Going from boy to man comes down to one thing:
Making better choices—the right choices.
To be honest, it’s pretty easy. There are tons of habits you can implement for rapid and effective self-development, productivity, personal growth. And most of those habits apply not just to guys, but to everybody. But there are a few, very important habits specific to boys with a lot of growing up to do.
If you fall under that category, here are 10 habits you should be aware of:
1. Stop chasing women—it’s pathetic.
Women aren’t toys.
If you find yourself at the bar every Friday night, slamming pitchers of Bud Lite or shots of tequila just to muster up the courage to *grossly* try and hit on women, you’re a boy. And you’ll be a boy, until you realize real men don’t chase women.
Stop talking to girls with the intention of taking them home. If you want to meet someone, be a man about it and do it without alcohol.
2. The ‘dad bod’ is literally killing you. Go workout.
Why sporting a ‘dad bod’ was ever glorified is beyond me.
I’m sorry, but to the women that support young college guys actively trying to gain belly fat, you’re partially to blame—it’s disgusting and unhealthy.
Guys: I’m not saying you aren’t a man if you’re not in tip-top shape—if you have a weight issue, that’s understandable. If you’re happy with your body as is, that’s okay too. But for the guys trying to boast an unshaven beer belly, stop—it’s childish, unsanitary, and gross.
For the love of God, take care of yourself.
3. Learn how to cook.
You can’t call yourself a man if you don’t know how to cook.
No—mac’n’cheese doesn’t count. Neither do pancakes. Neither does warming up a frozen pizza.
Learning how to cook is important for everybody, but if you’re a guy that asks your girlfriend or mom or any other woman in your life to make meals for you, you need to grow up. Cooking is easy once you get started. Learn how to make a few basic meals and move on from there.
Stop expecting others (especially women) to do it for you.
4. Treat everybody with respect.
This isn’t exclusive to males (obviously) but, if you’re still passing judgement, still gossiping (or in ‘man’ terms, “talking shit”), still thinking you’re better than somebody else, you’re a boy.
Hold doors for people. Use your manners. Be nice to everyone you meet.
Set an example for every other immature jackass out there who thinks they’re too cool to be respectful.
5. Get your hair cut and trim your beard.
If you’re showing up to work everyday with a mop on your head like Jim Halpert in the early seasons of The Office, you’re still a boy.
Likewise, if you don’t keep clean-cut facial hair, you’re a boy.
It’s not ‘cool’ to look like a mess.
Keep your head/facial hair in order.
6. Always look presentable.
Just as you should care about getting your hair cut/trimming your beard, you should always look presentable in the way you dress.
Put on clothes that fit you. Stop wearing stained sweatpants out in public. Don’t walk around in slides or Ugg slippers.
I’m not saying you have to dress business casual all the time. You can make a pair of jeans and some sneakers look presentable, just be realistic. Go buy yourself a wardrobe so you have options for every occasion—just keeping “looking clean” in mind.
You never know when a business or networking opportunity is going to present itself to you.
7. Drinking a lot isn’t impressive. If you drink, be responsible.
No one cares you can do a 30 second keg stand, and if taking 5 shots consecutively is considered one of your “talents,” then consider yourself a kid with a lot of growing up to do.
Stop trying to impress people through alcohol consumption.
It doesn’t work and you look like an idiot.
8. Put your family first.
If you’re a father, well, I really hope you know this already and can skip to #9.
To those who don’t have kids yet, family is the most important thing in my life, and it should be in yours (and everyone’s) too. Take care of your parents—they put a lot of time into taking care of you. Watch out for your siblings if you have any. Put your family before yourself.
If you want to become a man, make family your top priority.
Another non-exclusive habit, but you’re never going to “become a man” if you don’t actively try to learn something new every day.
Reading is the way to do that.
Go on Amazon order some books. Read articles on Forbes or TIME or CrunchBase. Read the newspaper.
10. Learn how to hold a conversation.
It shocks me how many guys lack basic conversational skills.
If all you know how to talk about is video games, beer, and Lebron James, you need to seriously reevaluate your life.
Know what’s happening around the world and be competent and confident enough to talk about it (check #9 for further instructions how).