donate to a cause you care about
As much as adulting is about taking care of yourself and getting your life in order, it’s also about your role in your community and your world. Spend today seeing where you can carve out time to volunteer or make space in your budget to donate.
Day 24: Plan and host a dinner party or gathering with friends or family
You’re more than three weeks into this 31-day adulting challenge. Now’s the time to show off your progress (and your newly organized apartment) by hosting a dinner party.
Day 25: Learn how to read a lease or mortgage agreement
While staring down a lease or mortgage agreement that you have to sign is a good way to force yourself to learn, a more adult way to handle the situation is to learn how to read these binding documents ahead of time. Check out this Bank Rate guide on reading leases/mortgage agreements to get the basics ahead of time.
IRLA Pack Challenge: Sign a lease or mortgage on a home
Day 26: Make a plan to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle
In a move that’s both selfish and selfless, reducing one’s impact on the world should be a part of everyone’s adulting process. It not only makes the world a better, more livable place for you, but it also helps to protect it for all those other adults to come.
Day 27: Practice effective communication skills
Unfortunately, we as adults can’t just slam the door to our room when we face problems. To communicate more effectively – at work, with friends, and with family – check out this post on the basics of communication.
Day 28: Spend an hour researching retirement savings accounts
If you don’t have any of your own retirement savings accounts set up – or maybe you just have an employee-sponsored one – spend some time looking into how to set your future self up for success.
IRLA Pack Challenge: Set up a retirement savings account
Day 29: Create a vision board or set goals for the next year
As much as we wish we could say this 31-day adulting challenge is all you need to become a full-fledged adult, the process is going to take a bit longer. Take an afternoon to visualize and write down where you’d like to be in a year.
Day 30: Take 10 minutes to write about your progress
Before you can get to a year from now, it’s helpful to think in smaller, more manageable chunks of time. A 10-minute bout of journaling each day helps you to document where you’re coming from and where you’re going.
Day 31: Take the day off
Adulting doesn’t just mean figuring out finances for the rest of your life. Make sure to treat yourself to a nice weekend once in a while to reward yourself for all of the hard work!
I DON'T WANNA GROW UP
No one throws parties for filing their taxes on time, but maybe they should. These IRLAs let you celebrate your grown-up moments as you make the big moves toward becoming a functional adult person. Taxes, cooking, bills. Saving for rainy days. The non-sexy steps to learning how to survive on your own may not be fun, but once you learn to boil your own water, nothing can stop you.
Ready to sit at the grown-ups table?