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10 Lifestyle Changes You Should Make In Your 30s

10 Lifestyle Changes You Should Make In Your 30s

Your 30s are an exciting time! You may feel like you’re in the prime of your life—or you could feel like you’re slowing down a bit. Either way, you are wiser and have experienced a little more of life. You’ve, hopefully, gotten some unhealthy behaviors out of your system like clubbing all weekend and spending all your disposable cash on new kicks or handbags. You are now easing into the motions of adult life.

To give you a heads-up on this new, exciting phase of your life, here are 10 lifestyle changes you should make in your 30s to enjoy wellness of body and mind, and lay the foundation for lifelong success.

1. Start loving yourself more

Loving yourself and becoming comfort in your own skin is particularly important in your 30s as you settle into adulthood and all it entails, including bills, career, taxes, a spouse and maybe even kids. Only when you love yourself can you truly be able to extend love to others, both in your personal and professional life. Besides, embracing yourself during this period is incredibly freeing.

Start each day by appreciating and applauding yourself for you are beautiful, smart and capable, and you are doing the best you can. Be confident and proud of all of your choices, likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. And stop hanging around people who don’t treat you well. Instead, spend more time with loved ones who make you feel good. This will nurture your emotions and boost your self esteem.

2. Start building your dream private life

Your private or personal life is going to play a major role in your happiness, success and satisfaction in life. So, if you want to get married, have kids or buy a house, your 30s are a great time to get started on those goals. Ask yourself what you can do between now and the end of the year to embark on your dream private life. Don’t delay pursuing your dream life. Putting off starting a family or having children, for example, is not advisable. If you want kids, have them now before it’s too late.

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Blogger Mark Manson writes it best, “You don’t have the time. You don’t have the money. You need to perfect your career first. They’ll end your life as you know it. Oh shut up… Kids are great. They make you better in every way. They push you to your limits. They make you happy. You should not defer having kids.”

3. Start pursuing work that you actually love

Your 30’s are also a great time to explore other areas of your line of work and develop your truest passion(s), whether it is music, writing, or business. Nothing could be worse than anchoring yourself to a job you hate, having to make your living at it and never having an opportunity to pursue your truest passions. There is actually an economic term for that: Sunk costs—where you figure you should continue with something because you’ve already sunk so much into it. It’s responsible for many a disastrous careers, many a failed businesses and many an unhappy life.

Find a job you actually love where your passions meet with your talents and where you get the greatest fulfillment. As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life… And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

Thanks to social networks life Facebook, it’s easier than ever to compare yourself to friends  and peers who may have married, gotten kids or bought a house and feel like a loser. Don’t do that. Stop comparing yourself with others. We are all different and grow at our own pace. It’s particularly important that you understand that in your 30s otherwise you might feel depressed and derail from the true path to success and happiness. As one psychotherapist writes, constantly comparing yourself to others creates unnecessary psychological stress and can throw your self-esteem out the window.

Love yourself and keep taking good care of yourself. That means allowing yourself to grow and evolve at your own pace. “If you are unable to do some things in life compared to your siblings and friends, then please be at peace with yourself,” advises Mahesh Kay. “Don’t be harsh on yourself.”

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5. Start being content with what you already have

Rather than be bitter and envious of other people, be calm, patient and content with what you have. Research shows that appreciating what you have can increase happiness and decrease negative feelings. Of course, you should strive for better, but understand that life doesn’t always work out exactly how we want or plan. Knowing that can shield you from adverse effects of life’s inevitable disappointments.

Borrow a leaf from Oprah Winfrey and start counting your blessings, even when you don’t have much. Keep a daily gratitude journal like she did. It will do you a whole lot of good. And remember, as Khalil Gibran says, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

6. Start forgiving yourself for your mistakes

You probably made many mistakes in your teens and 20s. Everybody makes mistakes. Your 30s are the right time to reflect and forgive yourself for those mistakes. People who practice self-compassion see their weaknesses as changeable and try to avoid making the same errors in the future.

Learn from your mistakes, let them go and move on. Don’t dwell on the errors of the past. Psychologists say that the ability to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes is the key driver of success.

7. Start exercising regularly

Make time for exercise in your 30s. Your future self will thank you for it. In the latter half of your 30s, you will start to lose muscle mass and begin to gain a few pounds as your metabolism slows. That’s why it’s especially important that you exercise at this time.

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Try to move yourself as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, jogging, hiking, swimming or weightlifting—as long as it involves some movement—do it. However, choose physical activities that you love as you are less likely to continue exercising if you dislike your workouts.

8. Start calling your parents at regular intervals

Many 30-somethings get so caught up in the motions of raising a family, building a career and so on that they forget to attend to their relationship with their parents. Remember that your parents grow older as you do, and they will not live forever. Neglecting them may be neglecting opportunities you may rue.

Call your parents regularly. A simple “Hi mom, how are you? Yeah? Yeah. She’s doing fine. I know. I’ll keep warm. OK, love you, bye.” That’s all it takes to alleviate their concerns, keep their mental and emotional wellbeing intact and keep your relationship with them healthy. Visit them whenever you can.

9. Start making healthy eating habits a priority

One of the things that can go with a growing list of responsibilities is healthy eating habits. However, not making healthy eating habits a priority in your 30s can make you get to your 40s and later years being slow, tired and burdened by a list of health complaints that could have been avoided.

Eat a well-balanced diet, low in saturated fats and full of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed and junk foods as much as possible. Quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. No hard drugs either. Make your health a priority because your health is your wealth.

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10. Continue enjoying life

Just because you’re not in your 20s anymore doesn’t mean you should stop having fun. Spending all of your 30s chasing after money will only make you grumpy, cynical and unhappy about life. The resounding theme among those who have lived through their 30s is that none of the money you work hard to make matters if you’re not enjoying life. So enjoy life with those you care about while you still can.

Go on dates with your partner; play with your kids (if you have any); organize group trips with your close friends to go see the world. You only live once. Why not live the best way you can? Have a blast in your 30s and make fond memories, but remember to build your purpose.

Featured photo credit: Eugenio Marongiu via tr.depositphotos.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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