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You’ll Regret It If You Haven’t Done These 30 Things Before 30

You’ll Regret It If You Haven’t Done These 30 Things Before 30

Everyone has a bucket list. These days though, that isn’t enough. Indeed, there are now a bunch of things you should do not only before you die, but before you reach the ripe old age of 30. Here are a few I was able to whip up:

1. Go to college.

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    Though it can be expensive, going to college is definitely worth the investment. You’ll make friends, acquire connections, and be around (moderately) smart people all day, every day. The younger you do it, the better. While it’s possible to launch your college career at 30 (and I’m not discouraging you), there’s no question you’ll have more energy to deal with the trials and tribulations of university life when you’ve got all that youthful energy to work with.

    2. Watch Doctor Who.

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      Ah, Doctor Who, one of the best science fiction shows in existence! This is a show that can change your entire perspective towards life (for the better) if you give it a chance, especially if you’re still an impressionable teenager. Plus, it’s the longest running sci-fi series ever, so if you start watching it as a youngster, it’ll probably still be there for you to enjoy once you’re middle aged or older.

      3. Start a workout regimen.

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        People who are fit later in life started making the right choices at a young age. If you build the foundation in your teens and twenties, finding the time to go exercise for 45 minutes a day is a relatively easy task. Once your fitness plan becomes part of your routine, you’ll find it difficult to live without it. I’d outline the benefits of this, but they’re pretty self-explanatory.

        4. Play video games.

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          Not to lecture the baby boomers among us, but a lot of problems would be solved in today’s world if people found the time to play video games. They improve your reaction times, allow you to become familiar with all kinds of technologies, and introduce you to fantastical stories and worlds. Don’t miss out on one of the best inventions of the last century; pick up a controller today!

          5. Read a history book.

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            As a history major, I’m probably biased in suggesting this, but oh well! It angers me how the majority of people reference the past in vague platitudes that are no more accurate than your favorite Greek myth. Start educating yourself at an early age, and learn the truth. You’ll be amazed how often you catch politicians and pundits lying once you’ve read actual historical sources!

            6. Get a smartphone!

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              Yup, I added an exclamation point. These little devices are pretty much a necessity if you want to take advantage of everything life has to offer. They boost your productivity, social networking potential, and familiarity with technology by a bucket load, so it’s best to become acquainted with them before you reach the three decade mark.

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              7. Build a computer.

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                In today’s world it’s useful to know how computers work, inside and out. While you don’t have to be a programming expert, you should at least be able to open up your desktop tower and know what you’re looking at. I’m by no means a math and science oriented person, but it’s still useful to be able to do these things without having to rely on ridiculously overpriced services like Geek Squad. Why do this before hitting 30? We live in an age of technology; knowing little things like this can give you the upper hand in the job market. Plus, it’ll save you a lot of money in the long run if you start tinkering early.

                8. Fire a gun.

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                  Before I get gun activists yelling at me, I swear I have a good reason for putting this here. I didn’t fire a gun until I went to a range a couple of years ago, and while it didn’t make me an ammo-spewing maniac, it did teach me to respect how powerful these things are. If anything, you should get a sense of the damage they can do in order to better understand the ongoing US Second Amendment debate as an adult.

                  9. Find a best friend.

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                    I’m an introvert, so I couldn’t care less about having tons of friends. All you really need are two, three, or even just one best friend to make the world a brighter place. These sorts of relationships are more easily forged when young, and they’ll last a lifetime.

                    10. Write a fictional story.

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                      I know most people hate writing, but hear me out on this one. Everyone should try writing a piece of fiction when they are young and imaginative, not only because it’s fun but because you’ll develop your writing skills (which most people neglect nowadays). Additionally, you may be surprised at what you come up with.

                      11. Read or watch the news.

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                        I lectured baby boomers once in this article and now I’ll do the same to millennials. While the news is usually boring and/or extremely biased, it’s nice staying up to date on current events. It’ll also help when talking to older people, since they appreciate when us young folks are aware of all the important (and unimportant) things happening around the world.

                        12. Watch “Rocky.”

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                          Everyone references this famous underdog flick, but few have actually watched it in its entirety. The original “Rocky” was nothing like the exaggerated stuff that came later with Ivan Drago and Clubber Lang. It was an emotional and gritty tale about a destitute Italian boxer trying to prove his self-worth by accomplishing something that nobody believed he could do. This is the type of Cinderella story everyone needs to see at a young age, especially since we’re living in a time of economic hardship. If nothing else, it will inspire you to finish that paper you need to write!

                          13. Address your own political biases.

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                            Everyone is biased when it comes to politics. That being said, it’s better to know where you stand than to foolishly assume that all of your views are always correct. That is why you should become familiar with whatever political positions go against yours, especially at a young age when you are more open to considering multiple angles. I did this by growing up in a conservative town and attending a super liberal university. While it was a bit jarring going between each, it was a worthwhile experience that helped me attack my own biases and misconceptions.

                            14. Go to a foreign country.

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                              I haven’t done this yet myself, but I’m definitely making it a goal to do it before I hit 30. Why? Mainly because I’ve had several friends who’ve gone, and they each came back to the United States filled with more wisdom and acceptance for other ways of life than they had before. It’s best to do this when you’re young since you still have a moderate amount of freedom to move around, and because there are lots of opportunities to go abroad through colleges.

                              15. Rock out at a concert.

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                                I generally dislike being around people (cue high-functioning sociopath jokes here). That being said, even I enjoy a jaunt to a concert every now and then. You can definitely do this after 30, though I doubt it’ll be as much fun since you more than likely won’t want to be stuck in a writhing mass of young people doing all sorts of strange dance moves.

                                16. Familiarize yourself with a foreign language.

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                                  Notice I didn’t say “learn” or “become fluent in,” though that would be nice too. As long as you can become decently acquainted with a language, I’ll give you a pat on the back (or a high five, whichever works). The younger you are, the easier it is to pick languages up, so there’s no excuse not to try!

                                  17. Pull an all-nighter.

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                                    While you could do this at 30 or above, you’ll probably acquire some form of narcolepsy and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! This is much easier to do when you’re a hip and happening college-aged kid, so do it while you can. I can vouch for the fact that seeing the sun rise twice in a day is pretty sweet.

                                    18. Troll a celebrity on Twitter.

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                                      We all know how self-important celebrities can be. Turns out they’re like that on Twitter, too. Do yourself a favor and try trolling them with a few witty, sarcastic, or borderline rude tweets. Sometimes they’ll reply to you … that is, if you’re good. If you do this before you hit 30 they’ll forgive you for being a crazy kid, past that and you might get hit with a lawsuit.

                                      19. Go on an insanely long hike.

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                                        I’m talking like a six- to twenty-mile odyssey. Preferably one that goes uphill the entire way. You’ll feel accomplished, and you’ll lose so many calories that you can eat whatever you want for a week! By doing this before 30, you lessen the risk of passing out and tumbling down the mountain.

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                                        20. Watch “24.”

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                                          What? You’re under 30 and haven’t watched Jack Bauer shoot down a helicopter with his pistol? Sure, you could watch this fantastic television series when you’re older … but then you’ll miss out on one of the best (and sometimes unintentionally hilarious) shows of the 21st century, and you’ll miss out on all of the cool references at parties. It’s been out since 2001 so you have no excuse!

                                          21. Acquire a taste for coffee.

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                                            Coffee is great. I’m in my twenties and I go through at least three, four, five, sometimes six cups a day. Not only is coffee arguably good for you, it’ll keep you awake while you’re in college or grad school. Let’s face it, you’ll be drinking it later in life regardless, why not start while you’re young so that you can take advantage of its magical powers now?

                                            22. Get lost while driving.

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                                              This will probably happen regardless of you reading this list or not, but still, in the case that your GPS never messes up (unlike mine), turn it off one day and go explore. When you’re young, you have the time to do random stuff like this; plus, you have an excuse to get lost since you have no life experience yet and folks will understand (right?).

                                              23. Learn some astronomy.

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                                                This could be a class you take in college, or something you do on your own time. Either way, learning about space (the final frontier) is an awesome experience. Looking up into the night sky and seeing all of the stars is humbling, and makes you forget your earthly issues. This sensation only becomes more powerful once you know exactly what you’re looking at. This is better to do in your formative years so that you can use your youthful vigor to demand more funding for NASA. (Yes, I am biased!)

                                                24. Don’t listen to conventional wisdom.

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                                                  As a young person, you’re often told by others that you can’t or shouldn’t follow your dreams because of X or Y. Don’t listen to all of that jazz. They’ve never been in your shoes, and there’s no way things can turn out too badly if you put enough effort into what you’re doing. You only have one shot to live life the way you want to, so don’t miss your chance!

                                                  25. Get yourself organized!

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                                                    My mom is an elementary school teacher, and she always talks to me about how one of the main skills they teach kids is how to keep their lives in order. Evidently this is an issue even amongst college-aged kids (as I can attest to). So, fix this by injecting a little bit of OCD into your life at an early age. Keep post-its, uh, posted around your desk to remind you of things you need to do. Use the reminders app on your iPhone. Keep a planner, and update it regularly.

                                                    26. Stop drinking soda.

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                                                      It was tough, but when I was around 16 I cut myself off from soda for good. At first I couldn’t fathom drinking plain old water or iced tea at restaurants or at home, but over time I got used to it, and eventually acquired a taste for it. Nowadays, all of that high-fructose corn syrup in soda is overwhelming (read: disgusting) to my taste buds. Get started on quitting the sweet stuff before 30, and you’ll be healthier for the rest of your life.

                                                      27. Take a theater class!

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                                                        I always hated theater in junior high and high school. As a senior in college, I discovered that I had room in my schedule to take an intro to theater class, and while I was fearful at first, I begrudgingly enrolled because I wanted to broaden my horizons. I knew I made the right choice after the first day of class. Take this when you’re young because you’ll learn valuable lessons about interacting with people, how to lose your stage fright, and stuff like that. I also got a girlfriend out of the class so I really can’t complain!

                                                        28. Become a leader.

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                                                          People generally shy away from leadership positions. I’m no exception. That being said, as I did with theater, I bit the proverbial bullet and took on a leadership role in college to get over my fears. Turns out I wasn’t so bad at it! Everyone should have some sort of experience directing things while they’re young; you’ll become more of an independent thinker and won’t take as much crap when you’re older.

                                                          29. Move out of your parents’ house.

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                                                            Sure, sticking around with Mom and Dad will save you tons of money. By the time you’re 29 though, you should really start thinking about getting your own place, not only for your own sake but for your parents’, who by that point are probably fantasizing about being empty-nesters day and night.

                                                            30. Cook your own meals for a week.

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                                                              Most Americans go out to eat more than they make their own meals (no, I don’t have a statistic, but I’m probably right). In college I had to cook for myself regularly, and while it wasn’t always pretty, I became quite creative with what I was putting on the plate. Plus, it’s good practice for when you’re older and need to stick to a strict budget (eating out is so expensive). It’s far easier to choose to cook your own dinner when you know how to make things that are actually (mostly) edible!

                                                              Did I miss something? I probably did since I based most of these on my own life experiences. Let me know some of the things you think we should all do before 30 in the comments below!

                                                              Featured photo credit: Sign_30_1702.JPG/MorgueFile via mrg.bz

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                                                              Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                                              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                              You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                                              We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                                              The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                                              Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                                              1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                                              Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                                              For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                                              • (1) Research
                                                              • (2) Deciding the topic
                                                              • (3) Creating the outline
                                                              • (4) Drafting the content
                                                              • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                                              • (6) Revision
                                                              • (7) etc.

                                                              Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                                              2. Change Your Environment

                                                              Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                                              One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                                              3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                                              Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                                              Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                                              My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                                              Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                                              4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                                              If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                                              Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                                              I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                                              5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                                              I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                                              Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                                              As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                                              6. Get a Buddy

                                                              Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                                              I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                                              7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                                              This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                                              For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                                              8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                                              What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                                              9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                                              If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                                              Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                                              10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                                              Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                                              Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                                              11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                                              At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                                              Reality check:

                                                              I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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