Let’s face it, we all grow old.
It’s become almost cliché that once you reach the end of your third decade you start to let yourself go. Assuming their best days are behind them, people over 30 start gaining weight, giving up on dreams, and losing an overall passion for life.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Just because your body is growing older doesn’t mean you can’t live an amazing life into your 30s and beyond. If you eliminate bad habits and negative influences, life can still be great even after your glorious younger years.
This post is dedicated to identifying these habits and correcting them for a better outlook on life.
1. Avoid Thinking You Have It All Figured Out
Modern education has trapped us into thinking learning only takes place during school. Just because you finished high school and maybe have a college degree doesn’t mean you’re done learning about the world around you. There’s an endless amount of information and no matter how hard you try you’ll never consume it all. You don’t know everything, and that’s okay. The unknown is what keeps us exploring and experiencing new things every day.
2. Avoid Working A Job You Hate
It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what benefits you have, or how many years you’ve been working at the same place: if you hate your job, nothing will save you from your misery. This doesn’t mean quit right away, but the worst thing you could do at 30 is realize you hate your job only to find yourself still working there when you hit 40. It’s okay to change jobs or even careers. It’s much better long term to take less money for a job you love and enjoy than to torture yourself for a bigger paycheck.
3. Avoid Couch Potato Syndrome
Between desk jobs, binge watching TV, and overall laziness, we spend a lot of time sitting down. As we grow past our 20s our metabolism becomes dramatically less effective, making it harder to stay in shape. Whether you’re still below the 30 mark or well beyond, the best thing you can do is to start taking care of yourself now. It’s easy to make excuses for not wanting to get in shape, but when you’re overweight and out of breath after a trip up the stairs remember you have no one to blame but yourself.
4. Avoid Giving Up On Your Dreams
Just because you’ve surpassed the third decade doesn’t mean you’re too old to turn your dreams into reality. A common misconception is that only young people have unlimited potential to create something amazing that truly changes the world. The truth is plenty of people over 30 are changing the world everyday. Colonel Sanders was over 60 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Stan Lee, creator of Marvel, didn’t start writing comics until almost 40.
Age brings experience and wisdom, which gives you all the more reason to go after your dreams and do what you’ve always wanted.
5. Avoid Distancing Yourself From Friends & Family
As the years pass it seems inevitable that we fall out of touch with family as phone calls and reunions happen less every year. If you’re 30 now, your parents are probably in their 50s or 60s. Life can be taken at any moment, and one of the worst regrets people have is not spending enough time with their family before it’s too late. The only way to change this is to be the one who keeps in touch. Be that annoying friend that gets everyone back together and talks to everyone in the family. People will remember you for that, and they’ll admire what you do.
6. Avoid Thinking Your Best Years Are Behind You
If your 20s were like most, you probably spent the decade partying with your friends, staying up late, and job hopping until you found one that paid you enough to at least pretend you liked working there. Yet somehow we trick ourselves into thinking that after our 20s our best years have passed and it’s going to be a boring ride the rest of the way.
The only place this holds true is in your mind. If you believe your best years have came and went, it will be that way. But if you focus your attention on seizing each moment, there’s little doubt your most triumphant days are ahead of you.
Keep your eyes on the future, that’s where true glory lies.
7. Avoid Spending Beyond Your Means
Financial advisers suggest to retire by 65 you need to start saving by 25. Obviously this depends on a lot of factors, but the best way to guarantee you never save money is by living beyond your means. We thrive on instant gratification in a material world, buying things that make us feel better momentarily only to leave ourselves upset at our purchase later.
In your 20s, it’s simple pleasures like shopping or a night of drinking, but at 30 purchases turn into bigger financial holes like leasing a car or buying a house too big for your own good. Living more with less is a very real thing. Spending less on things that don’t matter and having money in a savings account gives you a sense of security and comfort that will enhance your life in later years.
8. Avoid Holding Onto Resentment
Life long grudges hurt nobody except yourself. Feeling disgust for not getting hired to a certain job or staying angry at a friend because you can’t allow yourself to forgive them creates a negative energy that diminishes your level of well being. Holding onto resentment doesn’t make the situation any better for either side of the party, and the longer you hold on the stronger that negative energy affects your life.
Holding grudges are for middle schoolers, so hopefully by the time you reach your 30s you can learn to forgive and let go. If not for the other person at least to bring more joy and positive emotions to your life.
9. Avoid Holding Onto Your High School Identity
For people who didn’t have a lot of friends or despised their time in high school this is easy, but when you were the class clown or a star athlete it’s difficult to let go of the labels you earned. The truth is no one cares what you did in high school, they care about what you’re going to do next. It doesn’t matter what athletic awards you won: if you don’t play any sports or stay in shape, you’re no longer an athlete.
Living in the past is a dangerous path to tread, especially when you look back with pride and admiration. Save yourself the trouble and change your vision from who you were towards who you want to become. This way you can avoid becoming the guy at the bar who tells everyone he would have gone pro if it wasn’t for his bum knee.
10. Avoid Staying In One Place Too Long
There’s nothing wrong with becoming part of the community and establishing roots in your neighborhood so your kids have a place to come back to when they get older. There’s a big difference, however, between growing roots and never leaving home.
Rather than living in the same 50 mile vortex your entire life, a simple road trip or vacation every now and then can give you a whole new perspective of the world. The longer you wait to travel the harder it is to finally do it. Start before your 30s if you can, but even if you’re older it’s never too late to see a different part of the world. I’ve never met someone who said they regret traveling, but millions regret never seizing the opportunity to set foot on new soil.
11. Avoid The Routine Trap
When you’re young life is constantly changing, but once you get older and have a full time career working it’s easy to fall into a routine: wake up, shower, rush to work, spend the next 8 hours there, drive home, eat dinner, watch TV, sleep. Some people are stuck in this routine until they retire. There’s nothing wrong with having routines to help you be more productive but your entire life shouldn’t become a routine. Leaving yourself room for spontaneous action will keep you feeling younger as you age.
12. Avoid Having Too Many Opinions
Everyone has an opinion about something. Whether it’s fashion, sports, global warming or the president, the opinions people feel strongest about are the things they don’t like. Opinions are almost never based on facts but rather rumors we hear and experiences we have.
Holding onto a negative opinion is like picking up a piece of burning coal and squeezing because you don’t like it. You only end up hurting yourself and nobody cares because what you’re doing looks completely dumb. Instead of holding onto your opinions for the rest of your life, let them go and see what happens. For one, you’ll still be perfectly okay. But who knows, once you gather a broader mindset you might find the exact opposite of one of your old opinions to be true.
13. Avoid Caring What Other People Think
If nobody cares about your opinions then you shouldn’t waste your time caring what they think either. It’s human nature to want people to like us, but it should never be at the expense of changing who we are. When you were younger if someone called you stupid or ugly, it might have bothered you for weeks. As you grow older it’s important to let go of caring so much what people think.
Remember, everyone has an opinion. If you spend your time worrying what everyone else thinks about you, you’ll never know what you think about yourself. And that’s much more important. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone you should never have to change who you are just because someone else wants you too.
14. Avoid Continuing Bad Habits
As humans we have a terrible habit of doing things to our bodies that aren’t healthy whatsoever. Eating processed foods, smoking, excessive drinking, lack of sleep, and plenty more.
In our 20s, our bodies are still young enough to put up with it and keep us functional as long as we don’t go overboard. But as you grow older and your body ages these habits start to wedge their way into your life and take over. Look at it this way, most people don’t get cancer from smoking one cigarette but from years of smoking that eventually deteriorated the body.
No bad habit needs to come with you into your older years. There’s still time to change and make a positive impact on your life. Leave your negative habits behind and your body will thank you in the future.
15. Avoid Thinking You Need To Settle Down
Just because you’re getting older and your friends are married with kids doesn’t mean you have to start doing the same. If you aren’t at that stage in your life there’s no reason to rush into a relationship because society says it’s time to slow down.
This is more than relationships, too. If you want a career change, have a desire for travel, or want to move to an entire new place, do it. You can settle down later when it’s right for you.And honestly, you never have to settle down if you don’t want to. There’s no law saying you have to slow down your life at a certain age, if the status quo isn’t working you have to do what’s best for you.
Being only in your 30s, you still have lots of life in front of you. You can call it quits and assure the next few decades will bore you to death by staying at a job you hate, giving up on your dreams and continuing your bad habits. Whether you’ve passed 30 or yet to reach the Big 3-0, you can set yourself up for success to live a long and exciting life by deciding to take care of your body and committing to causes that mean something to you. It all comes down to a set of simple choices that no one else in the world can make except you.
Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com