Habits You Need to Break Before Turning 30
Getting older means living to the fullest, but it also means living a little more deliberately. Habits that will be harder to break the older you get.
Most of us spend our 20s figuring sh*t out: our careers, our relationships, ourselves. And we’re going to make plenty of mistakes along the way.
That’s more than OK—no one’s perfect. Plus, mistakes build character. As someone recently told me, “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”
But as you edge toward 30, you should want to start doing more things right and fewer things wrong. Maybe now’s the time to start thinking of life as less of a big, messy experiment and more of a strategic game to be played.
I came up with habits that probably aren’t doing us any favors. While they may not be the worst things you could do, holding onto them could be holding you back from the relationships, career, health, and happiness you deserve.
It’s definitely a learning process. The good news? No matter what age you are, there’s no time like the present to start letting go of certain habits so you can keep crushing it in your 30s, 40s, and beyond. This is a list of most of us.. well maybe not 50 somethings..
Obsessing over online dating.
So the person you’ve been chatting with for three weeks still hasn’t asked you out? He or she probably isn’t going to. Accept it, move on, and look up from your phone—you can talk to the cute guy or girl in the coffee shop. Also, let’s stop chasing after people who speak in a virtual monotone, giving only one-word answers. There are plenty of people out there who are a lot more fun to talk to.
Spending too much money on cheap clothes.
The tank tops and ripped jeans at Forever21 are tempting, but blowing $200 on a pile of clothes you’ll only wear once or twice isn’t a good way to spend your paycheck. Invest in some higher-quality items (and I don’t mean designer) that’ll last you way longer. You may actually start to enjoy getting dressed, while saving money in the long run.
Skimping on skin care.
Yeah, you should wash your face at night. No, you shouldn’t pick at your pimples (unless you’re doing it the doctor-approved way). While you don’t have to pay up for special facials or laser treatments, you should invest in some high-quality products that are right for your skin (and use sunscreen every day).
“Forgetting” to call older relatives.
Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other older and wiser relatives deserve to hear your voice every so often. Stop making excuses to put it off until tomorrow. Pick up the phone, ask how they are, and tell them what’s new in your life. Not only will you make their day, but chances are, you’ll also feel better in the process.
Staying with a partner who makes you feel anything less than awesome.
We know it’s not always sunshine and rainbows; inevitably, there will be bumps in the road. (Here’s how to tell if your doubts are deal breakers or totally normal. look for my article on this) But overall, your partner should make you feel happy, secure, beautiful, and loved—and if those feelings haven’t surfaced in a long time, it may be time to rethink the partnership.
Taking “no” for an answer without trying again.
There are going to be things you can’t do anything about (and that’s an important lesson in itself). But when it comes to issues you really care about—at work, in your relationship, anywhere—don’t just accept the first “no” that someone gives you. Ask again, backed with a reasonable argument and without complaining. You never know ’til you ask (again), right?
Not saving money.
Whether it’s a 401(k), IRA, or savings account, socking away cash is one of the smartest things a 20-something can do, experts say. In your 20s, aim to save 10 to 15 percent of your paycheck; in your 30s, try to put 15 to 25 percent in your savings account. Set up a monthly automatic transfer to make it easy and check out these 94 painless ways to save more money. (Article to follow).
Not cleaning your shower until it’s covered in mold.
It’s gross, and it’s not that hard to clean. (I found a toothbrush works wonders on shower tiles.) Same goes for not dusting until dust bunnies take over or not washing your sheets until they start to smell bad. Just thought I would throw this one in.. lol
We know, parents can be frustrating at times. But acting like a sullen teenager, either IRL or over the phone, isn’t going to help. They’re not going to be around forever, so treat them with respect—even when they’re asking when you’re going to settle down or get a job for the 50th time.
Waiting around for The One.
It’s tempting to swipe endlessly on apps, but if you’re not actually open to giving someone a chance (even if they don’t look like the guy or gal of your dreams), then you’re not going to find someone. Newsflash: Soul mates aren’t a real thing, so stop waiting for the face of your future partner to magically appear.
Not pursuing something you love.
Reading, writing a blog, drawing, doing Zumba—whatever it is, don’t let someone’s judgment stop you from pursuing your passions. Set aside the time for the things you love and consider marking it on your calendar so you’ll actually do it.
Constantly running late.
This is a tough one to work on resolving—trust me, I know. But if you can nail the whole being-on-time thing, you’ll be well on your way to a better, less-stressful life.
Checking your phone at the dinner table.
Whether you’re with friends, a date, or your family, it’s not cool. Whatever is so intriguing on your phone can wait. And texting while driving? Really not cool. Seriously, stop.
Never (like, ever) exercising.
We’re not talking running a marathon or punishing yourself with heavy weights. If you think you hate working out, find something you love. With the massive amount of fitness trends out there today, we promise it’s possible to find a workout (from barre to yoga to P90x to dance cardio (CIZE)) that you actually look forward to doing. And you don’t need a gym to get fit—these body weight workouts prove it.
Never buying groceries.
Ordering Seamless or hitting up the drive-thru isn’t so bad once in awhile, but doing it every night can do some serious damage to your bank account—and your body. Start with my ultimate grocery list for single people and this collection of 29 insanely easy and healthy single-serving meals. (Look for list under Healthy Eating)
Fighting with your siblings over small stuff.
They’re your flesh and blood. And they’re likely the ones who’ll help you cope and deal with the loss of a parent or other family member. While you may have disagreements—and some major dramas—we’d all be wise to let the little things go.
Not giving back to others.
Even if it’s not a consistent thing, make time to volunteer. Serve food at a shelter, mentor a child in need, visit folks in the hospital, or try any of these ways to give back (that don’t involve writing a check). It will help put your life in perspective and make you realize that even your worst days really aren’t that bad.
Waiting for “real life” to start.
Thank you for taking time to read. I hope this helps you start thing of your future.