Once we enter our 40s and beyond, hindsight becomes a wonderful thing. It’s a time when we can look back and see how our younger years have made us the ones we are today. Our 20s were the decade that brought youth and discovering our place in the world; a time of fun and care-free attitudes. We are told our 30s are when things start to take shape, we find the person we are meant to become, we establish ourselves in society through our careers, parenthood, marriage and everything comes together. Once we are in our 40s we truly know ourselves and become happy in our skin, knowing we achieved what we wanted. But how much of this is true? Reflecting back in our 40s and 50s, would we have done anything differently? Instead of feeling worldly and knowledgable, our 30s can be the decade of ups and downs and can cause us a sense of bewilderment as we juggle different responsibilities. Everything you do in life helps you become the person we are today. Whether you’re about to enter your 30s or heading full-force to your 40s, learn from those in the know.

1. Stop worrying that your life hasn’t worked out the way you expected it to be

In the throws of youth, we believe that our 30s will be a time when we’ve figured it all out. We will have the career, the marriage, the baby and all that comes with it. But life doesn’t always work out the way we expected it to be. Your 30s are a time that brings immense societal pressure to have everything in place and if you haven’t then you feel a sense of failure. The ‘shoulds’ tend to hold you back – you should have a good career, you should own a home, you should have children. If this is the case for you then you’re not alone. Don’t spend time worrying about what you haven’t done yet and instead just enjoy life – things will come to you in good time.

2. Spend less time working

Our 30s can be very career-focused and we believe that, to be successful and happy in life, we should be working hard and clocking in those hours. Sometimes we spend too much time putting work first. You start to realize that precious moments with loved ones are much more important than sitting in the office and making money.

3. Take more chances

The pressure we feel in our 30s causes us to become overly cautious in our decision-making. One reflection is not having lived a little more. Travel the world, pursue that dream job or do that bungee jump! Don’t feel afraid to chase exciting opportunities – just because you’re in your 30s, doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you dream of doing.

4. Invest more time exercising and being healthy

The anti-exercise and bad eating habits we tend to adopt when we’re younger can carry on into our 40s and it’s this time in life that these bad habits are harder to drop. It’s more difficult to get into shape once we’re a bit older so establishing a positive attitude to exercise and healthy eating will serve you well as you enter your 40s.

5. Spend more time with your parents

We tend to believe that our parents will be around forever. Once we enter our 40s, parents become noticeably older and a common reflection is feeling we should have spent more time with them. Simply going for a walk together will become a lot harder once they become frail so make more time for conversations, vacations and activities that you can do together.

6. Stop believing your 30s are old

Hitting your 30s can be a shock and you start to believe that you’ve truly entered the beginning of old age. You can start to limit yourself because you feel you’re ‘too old’. Well you’re not! Life has not moved on so significantly from your 20s – you are still young. Go out and take those chances. Mindset is a powerful thing and all it takes is a change of perspective to realize that life can be exciting and lived to the full at any age.

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