Your internal clock has just ticked over to the big 3-0; the days of telling people you’re in your early, then mid, and finally late-20s have passed. You’ve reached the first major milestone of true adulthood and you pause to take stock of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.
Once you reach this age, there are many things that you really ought to stop doing (if you haven’t already). Why not start by tackling these eleven?
1. Stop Pretending To Be Someone You’re Not
You may like to project a certain image of yourself into the world – one that is successful, happy, and without flaws – but there really is no need to. As long as you pretend to be this alternative version of you, an authentic life will remain out of reach. Every second you hide your true self away is a second you will never get back.
Instead, you need to stop being anything but who you are in your heart and soul. No more exaggerations, no more outright lies, and no more shying away from the person you have become.
Tying in very closely to the previous point, you need to quit paying any attention to what other people think or say about you. The judgments, the gossip, and the way they look at you are not your problems; the only thing you need to be concerned about is what you see when you look in the mirror.
Those who think poorly of you are not worth having in your life in the first place, and those who truly care about you will only ever wish the best for you.
3. Stop The Negative Self Talk
You’d be amazed at just how much the way you talk to yourself can influence your life. If you repeatedly exclaim how weak you are, you will display weakness in everything you do; if you convince yourself that you are unworthy of love, you will struggle to find it.
Stop the flow of negative self talk by raising your awareness of it. Every time you notice an unhelpful thought entering your mind, simply recognize it for what it is, dismiss it, and even replace it with the opposite (so say you are strong if the thought was one of weakness).
4. Stop Living Beyond Your Means
Your younger self was probably not too concerned about finances and their importance for later life, but now that you’ve reached 30, you need to start planning for your future.
This means no more living from month to month with the help of credit cards or loans. If you haven’t done already, you need to start putting some serious money aside for the years to come. You don’t want to retire without a nest egg to see you through, so start saying no to the regular beach holidays, the designer clothes, and the fancy cars and start saying yes to pensions, shopping around, and a life of frugality.
5. Stop Taking Your Health For Granted
Once upon a time, you may have been able to eat as much junk food as you liked and still fit into the same clothes you wore when you were 18, but this won’t last forever. Sooner or later, an unhealthy lifestyle will catch up with even the healthiest of people.
So cut down on the takeaways, ease up on the drinking, and start doing more exercise. You still have plenty of active, mobile years ahead of you and you don’t want to waste a single one nor reduce how many there might be.
6. Stop Putting Your Career First
When you’re young, you can afford to burn the candle at both ends; working long hours in your job while still finding the energy to enjoy your leisure time. Don’t think that you can keep this up.
Eventually, you’ll have to decide which part of your life you want to prioritize, and you should be choosing play over work without a shadow of a doubt. Assuming you can afford to do so, stop taking on overtime, quit answering emails during out of office hours, and start scheduling more time spent with family and friends.
The modern world is full to bursting with ways to whittle away your time, but too many activities these days neglect to truly engage the mind. Social media, reality TV, celebrity gossip – none of them require you to change up the gears and really get the cogs turning.
Stop letting your mind go to waste, because if you do, eventually it will give up on you. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that maintaining an active mind – one that you challenge regularly – is important for your cognitive functions in later life.
8. Stop Equating Money With Happiness
When you’re young, you have dreams of amassing great wealth in your life. You see yourself in a big house, with nice cars, expensive gadgets, and enjoying the finest things the world has to offer.
Don’t be fooled into believing that this is what happiness looks like, because it isn’t. Happiness is the smile on your face and the feeling in your heart; it is not dependent on how much money you have in the bank, but how you spend your time, who you spend it with, and what you are grateful for.
9. Stop Holding On To Past Grievances
However you have been hurt in the past and whoever it was that wronged you, holding on to the anger and resentment you have is not productive. You need to find a way to detach yourself from the pain in your past so that it does not continue to influence your present and future.
Detach really is the right word for this process – the memories don’t have to go anywhere, but you ought to look at them with complete neutrality. All they really are is a dulled view of what once was, so do not let them hurt you any longer.
10. Stop Trying To Please Everyone
You may like to try and make everyone in your life happy and this may involve going out of your way to help. This is a noble cause, but it does not always lead to long term happiness in your own life.
It’s time to put yourself first for once and you can do this by learning to say ‘no’ more often than you do now. It is not a selfish act to want to enjoy your life, and if trying to please everyone else is preventing this, it’s time to stop doing it.
11. Stop Taking Your Parents For Granted
You may have been unfortunate enough to lose one or both parents by this age, but if you have still got yours around, don’t be fooled into thinking they will be there forever.
Cherish every moment you have while they are still in your life; put the effort into seeing them as often as you can, reminisce about memories from the past, and make new ones wherever possible. Your parents are treasures – you will miss them when they are gone.
How many of these things are you still doing? Which are you finding most difficult to stop? Leave a comment below and share your views and experiences.