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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

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Paris Law

Life Coach & Designer

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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