If you were to believe every Friends-like sitcom on television, you’d think that the day you hit 30 you’d automatically want to trade in your wild and crazy life to settle down and start taking life a little more seriously. While this might end up happening by the end of your 30th year on Earth, it’s more due to your biological clock than any conscious decision you’ve made on your own. Fight it as you might, time hurries on, and it takes you with it. I hope you enjoyed the ridiculousness of your 20s, because by the time you reach 31, you should have at least cut down on, or completely let go of, the following.
Let go of binging anything
Drinking. Eating. Netflix-ing. Gambling. Napping. The list goes on. In your 20s, moderation takes a backseat to excess. You only live once, right? (I refuse to refer to the acronym for that saying). By the time you’re 30, though, the novelty of binging on your favorite vice should start to wear off. You should be too busy actually doing something with your life to even have time for any of this stuff. Of course, if you get an hour here or there, you shouldn’t feel guilty indulging in one of life’s pleasures – but you should definitely stop allowing them to consume your life.
Let go of toxic friendships
You might still have some friends from high school or college who linger in your life, and who you refuse to believe have not actually been your friends for quite some time. These are the ones who convince you to come out drinking all night, or the ones who only come around when they need something, or the ones who make excuses when you’re in need of some help and need someone to talk to. The older you get, the smaller your circle of friends will be. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The people you keep around should be the ones always pushing you to do better in life, and who truly care about you as a person. You don’t have to completely turn your back on the ones who are more pals than friends, but you’re under no obligation to make time for them either.
Let go of crappy jobs
In your early years of adulthood, you may have settled for any job you could get that would pay the bills. However, if you’re not happy with your current state of employment, you absolutely need to do everything in your power to change that before it’s too late. You might have been content enough working long hours for lame pay as long as you could afford a couple beers at the bar on Friday night, but you don’t want to continue that trend into your 30s. Soon enough, your 40s will come creeping around, and you definitely don’t want to be living for the weekends by then. There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be spending 30-40 hours a week working; so now’s the time to find a job you actually enjoy doing.
Let go of excuses
Maybe you didn’t end up where you thought you’d be by now. Maybe things happened in your past that held you back from reaching your full potential. Maybe you wish things had turned out differently for you. I hate to be blunt, but everyone faces obstacles at different times in their life. Some make excuses and pass up opportunities when they come along, and others power through adversity and take advantage of every situation they face. Don’t be a “coulda-been.” Even if you haven’t done much with your life up until this point, you still have a long way to go. Don’t let it slip away.
Let go of caring what others think
Throughout our teenage years, we’re led to believe that people will stop being so judgmental as we get older. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People are just as cruel as adults as they were as teenagers. While teens make fun of their peers’ clothing and haircuts, adults can actually be more cutting with their insults, pointing out a person’s true flaws and insecurities. While you can’t change the idiots who seem to exist only to put others down, you can control how you let their words affect you. As long as you’re living your life the way you want to live it, you don’t have to answer to anyone else’s comments. Who gives a #%$@ what they think, anyway?
Let go of trying to control every little thing
When you graduated from high school and college, you were left with an empowering notion that your actions could change the world. While this notion isn’t completely wrong, it certainly is misguided. Unless you’re the next Mark Zuckerberg, you probably won’t end up accomplishing something which truly changes the entire world – no matter how great you believe your ideas are. However, your very existence changes the world ever so slightly, each and every day. By the time you hit 30, you should understand that there are things you have no control over which you’ll never be able to change, but you should also know that you do have the power within you to affect the world in some way. You should dedicate your time and effort each and every day to making this change, no matter how small it is.
Featured photo credit: GREG, MARISSA & SEAN – ALLIE WARD’S BDAY / Jared eberhardt via farm3.staticflickr.com