25 Achievable Life Goals by Age 25: Here’s The Breakdown

Your 20’s is a wild time. You’re full of energy, excited to build a great life and experience everything this world has to offer. There’s a lot of potential for great things, and a lot of traps you could fall into! We all want to come out of the first 25 years of our lives with a sense of being on the right track, with as few regrets as possible. This list is here to help!

We’ve been as extensive as we can. Material things, body and mind, positive habits, relationships and experiences, the lot. Why not go for all of it?

I hope that this list fuels your ambition and inspires you to build a great life for yourself. If you’re older than 25, that’s all good. Really this is a blueprint for building a great foundation in your life, and there’s plenty here for you to consider.

Birthday Cake with 25 candles

Get your finances in order

A small percentage of millionaires will achieve that status very quickly (athletes, certain entrepreneurs, trust fund babies) but for most, the recipe is as old as time. Earn as much as you can, live below your means, save, invest, repeat. 

Whatever the path looks like for you, you will only start walking down it when you stop living like a student and start planning your financial future. In his book Financial freedom, Grant Sabatier identifies the 7 stages of financial freedom. As soon as you can, you want to start working up through these stages.

Stage 1CLARITYKnowing where you are, tracking income and outgoings
Stage 2SELF SUFFICIENCYFree of urgent debt, able to pay for your lifestyle and cover all expenses
Stage 3BREATHING ROOM6 months worth of expenses saved, able to cover unexpected fees
Stage 4STABILITY1 year worth of expenses saved, relatively secure
Stage 5FLEXIBILITY2 years worth of expenses saved, offers more freedom to live on your terms
Stage 6FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCEEnough money to not have to work for the rest of your life. Ether through a lump sum, or wealth-generating assets
Stage 7ABUNDANT WEALTHAble to give large amounts to good causes and build a positive legacy.

I got the audio version of Grants’ book and found it brilliantly informative. It was actually one of the books behind me starting this website. You can find it on Amazon with this link!

Start a side hustle

There are a few great reasons why you should start a side hustle whilst you’re still young. First, it’s literally never been easier. There are a million ways to make a million dollars, so it follows that there are at least a few million ways to make a second income stream to help you work through those stages.

Second, you can turn something you genuinely love into a business. Once upon a time, you could do what you love on the weekends when you were not earning a living down some coal mine somewhere. These days, you can build a great life doing something that for you, doesn’t even feel like work. What a time to be alive!

Although a side hustle is a good idea for everyone, there’s really no better time than when you’re young. Think about it: you got no kids, no big mortgage, you’re full of energy, and you could fail at like 3 different things and still be young enough to go again.

When it comes to starting a side hustle, the best time to start is yesterday. The next best time is today!

If you are still unsure about what you could build for yourself, check out 100 side hustles. This is a book full of 100 real, unique, interesting side hustle stories that really get you thinking and give you some great outside-the-box side hustle ideas. You will finish this book deeply inspired to start your own thing!

Understand investing

Image demonstrating the idea of compound interest

If you think you understand compound interest and it doesn’t blow your mind a little bit, you might need to think it through a bit more. Albert Einstein called it the 8th wonder of the world.

“Those who understand it, earn it. Those who don’t understand it, pay it”. 

If you are saving money for the future and just doing so in a regular savings account, you are leaving a completely obnoxious amount of money on the table.

Consider this. If a person puts 10 thousand pounds into a basic index at age 20, and then adds 500 pounds per month until they are 45, they will have contributed 160 thousand pounds in total. Just purely through the compound interest on their investment, they will have over HALF A MILLION POUNDS, assuming the market does what it has done for the last 200 years.

This is using just about the lowest risk, lowest yield investment strategy. There are people like you and me who put these numbers to shame.

Our goal here is not to give any kind of financial advice. Our goal here is to urge you to take this seriously and educate yourself. You will genuinely be hundreds of thousands of pounds better off. 

Invest in great friends

In this day and age, everyone seems to have about 1000 “friends”. We are at this point just unbelievably networked to pretty much every one we’ve ever known. This isn’t a bad thing, as long as you see it for what it is. You don’t really have 1000 friends. You might have 10 if you’re lucky. 

But thank god for that! How many friends do you really want? 1 real friend who’s ride or die for you, and you for them, is way more real than those 1000 randomers who you used to go to school with or something. I mean good luck to them, fair play to them, but for the most part, you’ve got to only really care about people who really care about you. 

Identify who you are really about and who is really about you, in my case that’s about 4 or 5 people max. They’re your people. Trust them, make sure they can trust you and don’t worry too much about keeping up appearances with the rest of them. Life’s so much simpler that way.

Read also: 12 characteristics of a virtuous person

See the world

For me, the main reason why you should travel the world and experience different cultures is that one day, you’re going to be dead.

You got one life on this earth, so who are you to not fully experience yours? Learn about people, places, cultures, all that stuff. When you feel a bit uncomfortable, it is usually a good sign. 

I know a few people personally who traveled from London to Europe or Asia for work, and they just never came back. They were blown away by what they found out there. Imagine if they never went because they were worried about their dentist appointment or their loft conversion or something else that doesn’t matter! It is a top priority in your life.

And if you’re gonna do it, why not when you’re young? You are pretty untethered, and you don’t really care about being too fancy with it. What could be a cheap flight and market food when you’re 20 might end up being a big cruise liner and a Hilton hotel when you’re 45. Take advantage of that lack of bougieness! 

Honestly, this one is really worth some careful planning because you don’t want to travel at the expense of making progress in your career and your other long term goals. But maybe work abroad. Maybe stay with friends and do it cheaply. Maybe put 5% away every month on top of your other investments. It can be done!

Enjoy dating

*winks creepily*

No, but seriously. What kind of person are you in a relationship with? What do you like? What can’t you stand? How do women/men think you can improve? Without wining and dining a little bit, you will never know! 

I’m not an expert on relationships or seduction or any of that business, but anything I do know has only really come from personal experience and making mistakes. You gotta be comfortable with going for what you want if you’re ever going to get it.

Dating a few people is also better for you long term. When you meet “the one” and fall in love and that’s the end of that, it can be easy to put that other person on a pedestal. 

My friend was with a complete psycho for like 3 years. It was his first real relationship, and it was only after it ended that he realized he had been putting up with some seriously poor form for years just because that’s how he thought most relationships were.

You can literally, at any moment in your life, get more serious and more committed with your partner. When that day comes it will be a beautiful thing, but there’s a lot of value in dating different people for a while that you might not want to miss out on. (My current favorite book on dating is Models by Mark Manson).

Learn to drive

Man Driving Cool Car

Even if you live in Manhattan and you never need to drive anywhere, you just never know what your life is going to look like way off in the future. The vast majority of people, at some point in their lives, do find themselves in need of a driver’s license for picking up the kids or driving the van or whatever it is. 

Although it’s a pain to pay for the lessons and sacrifice the time when you’re young and there’s all this great stuff going on, your life will only really get busier over time. It’s almost guaranteed that if you don’t pass your driving test around that age, you will end up regretting it.

Read also: What is man’s purpose in life?

Get in amazing shape

I’m not gonna waste your time telling you why you should be in good healthy physical shape.

The point here is to get it done early, and let me tell you why.

Since I was about 15, I have never ever been in bad shape. My dad encouraged sports when we were young, and then I started weight training and running on my own time. I would say it’s far beyond a habit at this point, I’ve literally never not been on some kind of regular exercise.

Because of that early work put in, It’s really a pleasure to push my body and stay fit. Even at my most undisciplined, this is different. I have been in debt drinking too much and hating my job, but staying lean and fit was never in question. It feels more like eating than like work at this point. I have to say I’m grateful for this kind of upbringing.

Another reason why you wanna get this handled early is that it’s just easier when you’re young. You can get lean and strong in your 20s, and then those older years become more about maintenance. Of course, if you have to, you can absolutely change your body well into the second half of your life. But you might have quite a rough go of it.

Cultivate the reading habit (audiobooks count!)

The world is changing. People don’t seem to read anymore. More and more information is being shared through short-form videos, and attention spans are shrinking en mass. It’s the dark side of this amazing new world we live in. But if you can become an avid reader, you will have a serious advantage over almost everybody! 

The technologies are not all bad tho! Audiobooks are amazing and cheap and let you take advantage of found time. They absolutely count, just because it doesn’t put you to sleep doesn’t mean it’s not good for you. To try to win you over, here are a few historical figures sharing their opinions about the importance of reading.

“The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them” – Mark Twain

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured for”- Socrates

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book”- J.K. Rowling

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Think before you speak. Read before you think”- Fran Lebowitz

I wrote an article a while back about 5 books that shaped my life, check it out here

Be ambitious with your career path

Man attempting ambitious moves in gymnastics

The reason why this is so important is that if you’re not careful, you will aim far lower than you are capable of aiming. You don’t aim high enough because the people around you settle for good enough. And those people settle for that because they think that’s all there is for them because that’s what the people around them settle for!

However you can get it done, buy into the idea that you could be right at the top of your industry. You could be the guy who helps people around you think bigger. 

The thing about life is that it tends to become exponentially more complex over time. People get sick, your family grows, and you have to spend a lot more of your time on taxes and health problems. The best time in your life to settle down and get a dog and promenade with the missus/Mr is any time you want.

The best time to forget all that, go and get yours, see what you could be, and make your career your top priority, is as soon as you are out of education. Maybe during!

Aim as high as you can see. Plow towards it. When you start to see a bit higher, aim there. Go big and do not settle. Do not live your 20s with a 65-year-old wartime mentality.

Taste different career options

When you are in your 20’s there is so much time. You’ve got like 3 more lives worth of time. So any kind of career problem is really no problem at all. 

Don’t like what you do? Just do something else. Put 3 years into a career path and found it’s not what you hoped? No drama, now you know. You got time. Do something else. If you had to put 10 years of your life into trying and failing in order to find that one thing that you’re really good at and you really love and even if you won a trillion pounds you wouldn’t take a day off, would you do it? Because if you would, that’s great news. You don’t have to look like you got it together by staying in a place you don’t like and buying a load of stuff. You can just be curious. Explore your options. 

When I dropped out of my chemistry degree 5 years back, everybody acted like it was this bad failure kind of thing. I mean even me. I looked like I was off track. But after working in construction and deciding that wasn’t me either, I took a job washing vegetables and mashing potatoes in a kitchen.

I cannot imagine what I would be today if I never tried the restaurant industry. I absolutely love my job. I’m good at it. It gets more fun every month. I have worked under some of the best chefs in the world. I know people like me who have been in the industry for 20 years, and still have that passion for what they do every day. 

If this website made a million pounds a month, I’m pretty sure it still would not be my main thing. Writing is cool, but nothing does it for me like restaurants and food. If you haven’t found that yet, there’s nothing else you should be focused on. 

Read also: How to become a successful chef (10 tips!)

Move out and look after yourself

man building a fire in the forest

It’s time to get yourself together! When we were in school, some adults used to tell us that those years would be the best years of our lives. If anybody tells you that as a young person, draw a line. Refuse to believe that. It’s a loser’s mentality in every sense, bless them. It won’t be true, because you won’t let it be true.

You have to take your place in society. Rather than shying away from independence and responsibility,  Realise that it is the first step on an amazing ride. As soon as you move out into the real world, there are 2 certainties. Nothing is owed to you, and there is nothing that is out of the question. It’s where all the wins and losses are. 

When you are genuinely self-sufficient or at least have the ability to be, you are a far more stable and reliable force. You don’t sweat things so much. You learn to keep it moving. You will better understand what the world is all about.

Think independently of your parents

According to evolutionary biology, human infants are born far less capable relative to most other animals. If you look at a newborn giraffe, for example, they basically swallow dive out of their mum. (don’t fact check that). Within 1 hour, they can stand up and walk around. This is partly due to the 15-month labour that they go through.

Humans, by contrast, have very large brains and heads for a mammal of our size. This causes issues regarding childbirth. The solution that has developed over time, is that human babies are born after just 9 months when they are still relatively underdeveloped, their heads still small enough for childbirth to be feasible. They then have a period of 15-20 YEARS where they are dependent on their parents for survival!

The result of all this, and a number of other factors, is that young people are unbelievably reliant on their parents. This isn’t an issue initially of course, but if you find yourself wanting to do exactly what they think you should do it might mean that you really haven’t started thinking for yourself. 

Hopefully around college or when you get a job or when you move out, you will go through that period. Question everything. Experiment. Rebel a bit. Be your own person. If you can get through to the other side of that period, you will better understand your own values and ambitions. And you will be able to start building the life that you want, not the one that they want for you. 

Use the alarm clock

couple waking up past their alarm in the morning

When I was a student, waking up anytime before 10 am felt like oppression. It’s what a lot of us are like at that age for one reason or another. But people, that is an absolute joke. These days, mainly because of my job, I’m up around 6 or 7 whether I want to be or not. My body just doesn’t negotiate anymore. It’s been years of using an alarm clock and it’s worked a treat.

People who use their mornings have a massive advantage in their career, as well as their health and other things. If you’re looking for another half an hour or hour in your day for something important to you, you can usually find it right there before your traditional “day” starts. It’s one of those things that feels awful the first week or so, and then just becomes a part of your process from then on.

I don’t even know if I’m recommending this next part, but I can tell you it is 100% true. A friend of mine was in the same boat as me, frustrated with himself for not waking up constantly and losing all those hours. He just kept snoozing his alarm but was determined to find a solution that worked for him. These days, he keeps a battery alarm clock in a small box that is padlocked shut. The key to the padlock is downstairs in his kitchen cupboard. I believe at one point, he kept his key in the garage. He no longer struggles!

Whatever your own solution looks like, make sure you find one. All those hours will add up.

Practice gratitude

Most of us have got it far better than we sometimes feel we have. All of us are far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. It sounds overly spiritual, but practising gratitude is actually one of the most machiavellian selfish techniques you can use to make everything in your life better. 

The main reason for this is because it’s really the opposite of having a victim mentality. You can’t think “I’m grateful for being so blessed” and “The world is so unfair” at the same time. One of these outlooks is a perfect way to think if you want to make progress in life. The other is pretty near guaranteed to result in a miserable existence.

To practice gratitude is to constantly remind yourself that the world is good, people are good, and you are strong. Bad things happen to everyone, but you can ultimately choose to react however you want and there is nothing that’s out of the question. Stop blaming the world, be grateful for who and where you are, then go from there and see what you can build.

Want to practice gratitude? Check out 99 affirmations for achieving your goals

Learn the power of sacrifice

Woman working hard in the gym

Any time you make priorities in life, you are sacrificing. Sacrificing is just understanding what you really want, and understanding what is necessary to give up to get yourself into that position. In order to realize your potential, you’re going to have to be willing to give up most of the chilling, the nights out, the lie-ins, and the other stuff that most people are all about.

I’m talking about sacrificing holidays to free up money to invest in your business. Sacrificing relationships with people so that you can go all-in on your long-term plan. Sacrificing the comfort of regular life, and embracing the cold hard road that you’re gonna need to walk down to really go places.

If you can learn the power of sacrifice when you’re young, you’ll get a jump on a lot of people professionally. It is an essential tool that you’d do well to carry with you through life.

Learn to think long term

“While the future is uncertain and much of it is beyond our control, we can control many aspects of it. We choose our future: we create it by what we do or fail to do.”

Wendy Schultz

We tend to live like we won’t be around for 70 more years. Fair enough, life is mental. There’s a lot to be said for operating with that sense of urgency, pushing to get the absolute most out of every day.

It’s also important to have that patience. Think long term. For me, this website is a good example. If it goes well, in 2 or 3 years it will start to hit. There’s all this work that’s gotta be put in years before the payoff comes. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be well worth it. 

Think back to a year ago. All those hours you put in, the money you stacked, the difficult times you went through, do you still feel that pain and sacrifice? You might remember it quite well, but all you’ve really got now are the fruits of your labor. The lessons you learned. Start making decisions for the next decade, not just the next year. You’ll be laughing.

Live in a goal-oriented way

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”- Albert einstein

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”- J.F.K

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure”- Viktor Frankl

Having goals is absolutely essential. It is really the whole message of this website. When you spend time considering where you want to go in your life and then dedicate yourself to getting to that place, it’s like you’ve walked out of the crowd and onto the pitch. You will find that any action you can take that gets you closer to your goals will fill you with a deep sense of meaning, that far surpasses any random short term pleasure. 

As great as people and possessions are, ultimately they come and go. Nothing is permanent. But as long as you have a goal for your life, an eye on a better future for yourself and your people, you can keep on moving towards a better place.

When you have goals for a day, suddenly you can fail or succeed. The stakes have been raised. All of your weaknesses and bad habits are exposed, which is never pleasant. But once exposed, they can be attacked! The other option is to not have goals for a day. To just be that easy-going open-minded flannel of a person, easily distracted and easily manipulated. That’s no way to live! You could be so much more! Check out some of our other articles about goal setting here if you haven’t yet joined the revolution.

Have a go with meditation

“Meditation is certainly not a religion, cult or spiritual path: it’s actually a very basic practice to reduce stress”- Donovan

“Meditation makes the entire nervous system go into a field of coherence”- Deepak Chopra

“Meditation has been a loyal friend to me. It has helped me write my books”- Alice Walker

This one is one that I personally have not grasped yet but is something that has been instrumental in the lives of many high-achieving people. Meditation has been linked with a number of health benefits such as a stronger immune system and lower blood pressure, and yet these seem to be a bit beside the point when it comes to why someone would meditate. 

Our mind is constantly whirring. Every second we are awake we are thinking about the future, the past, we are remembering and forgetting, we are distracted, we are focused. It’s non-stop. To give your mind a rest, to let yourself just truly be in the moment where you are in the universe, is a beautiful idea that a lot of people swear by. 

When you meditate, you are observing your own thoughts and feelings. You might feel sad, and then you might notice that at that moment you are feeling sad. What is it that is noticing the sad emotion? What else is there other than what you think and feel? It all starts to get a bit deep, but it’s completely fascinating and well worth exploring for yourself.

Here is a 3-minute guided meditation from Deepak Chopra, to help you feel more present and focused.

Start to vote

People lining up at a poling station

Most people our age absolutely hate politicians. They come across a bunch of career money-grabbing manipulative wet wipes who could not care less about genuinely making the country better. They’re supposed to represent the people, but in the UK at least everyone who’s ever had the top job went to the same 1 school and the same 2 universities. It is an absolute joke.

As you might be able to tell, I’ve got some complaints about the way things are run. I’m sure you are the same. The question is what can we do about it?

We can vote. We can have our say. We can say something. We can try to steer things in a better direction. Then, if things go a better way, it is in part because we did our bit. If things get worse, at least we tried to be good citizens and stand for something.

There is a huge disclaimer here. Ultimately, you are responsible for every single thing in your life. You make you rich, you make you successful, you make you happy. If you outsource that responsibility to anyone else, you can’t be surprised when things don’t work out. 

But do your bit for the world you live in. If you try to help, and things aren’t good enough, ok. If things aren’t good enough, and you don’t do anything about it, you have 0% right to complain about anything.

Learn to cook

Not everyone enjoys cooking, but everyone enjoys eating. I mean really good food. It is like art that your body needs. It’s magic. Whether or not you’re quite as keen as me about the whole thing, there are far more concrete reasons why you would learn your way around a kitchen.

Restaurants are expensive. Learning to make good food cheaply will save you serious money over the course of your life.

It will improve every day of your life. By cooking and eating better, your quality of life will immediately go up. There are not a lot of skills you can learn that will have such a profound and immediate impact as this one.

You can provide for your people. One day, you might have a family. Think of the children! 

People who cook a lot tend to eat more healthily and have a better understanding of what they’re eating.

Once you get going, it’s genuinely a deeply fulfilling and fun thing to do. 

Hopefully, that’s convinced you! Start the process of learning to cook. There’s an abundance of great resources out there, it’s never been easier, and you’ll thank me for it. 

Stretch your body

There are 50-year-olds who live like they’re 35, and 35-year-olds who live like they’re 50. Looking after yourself seems like a bit of a drag at a young age, but it grows more and more important as time moves on. 

It seems like everyone you talk to over the age of 40 has some kind of niggling back pain or joint problem, and at that age, it’s really an uphill battle trying to reverse years of negligence. The key to these things is prevention and maintenance.

Whenever you exercise, (hopefully that’s a fair bit), make a habit of stretching your body for 5 minutes. It’s really no trouble and honestly won’t feel all that amazing. The benefits are massive over time, so it’s well worth going through those motions now.

Learn to enjoy being alone

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible”- Pablo Picasso

“When you learn how to be alone you’ll discover the difference between alone and lonely”- LJ Vanier

“Learn to be alone and like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company”- Unknown

How you spend time alone says a lot about who you are and where you are at emotionally. It speaks to your relationship with yourself, and how reactive you are to the world around you. 

Are you a source of energy that adds value to people wherever you go? Or are you reliant on the energy and validation of other people in order to feel at peace with yourself?

Being alone is a very powerful place to be. You can be 100% honest. You can ask those hard questions. You can handle business that is really only your business. You can work on things that aren’t important to other people but are massively important to you. You can prioritize yourself and your life and work towards your dreams. 

When you genuinely enjoy being alone, you are not constantly seeking the validation of other people. You are just cool with giving people around you a good time, adding to their lives because you want to and not because you need to be liked. This is a massively attractive pace to operate from. 

Develop a genuine grounded sense of self-worth

This flows straight on from the last point. When you learn to be yourself and validate yourself, you can fill your own cup. No one else needs to do anything for you to be 100% satisfied. When you give something to someone, whether that’s attention, love, whatever, it’s not from this needy place of trying to get something out of them.

This is something we all struggle with. It’s very different from the ego, which comes and goes and relies on the environment. This is much more real and more solid. The key is this:

When you do something for yourself, 

You feel good about yourself.

When you do something for someone else without wanting something back, 

You feel good about yourself.

As you keep putting in that work and building up yourself and the people around you, you will start to genuinely respect the person you are becoming. It’s the most honest confidence there is. And there’s no limit to it.

Understand it’s just the beginning

2 men on a long hike

If you’ve achieved a lot up to this point in your life, understand that you have unlimited potential to do so much more. If you’ve wasted a lot of time and have come up short up to this point, know that people who had it far worse than you have gone on to do incredible things.

You don’t need to justify your existence to anyone. No one owes you anything, and you don’t owe anyone anything. Stop comparing yourself to other people, look down, take a step forward, and celebrate.

We are all so much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. My hope for you is that you start pushing to realize your potential wherever you are, and I believe that is where you will find a deeply fulfilling existence that makes the world way better.

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