17 Things That All Adults Should Do (To Prove That They're Adults)

As my 40th birthday approaches I’m trying to get sensible. There’s no denying that I’m an adult now. 

So here are 17 “adulty things” (I know adulty isn’t a word, see no. 17 below) that I’ve done or am working on doing,  that everyone really  should, just to, you know, act like an actual grown-up.

Don’t worry, I’m not turning all lifestyle guru on you, (but if I do you’ll all buy my book won’t you?)

1. Make a will. Nobody likes to think about death, but especially if you have children or aren’t married to your significant other this is really, really important. It’s also not as expensive as you think, and can even be done online these days! Make it properly, there are strict rules about what’s a valid will. You can even make a valid will online with the help of a solicitor now thanks to makemywill.ie. (It’s run by solicitor Susan Murphy who I know from my days in the District Court in Wexford)

2. Discuss organ donation with your family. If you want your organs to be donated when you pass, make sure to let your family know, as well as carrying a donor card. Ok, that’s the morbid stuff out of the way, over to the mundane.

3. Clean out the hot press at 39 years old I shouldn’t be standing back when I open the door for fear of being hit by falling debris/bed linen.

4. Make that dental appointment. Mind your teeth, regular check ups are so important, and get them cleaned regularly to keep them shining.

5. Get rid of the uncomfortable shoes. Or keep them purely to admire them. Life is too short to have your feet maimed. This one is especially hard for the wide-footed like me.

6. Have a smear test, or other regular health check you’re due. Stop putting it off.

7. Find some exercise that you enjoy and do it. Your heart and limbs will thank you for it. My sister has me doing lunges and planks for a few minutes each day and I’m actually enjoying it because it takes very little time but I feel like I’m slowly getting stronger. That, combined with a lunchtime or evening walk with a friend is enough for me right now. I’ve done 10k’s in the past, I don’t love them, my hips hate them, I’m over them.

8. Drink enough water. No, really. It’ll bring the bloat down, help your skin and make you feel less tired.

9. Keep in contact with family- I’m talking cousins,  aunts and uncles too, not just your parents and siblings. Realise the value of your extended family, make an effort to attend family events.

10. If you don’t already have one, open a regular savings account. You know why. Also, pension. 

11. Remove the clothes from your wardrobe that don’t suit you or don’t fit you. You don’t need to see them every day when you’re looking for the three outfits you actually wear. Donate them, or hide them in the attic if you love them and you’re sure they will one day fit you.

12. Sort out proper skincare and beauty routine, like actually taking off makeup every night, and moisturising regularly.

13. Get enough sleep. I’m working on this one. 

14. Shop around for your bills. Don’t get ripped off for your home insurance, broadband etc, use comparison sites, make a few phone calls and use the money you save buying new more comfortable shoes.

15. Buy clothes that will last. I’m not saying you can’t shop in Penneys, but I noticed that when  I threw out my clothes at number 11, many of them were cheapies. I’ve upgraded lots of my Penneys tshirts to ones from Oasis and M&S and find they hold their shape much better and are less see through. The cheapies are perfect for one season but think ahead!

16. Don’t give all your time to others. Do stuff for yourself. A walk alone. A silent cup of coffee. Dinner with friends.  Schedule “do nothing time”. 

17. Give fewer fucks. This is the key to happiness, I’m sure of it. Be a bit more selfish, care less, and don’t overthink. Giving fewer fucks is the way to go. 

Right, what’s your score out of 17 ? How adulty are you?


  1. 12, and I’m only 37, si that’s good, right?

  2. Yikes. I’m fulfilling very few of these at 24. The exercise one and the organ donation ones are the only ones I can really tick off…

  3. You have cheered me up no end. Despite being a decade older I am only ‘guilty’ of three of these along side the mantra I live by, ‘give fewer fucks’.
    Before my big (ok feckin huge) birthday this year I must admit I cried and raged inside. I was officially old. Really old. But now that day is over and I’m getting over it, slowly although until I’m 60 I think I’m going to think it’s ancient
    On the plus side I am having a ball being ‘old’ although sometimes when feeling particularly happy, I get a shock when I remember what age I really am. After all I still think my 85 year old mother is this age.
    Enjoy aging, as I think I’ve said before my 40s were without doubt the best decade of my life.

  4. Going to mash a few of these..really liked this!!

  5. 12ish! Not too bad. Working on some of the others. Great post πŸ˜€

  6. As a longtime fugitive from adulthood, I’m finally getting round to thinking I should probably refrain from applying no. 17 to nos 1 – 16.

  7. Okay…I LOVE this post…each and every poont is valid!
    I also love getting older, a privilage not afforded to everyone.
    There are SO many thing to enjoy about your forties…you have more confidence than your twenties, you emerged from the nappy mountain of your thirties, you are young but you know better, you are old(ish) but still young. It is the golden era if our time…ENJOY every moment xxx

    • Thank you lovely lady. Hurray to the end of the nappy mountain, I feel about 32 still, it’s like I’m getting back to me. Also, I am totally milking it, or trying to. Shameless.

  8. I so need to work on this. 7 i ticked. I’ve got a will and have organ donation ticked on my licence.
    I use skin care like anti wrinkle day and night creams.

    I fail MISERABLY on some. Like taking time for myself. Brutal at relaxing and unwinding and being anything other than “MAMMMMMMMMY”. Also suck at not giving fucks. I over think the crap out of everything. Must work on that one!!! πŸ˜‰

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  11. I find that once I hit 40 no. 17 came more and more easily. It’s key. πŸ™‚

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