5 Essential Life Skills to Strive for This Year

See also: Lifelong Learning

Navigating life can, at times, feel overwhelming. Many of the skills you learn in school are purely academic and don’t seem to set you up to be able to deal with everything else that comes along with the stresses of everyday living. This is why there are certain life skills that you should pick up and use to your advantage, whether it be professionally or in your personal life.

Here are five essential life skills you need to have starting now.

Financial Literacy

Having financial literacy can save you from having to constantly stress about money. Unfortunately, it is a skill which many people lack, and the weight on your shoulders can continue to grow year after year. This can be for a combination of reasons, such as growing up in an environment where the skills needed to manage money were not relevant or not taught. Not only is it something which you can use in your personal life, it is a skill which most employers will be glad to see you have. Debt can become an unmanageable burden, but with financial literacy you can avoid the most serious of situations.

Learning to budget properly is one of the most important aspects of financial literacy. It is something that takes discipline, especially if you have not done it before. Record your incomings and outgoings and look at where you might be overspending. Budget in such a way that you can begin to save money. Having a safety net for emergencies will allow you to lead a life which is far more comfortable as you won’t constantly be worrying about what you would do should such a situation arise.

Professional Skills

Much of your life is spent in the professional world so it is vital that you have the right skills for the profession you are involved in. This might seem obvious, but many people stop bettering themselves once they find a career. This will lead to stagnation and eventually boredom and a lack of fulfillment. You should always be learning and trying to improve your prospects. Going to college is one way you can gain the knowledge you need while giving you solid foundations on how the world works.

The cost of college often puts people off, however by finding college scholarships you can get help towards the costs. Using a specialized search engine will make the process easier, allowing you to create a profile and simplifying the process. It will also help you to apply, streamlining what can be a complicated undertaking. You shouldn’t dismiss the college experience due to the financial implications without first researching the help available to you.

Relationships and Communication

Being able to communicate effectively can lead to less conflict and you being in a better place mentally. Communication doesn’t simply entail being able to verbalize your thoughts and feelings, but being able to do so in an effective way. If you are unable to communicate without causing conflict, you need to take a look at the way in which you are going about things. It’s possible that you need to work on your interpersonal skills and need to start evaluating how you are affecting other people.

This crosses over into relationships and how to maintain healthy ones. This is not only in your love life but also with family and friends. Instead of confronting someone in an aggressive manner if you feel you have been wronged, think about how the situation can be resolved in a more amicable manner. By doing this you will find you have longer lasting and more fulfilling relationships. Communication is an invaluable life skill, so learn to communicate properly.

The Ability to Look After Your Mental Health

To maintain a healthy and balanced life, you must take care of your mental health. This can be difficult as it isn’t always obvious when our mental health is suffering. It can manifest itself in different ways for different people. For some they may become physically ill which may hide the underlying mental aspect of an illness and so may in turn be dismissed. If you lead a busy life, it’s also possible that you allow things to build up until the effects have serious consequences on your life. Always keep checking in with yourself and take a break or talk to someone should you feel overwhelmed.

Keeping a journal is an effective way to keep track of how you are feeling and is also a very effective way to learn about your own cycles. Periods of depression can often start with less obvious signs so if you are noting them down you will become more adept at recognizing the start of a cycle and you can stop any potential spirals. Exercising is also a great way to improve mental health as it not only releases endorphins but keeps you healthy and shows self-care.


Having a sense of self awareness is a skill that many people lack so having it will make you a more attractive person, while also helping you to move forward with life. It involves most aspects of your life, and requires you to be introspective, however you will be able to achieve better personal growth. Be aware of your talents, be also be aware of the things you are not good at. Not everyone is good at everything, so admitting you are lacking is not a weakness but should be seen as a strength as you can work on improving yourself.

This will extend to areas such as relationships where a sense of self-awareness will allow you to be honest with friends, partners and family. They will appreciate your honesty and help to work with you to resolve any problems. It will also give you a better sense of how your behaviors may affect others, leading to you becoming a less selfish person. You will need complete honesty with yourself, and there may be some things you discover which hurt, but in the long-term self-awareness is a rare quality that will make you a happier person.

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

About the Author

Drew Allen is a financial enthusiast, seasoned blogger, music and sports fanatic. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter fishing and boating. He is dedicated to his 20+ year career in the banking, mortgage, and personal finance industry.