Turning 30 is a major milestone. You’ve moved far beyond your college years and are probably beginning to move up the career ladder.
But what, exactly, should you have achieved by the age of 30?
What knowledge and skills do you need to develop before embarking on your fourth decade?
Here’s your checklist:
1. Get to grips with your financial affairs.
Pensions, investments, and savings – you might not find these subjects very exciting, but you need to take care of your finances if you plan to enjoy a comfortable old age.
You don’t have to become an expert, but a few hours spent reading up on money management and consulting with an independent financial advisor could be one of the smartest moves you ever make.
2. See new places.
You can travel at any age, but most people have more time and energy to explore new places in their twenties than they do in their thirties.
It doesn’t have to be expensive – you might not be able to afford a trip around the world, but you might be able to take an out-of-state vacation, take advantage of cheap airfares by booking fair in advance, or save a lot of money by staying in hostels rather than hotels.
3. Put together a good wardrobe.
By the time you reach 30, you will probably have realized that it makes better economic sense to invest in a few well-made pieces of clothing rather than buying a lot of cheap items.
Every piece of clothing in your wardrobe should be flattering and comfortable.
As you move into your 30s, get rid of clothes designed for teenagers and people in their early twenties.
Ditch the cartoon t-shirts, baseball caps, and anything that looks as though it was designed for college students.
4. Learn how to filter out toxic friends and partners.
You don’t have to welcome everyone and anyone into your life with open arms – it’s your right to filter out toxic people.
Trust your intuition.
If someone seems too good to be true, or continually brings you down, it’s time to move on.
5. Learn how to cook a few signature dishes.
Once you hit your thirties, you need to take extra care of your health.
You may have felt OK living on junk food and alcohol in your twenties, but your body will to feel the effects of a poor diet as you hit your 30s.
Learn a few basic culinary skills and master a few nutritious recipes you can put together at home.
6. Figure out your ideal diet and exercise regimen.
Along with a healthy diet, you also need to figure out what kind of exercise works best for you.
You don’t have to become a gym bunny to feel fabulous.
Why not try hiking, yoga, or even something a little unusual like roller derby?
Be sure to include strength and resistance training alongside regular cardio.
7. Ask for a promotion or more responsibilities at work.
If you’re the ambitious type, be proactive in chasing a promotion or other opportunities at work.
It’s up to you to go after what you want.
Have enough faith in your own skills and work ethic to ask your manager to train you up, give you a pay raise, or both.
Master this skill in your twenties and it will serve you well for the rest of your life.
8. Amaze yourself.
Set a big goal and accomplish it.
Whether it’s running a marathon, writing a book, or learning how to fly a plane, doing something amazing will fortify your self-esteem and leave you feeling ready to take on the world.
9. Stop seeking other people’s approval.
To grow up is to learn to stand on your own two feet.
By all means ask trusted friends and relatives for advice but it’s vital that you rely primarily on your own judgment.
You won’t always make the right choice, but that’s OK.
Do the best you can, learn from your mistakes, and forgive yourself when you don’t make the best decision.
10. Come to terms with your childhood.
If you had a rough childhood or adolescence, you may still be carrying psychological wounds that take time to heal.
In order to move forwards as a healthy adult, you must face up to what happened when you were young and release any residual anger and resentment.
If you can’t do this alone, it’s time to find a therapist who can help you out.
Turning 30 needn’t be scary – it simply heralds the next phase of your life.
Take the lessons you’ve learned from your teens and twenties and get ready to make your 30s awesome.