I was always terrified of turning 30. The thought of it filled me with dread. But now I am here and cracking on with this being in your 30’s business, it is actually rather fun. There is something about being in your 30’s that makes you feel more at ease with yourself, more comfortable in your own skin. Well, I have found that anyway. So to celebrate this being in your fourth-decade malarky, I have put together a list of Things to Stop Doing in Your 30’s.
Coz I like lists.
30 was the best year of my life until the next year and then the next. Every year since 30 has been the best year. -Bonnidette Lantz
Things to keep on doing in your 30’s
Let’s start with the positives. Things to keep on doing or start doing in your 30’s. You’ve made it this far, you must be doin’ something right.
- Laugh every day
- Make the most of the present
- Enjoy the little moments, they add up
- Put some deposits in your memory bank
- Buy a really well-fitting jacket (always wanted to do this, K-Mart doesn’t quite cut the mustard)
- Implementing a regular exercise routine
- Being grateful each day
- Building your savings account
- Living each day meaningfully
- Take lots of photos. For you. Not for Facebook
- Meditate regularly
- Have regular haircuts. (I never started doing this until my 30’s)
- Make it a habit to have time out just for you
- Putting yourself out there
- Be present in the moment
- Learn new skills and new knowledge
- Be reflective (not as in a high-vis vest), reflect on what you actually want from life and how you can get there
30 things to stop doing in your 30’s
Now it’s time for the things to stop doing in your 30’s. Time for the hard truths, the kick up the bum, the reflection and the action. These are all little things you can stop doing right now. Some of them are harder than others but if you just do one thing at a time you will start to find yourself being able to stop doing them more regularly and start living your best life.
Stop caring what other people think
Once you stop caring what other people think of you, your life or anything else, a weight lifts. The hard truth is, people will always judge you. No matter what. You can’t possibly have everyone like you or agree with you. Plus that would be rather dull. Your life is YOURS alone. No one else’s. You are the one who has to live in it daily so you are the only one who needs to care what is happening in it. We are all on our own paths, each path is unique, each path curves, twists and forks differently to others. It is up to you which path you take and how you tackle it.
Stop people pleasing
This ties in with the previous thing to Stop Doing. You can’t please everybody. You can try, but unfortunately, it ain’t gonna happen. If you try to please everyone, you are the one who ends up losing out, who ends up unhappy. Making other people happy is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But you need to make sure that YOU are also happy. That you are not being run down or compromising yourself to make others happy. Another hard truth: Everyone is out for themselves. You do you and they will do them.
Stop being too scared to say no
Saying no is hard. I get it. I struggle with saying no sometimes (a lot of times) as well. But it is something I am learning to say a little more. Think about it. It is just two little letters. N and O and they can make the world of difference to your mental health and happiness. If you need a day for just you and someone asks you to do something, practice those two little letters. It’s empowering. And if they are a good friend, they will understand. You can say no to all sorts of things. Staying late at work when you have an appointment afterwards. Someone asking you to do something you really don’t want to do. That third chocolate biscuit. Just kidding. Who can say no to that? Hard truth time. If you say yes to everything, you are going to get run down and resentful.
Stop trying to be someone you are not
You are you. You are wonderful, unique and amazing. There is no one else in the world just like you. And that is pretty cool. Embrace it and make the most of it. No one can be like you, no one thinks the way you do, talks the way you do, has your little mannerisms, sense of humour or little quirks. Other people can try, but they won’t succeed. Just as you won’t succeed in being anyone other than you. Here is a little hard truth: If you try and be someone you aren’t you are not being true to yourself. Always be true to you.
Stop putting yourself last
Hard truth: you are the only one that can put you first, no one is going to do it for you. You run the risk of running yourself down if you never put yourself first. Sometimes you just need to stop and put yourself first for a change. Trust me. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Stop not standing up for yourself
Sometimes you gotta release your inner lion(ness) and stand up for yourself or something you believe in. Hard truth: being a pushover doesn’t do you any favours. Trust me. I know this from experience. I have only just learned that standing up for myself isn’t so scary, it’s actually pretty empowering. And it can be immensely satisfying. I am not saying be a bitch and put forth each and every opinion or situation you don’t agree with. Some things aren’t worth the fight. But if you feel really strongly about something, release that lion. Hard truth time: if you let yourself be walked all over, you are enabling others to take advantage of you and they will continue to do so unless you stand up for yourself.
Stop putting off those dreams
Remember those dreams that you had when you were younger? The Big Grand Dreams you had? Mine was to become a truck driving author. True story. Those dreams of exploring the world, making a living doing what you love, ticking off your bucket list aren’t going anywhere unless you do something about them. Plan that trip, tick off that bucket list and start working towards your dreams. Hard truth: life is short and time passes quickly if you don’t do anything about those dreams, they will stay just that way. As dreams.
Stop judging other people
This is probably one I am most passionate about. Please stop judging other people. You don’t know their struggles, their battles and how they got to where they are today. Hard truth: you may not agree with how they live their lives but then they may not agree with how you live yours. Everyone fights their own battles, all we can do is be kind. We are all doing our best in our own way.
Stop holding grudges
As I have already said, life is short. Make it as happy as possible. Holding grudges takes up unnecessary negative energy. It can harbour in our minds, festering and growing. Let go of that grudge, move onwards and upwards. Take the lessons learned and release the weight. Hard truth: grudges are a waste of negative energy, you get nothing out of holding a grudge except negative thoughts and feelings.
Stop expecting things without putting in the hard work
Life is tough. If you want to be successful, lose the weight, earn the bucks, be happy then you need to do the work to make it happen. Life rarely hands out freebies. It is decidedly less satisfying when you feel like you haven’t earned something. Ok, not all the time, but something is far more satisfying when you finally reach that goal you have been working towards. That feeling of, ‘Yes! I did it!’ is one of the best feelings in the world. You guessed it, hard truth time: If you want something then you need to be prepared to work damn hard for it.
Stop playing games
You are far too old to be playing silly school games now. Playing hard to get, manipulating people and all those other games are not cool. Say what you mean, put your heart on your sleeve and just go for it. Hard truth: life is short, ain’t no one got time for games. It’s also incredibly off-putting when someone tries to play games with you.
Stop treating your body like rubbish
Ok, I am going to put my hand up and say right off the bat, this is where I need to take my own advice. I can’t resist the chocolate, can’t seem to get the motivation to start my exercise routine and have a few bad unhealthy habits. I have come to realise though that if I treat my body like rubbish, it takes an awful lot more work to get it working in tip top shape again. Hard truth: bodies don’t tend to be as resilient after 30 as they are before. That chocolate bar stays on the hips a lot longer nowadays.
Stop ignoring your intuition
Your intuition has been around for a while now. It has had a fair bit of practice. Remember all those times you thought, ‘I should have listened to that gut feeling’, well it knows a thing or two. It is a wise ole owl now. Listen to it. You are smarter than you think you are. Sometimes you need to put a little trust in yourself. Hard truth: sometimes that intuition will be wrong, but more often than not it’ll be right on the money. Just go for it.
Stop blaming others
Take ownership of your mistakes and actions. Part of being a Real Life Grown Up is making mistakes. That’s ok. It’s life. But you need to be able to take ownership and learn from those mistakes. No one else is responsible for you except you. Time for a hard truth: sometimes it is hard to not place the blame on others, we think, ‘if only such and such didn’t do that then I wouldn’t have had to do…’ but we always have control over our actions.
Stop neglecting your work life balance
There is more to life than work. Life is about making memories, it’s about being silly, having fun, going on road trips, spending time with friends and family. It is more than just spending time at your desk (or wherever it is), then coming home, sleeping and going back to work again. That makes for a rather dull life if we are being honest. Hard truth: don’t live to work, work to live. We get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget about the Big Picture. Hard truth: do you want to look back at your life in years to come and remember all the crazy, fun moments or that deadline you made?
Stop questioning yourself
You are wiser than you think you are. If you start doubting or questioning yourself you miss out on some amazing opportunities and give yourself some undue stress. You make decisions for a reason. Think about the Big Picture again. If what are doing will help you towards that then the questioning needs to go out the window. Time for a hard truth: if you keep questioning or doubting yourself, you will never do it. Be like Nike and Just Do It.
Stop feeling so guilty
Seriously. Stop feeling so damn guilty all the time. It is one of the least helpful emotions out. All it does is create negative energy. If you feel guilty, ask yourself why you feel guilty and what you can do to change it. Feeling guilty for not picking up that extra shift, for bailing on a lunch date, for not wanting to do something is unnecessary. Often we feel an overwhelming guilt for something completely unsubstantial. Let it go. Hard truth: would anyone else in your shoes feel the same guilt that you do? No? Just you? Be like Elsa and let it go.
Stop acting like you are in your teens
Time to act your age. Well, you don’t have to do that, coz let’s face it, that’s not fun. But it’s time to stop pretending you are in your teens. Weekends spent in the clubs surrounded by sweaty 20-year-olds looking to pull doesn’t quite have the same appeal as it used to. Staying in bed all weekend can be good for your mental health every now and then, but every weekend? C’mon you’re a grown ass woman (man). Playing mind games and hard to get is off-putting and a waste of time. Hard truth: mutton dressed as lamb ain’t cool.
Stop putting off important appointments
Go for regular checkups at the Dr. Get your eyes tested. Go for that appointment you have been putting off (dentist, anyone?). The longer you put it off the worse it will be. Just get it over and done with. Kind of like a band-aid, it hurts for a few seconds then it’s all over. It’s time to start looking after yourself properly. Hard truth: no one is going to go to them for you. Time to be a Real Life Grown Up.
Stop thinking about regrets
Don’t feel regretful. If you regret something, learn from it. Do it better next time. There is absolutely no point in regret, except to make you feel bad. And you don’t want to feel bad. That’s no fun. Hard truth: The past is the past and there is nothing at all you can do to change it. No matter how much you want to. You can try to make amends or do something better or differently, but you can’t change the past.
Stop not learning
I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense? I read it a couple of times but couldn’t think of a better way to rephrase it. The gist of it is. Keep on learning. You will never know everything. The world is a changin’, new skills are out there to be learned, new knowledge is waiting to be drunk. The world is a fascinating, interesting, inspiring place. We can always learn something new. It helps us to grow as a person as well as in your chosen profession. Hard truth: don’t be that arrogant person who thinks they know everything and better than everyone. Stay humble. Upskilling is essential, especially in our day and age where the world, technology and information are ever moving forward.
Stop neglecting yourself
Hard truth: if you don’t look after yourself, ain’t no one gonna do it for you. You are important. In fact, you are the most important person in your life. No one else can benefit from you if you are neglecting yourself. If you neglect yourself you aren’t in the right position to be of much use to anyone. Have that long, hot bath (take in a glass of wine. It’ll be grand), go to the Dr, look after your mental health. Be kind to yourself.
Stop neglecting your mental health
In the same vein as above but it needs it’s own little paragraph because it is so important. Your mental health can have such an impact on your overall health and well-being. Hard truth: when your mental health is on a downward spiral, it has an effect on your physical health, your work life and your overall outlook on life. I know this better than most people! Write a daily journal, be aware of your mindset and triggers. Take time out if you need to. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Stop being scared to put out there what you actually want from life
You deserve to have the life you want. Sometimes we get scared to put out into the universe what we actually want from life. Maybe it is a self-preservation thing? Maybe we are scared we will fail? Perhaps we are scared other people will think that it’s stupid. Whatever the reason is, it’s not as big as the reason why you should put it out there. If you do put it out there, you hold yourself accountable and you never know, you may get the support you need to actually do it. Wouldn’t that be nice? Hard truth: If you don’t put it out there, it will never happen.
Stop living in the past
The past has been, baby, time to look to the future. The possibilities are endless. Time for a hard truth: you will never be able to move forward if you are constantly looking back. You can learn from the past and apply it to your future. But living in the past isn’t healthy or helpful. You may miss out on opportunities or miss out on making the most of something if your head is in the past.
Stop ignoring friends and family
They are the most important things in your life. They make your life wonderful and worth living. I’m not saying every single day you need to make contact. Just check in every now and then. Go have a coffee and a laugh. Make a phone call. Let them help you make a deposit in your memory bank. Hard truth: if you neglect your friends they won’t stick around forever. Life is very lonely on your own.
Stop being scared to live in the moment
Put aside the to-do’s, the one day’s, the ‘I really should do..’ and live for now. Sit with the sun on your face and just be. Have a laugh with a friend and get completely lost in the moment. Put your phone down and don’t check the time for a whole day. I dare you to. Hard truth time: The moment is all we have. Once it is gone it is the past. The present isn’t here yet.
Some more things to stop doing in your 30’s
- Stop thinking ‘what if’ and just go for it
- Stop spending too much time on social media
- Stop being scared to strive to be the best you can
- Stop thinking you are invincible
- Stop being so hard on yourself
What things have you stopped doing since hitting the big Three-Oh? What would you add to the list?
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