A lot of people dread turning 30, but the next decade of your life doesn’t have to be all that bad.
“I think that 30 is the new 20,” said Diane Frank, Garner, who turns 36 soon. “It’s still important to celebrate and have fun and enjoy your friendships.”
Some people cringe at the thought of their 30s because they think that they’re leaving behind youthfulness and a carefree lifestyle.
In some ways they are, but with the next chapter in life comes other new and exciting adventures.
“I was almost relieved to be 30,” said Wendy Meineke, Osage, who turns 40 in November. “I thought, ‘Gosh I’m done with my 20s.’ It just felt like I can be more mature now.”
Both woman also said that they have felt more confident in their 30s than their 20s.
“I definitely feel more comfortable in my skin,” Frank said.
To help you make your way through your 30s we came up with a list of 20 things to start doing in your 30s. No one is saying you have to do all of them, but they’re just suggestions to keep in mind.
1 Surround yourself with strong positive influences such as friends and family. This is important at any age, but in your 30s family, work or other things can start to wear on you, Meineke said. A strong support group will lift you up and be honest when you need them to be.
2 Start a family. Some people do this in their 20s, but your 30s are a good time, too.
3 Spend quality time with family.
“I think it’s the safest and best investment you can make,” Frank said.
4 Pursue your professional goals. Now that you have a few years of work experience, employers will expect more out of you.
“You’re not considered a young person anymore, but more of a mature young adult,” Meineke said.
5 Buy a house. A house is a better investment than paying rent every month.
6 Keep learning new things. It could be through reading a book, classes or something else.
“I’m still learning,” Meineke said. “I think you’ve got to keep learning forever.”
7 Start exercising or continue exercising if you already do.
If we don’t have our health what do we have?” Frank said.
8 Start or continue to eat healthy. Like No. 7 it will make you feel better now and down the road.
9 Wear sunscreen. This should be done at all ages, but if you haven’t started yet your 30s are a good time to. It will help prevent wrinkles and skin cancer.
10 Stop smoking and start drinking less. Studies have shown that both habits are bad for you, and the longer you do them the harder it is to quit.
11 Save for the future, including for retirement.
“Even if it’s not very much, none of us know what the future holds for us,” Frank said.
12 Make sure you have life insurance and a will. Like No. 11, you never know what the future holds for you.
13 Have a regular girl’s/guys’ night or weekend.
With all the responsibilities in life it’s important to focus on yourself and have fun once in a while.
14 Become involved in your community.
“I feel like I was more ready for that in my 30s than 20s,” Frank said. “I don’t think I would have had the self esteem, confidence or life experiences to do it in my 20s.”
15 Pay off non-mortgage debt. Hopefully at this point you can pay off student loans or any other debt and invest in your future.
16 Expect to make mistakes and learn from them.
“My father always said when you screw up it creates another opportunity,” Meineke said.
17 Trust your intuition.
“You’ve been through your 20s so you have enough life experience to trust yourself,” Meineke said.
18 Spend time with elderly family and friends. They’re full of knowledge and wisdom and won’t be around forever.
19 Try to push yourself and try new things. This will keep life exciting and you may discover a new passion.
20 Create a bucket list for your 30s, Frank said. Think of all of the things you’d like to do in your 30s and try to achieve as many as possible.