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12 Choices Everyone Should Make When Turning 30

12 Choices Everyone Should Make When Turning 30

I used to imagine that I would be an “old” man when I turned 30. Now that I’ve crossed the 3-0 line, I think the opposite. I have a refreshed vigor for life and look forward to what will be coming in the next decade. Naturally, some things changed when I turned 30. I remember waking up at 5 am on my birthday and taking a walk around the block. I wanted to set a good tone for my new chapter in life.

In this post, I’d like to share a little more about the changes and realizations that come when turning 30. Here they are:

1. Never give up on your passions and dreams, without neglecting people you love.

I dreamed that I would have a million dollars in the bank and be married with three kids right now. None of that is true at the moment. My life path has led me to more clarity about who I am and what I want to do in this world. Turning 30 also turned the switch on my focus. However, this focus had to be balanced with the relationships fostered over the years.

Rather than putting passions to the side, use your new network and resources to really dive in deeper. More importantly, don’t forget about the people around you. They need to know that you love them. A good way to do this is to let them engage your passions with you.

How will you use these resources to manifest what brings meaning to your life?

2. Travel more, but keep driving toward being debt free.

I moved to China in my 20s and took a boatload of credit card and student loan debt with me. Some say I am crazy. For me, it could have been one of the smartest moves I made. I was able to realize a childhood dream of living in China. I also leveraged the lower cost of living to work and pay down my credit card debt. I now have a plan in place for paying down never-ending student loans. Aggressive is the only way to go.

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Take a big-picture look at your finances. Decide how much you need to make a steady, aggressive payment against them. After you make the plan, it really boils down to sticking with it over the long run.

3. It’s time to trade in the B-52 shots for more B-12 Vitamins.

After a long work week, I really do appreciation the time of dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing) that I learned from watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love. I used to laugh at older friends that slowly disappeared from the the Friday-night happy hour. Now I have become one of them. Looking forward to doing nothing has become so sweet. However, this doesn’t mean getting lazy. We have to also change up the food that we eat so our brain stays keen and active.

Spend more time eating more of those superfoods that you read about online. It may take a few sacrifices to get to a good routine, but you’ll feel better and have more energy.

4. Be more intentional about your fitness, AND don’t forget the recovery plan for the day after.

It’s no secret that my metabolism has shifted to a lower gear. One day I decided to go for an intense workout plan — like when I was on the basketball team in high school. What I didn’t realize about turning 30 was the amount of recovery time needed from my over-intense workout session. I had aches in places I didn’t know were muscles. As I pushed through maintaining a steady routine, I found that I could get back in shape. It just took a little longer than I expected.

Staying physically healthy will become more important. Getting started is not easy. Remember that the pain that comes will make you stronger.

5. Try being a minimalist and see what you learn physically and mentally.

For one year, I got rid of my bed, excess clothes, and anything else deemed “unnecessary.” I wanted to try minimizing my life down to two suitcases so I could travel anywhere. I learned that there were many things that I kept around for sentimental value, but didn’t really need.

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Take a look at your stuff and slowly start to declutter. This can be in your physical environment and your mind. You’ll learn something about yourself in the process.

6. Despite knowing many people, they all might not be the best for you.

I started focusing my “inner circle” of friends. Mostly, because I didn’t have enough time to hang around everyone. Also, I wanted to spend more time with people that were passionate about doing things that have meaning in their lives.

Once you find what is important and has meaning to you, take a look at the people you are around. Who we hang around influences what we do, where we go, what we think, etc. Take a look and decide what works best for you.

7. Start saying “no” more than you say “yes.”

As I get older, I find that I need to say “no” more than I say “yes” to things. There are many things that pique my interest, but I won’t have the time and energy to do everything at once. This goes back to point one: check that you are doing things that are in line with your values and purpose. There is a gentle art to saying “no” without coming off as an *sshole

8. Although you are super busy, find time to contribute to something greater than yourself.

I’m trying to build my own business at the moment. It takes up a lot of my time. We will always have more than enough things to do. It is important to keep in mind that life is not all about me. Our time on this earth is limited, and if we wait until later to start, it will probably never happen. Carve out some time in the schedule and make a contribution somewhere, to something.

Do something for the next generation. You’ll be glad you did.

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9. Learn to forgive yourself and others so you can keep moving forward in love.

Life happens. I know I’ve made decisions that I now look back on and see how stupid they were. People around me have also done some things that didn’t resonate with my core. Should I continue letting it bother me?

Pain and regret is a heavy weight on our life. Keeping that emotional pain inside is an even greater burden. It’s time to make amends with the things that have brought you pain in the past. By releasing this weight from your subconscious mind, you can free yourself and move forward in love.

10. Although you resist it, you are probably becoming like your parents. Embrace it. Talk to them.

My younger self wanted to figure out things on my own. I was trying to work through life changes as they came. As I meditated and reflected on the things that challenged me, I found that my tendencies didn’t fall far from the same ones my parents used to tell me about.

Your parents have some wisdom about life. It’s worth it to listen and then decide for yourself what you want to do with it.

11. It’s okay that you don’t understand why the youngsters like that new app.

When Snapchat came out, I didn’t understand why anyone would use it. I still don’t use it. There is going to be more and more technology emerging. Trying to keep up with everything will make you go crazy.

12. Listen to the “should’s” and then listen to what your heart says.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” — Jim Rohn

As I turned 30, everyone was giving me advice about what I should be doing. There were opinions about how much money I should be making, where I should live, when I should get married, etc. All of this advice is given with good intention. What mattered most was what where my heart was directing me. I decided to start making decisions for myself that were in line with my values and life direction.

Even if you don’t have a life plan, consider the direction that you are going.

Take everything written above with a grain of salt. It’s also just one post-30-year-old’s opinion for you to consider.

Featured photo credit: Rawpixel.com via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Paris Law

Life Coach & Designer

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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