By the time you’re staring down 30 candles on your birthday cake, one thing should become abundantly clear: you’re not a kid anymore. However, for many people, your 30s feel like little more than an extension of the previous decade, when not knowing what you wanted out of life, being less than gainfully-employed, or paying your rent in quarters felt more like quirky behavior and less like a cry for help.
Unfortunately, just because you’re ignoring the procession of time doesn’t actually mean it stops. But if you’re willing to break these 30 bad habits for people over 30, you can make the most of what should be an amazing decade. And when you’re taking inventory of your life, start by purging the 30 Home Decorations No One Over 30 Should Own.
Slacking on Your Student Loan Payments
If you haven’t paid off your student loans by the time you hit your 30s, there’s no time like the present to do so. If you’ve been deferring or paying just the minimum, you could end up adding tens of thousands of dollars to what you initially owed. With a little more money in the bank than you had in your 20s, now’s the best time to start paying that balance off. And for more money-saving tips, discover the 40 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Paycheck.
Not Eating Your Vegetables
Your mom always told you to eat your veggies, but if it’s taken you until your 30s to get started, it’s still better late than never. In fact, a meta-analysis from Imperial College London reveals that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the key to warding off premature death. Start kicking your healthy eating habits into high gear today with the 50 Best Foods for Your Brain!
Sticking to the Same Workouts
With any luck, you’re eating healthier in your 30s than you were the decade prior. However, many people don’t think to change their workouts alongside their eating habits. Mixing up your workouts can help you beat boredom in the gym, enjoy a higher calorie burn, and may even increase your longevity. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise, research suggests that weight training can help you maintain the most muscle mass while burning fat, and may even reduce your risk of future injury. Just make sure the 7 Most Surprising Everyday Exercise Killers aren’t getting in your way.
Water isn’t “that thing the bartender brings you after too many beers” by the time you hit 30. It’s just necessary. Not only can drinking an adequate amount of water help you lose weight, but also research conducted at the University of Connecticut suggests that even being mildly dehydrated can have a negative effect on your mood and may even reduce your cognitive ability.
While you should aim for at least eight glasses a day, it’s important to drink water whenever you’re feeling thirsty, too. Fortunately, the 100 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) Healthier Man can get you back on track in no time.
Staying in a Dead-End Job
If you’re in your 30s and your job doesn’t appreciate you, the pay is bad, and there’s no room for a promotion, it’s time to make a change. Staying in a dead-end job will only make you miserable, and you’re not going to look back fondly on decades spent in a job that didn’t go anywhere. Scarier still, researchers in Brussels found that job dissatisfaction was strongly correlated with adverse mental health outcomes. Take the plunge and ditch that dead-end job while you’re still young enough to start a brand-new career. And when you do want to get ahead at work, cut the 40 Things No One Should Ever Say at Work from your vocabulary.
Flossing is essential for your oral health, but a shocking 20 percent of adults say they never floss. If you’re among this group, it’s time to start flossing today before your oral health takes a nosedive. If you want to keep your teeth, keep floss handy and use it at least once daily. And if you want those pearly whites to shine, try the 20 Secrets for Whiter Teeth After 40.
Mismanaging Your Meds
While it’s never a good idea to take medication that’s not prescribed to you or take your own meds in a way that’s not indicated, plenty of people still do. By the time you’re in your 30s, however, it’s time to have a consistent routine for taking your meds in place and stop saying yes to the Xanax your mom keeps trying to give you for nerves. Considering that almost 60 percent of Americans take prescription meds, this may be a more common problem than you think.
Not Maximizing Your IRA Contributions
Maximize your IRA contributions now and you might just get to enjoy this elusive thing called “retirement” in the future. By the time you hit 30, you should have a retirement account set up and maximize your contributions whenever possible. Otherwise, you’re essentially throwing away free money that you’ll definitely wish you had a few decades from now. This handy IRA calculator can help you get a better idea on how much you can save. And for more great financial advice, here are the 20 Best Ways to Lower Your Mortgage Payment.
In your 20s, the world can feel like it holds a virtually endless supply of potential romantic partners. However, in your 30s, that dating pool is noticeably narrower, as is your social circle, in many cases. Getting a reputation as someone who ghosts people can make people wary about getting to know you. Generally speaking, it’s also pretty unkind. Just take the two seconds to send a text to tell someone that it isn’t working.
Holding Onto Clothes That Don’t Fit
While we’re not suggesting you trash your wedding dress because you can’t shimmy back into it, keeping a closet full of clothes you can’t wear isn’t the motivational tool you think it is. By the time you’re in your 30s, try to stick to this general rule: if you haven’t worn it in 6 months, it’s time to let it go.
Steering Clear of Healthy Fats
Taking care of your heart is essential if you want to live a long and healthy life. In your 30s, that may mean adding some more healthy fats to your diet, even if their calorie counts initially scare you. A little olive oil here, some avocado there, and you can improve your cardiovascular health, the health of your brain, and even your skin. Also, undressed salads are sad and terrible and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Not Having a Cleaning Routine
It may have been fun to pick your clothes off that endless pile on your floor for a while, but by the time you’re in your 30s, it’s time to have a cleaning routine down pat. Even if you’re not naturally neat, vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning your sinks at least once a week will keep your home from being a petri dish.
Drinking Every Day
Having a glass of wine with dinner every night of the week may not feel the same as doing a keg stand, but your body doesn’t necessarily know that. Drinking on a daily basis, even if it’s just a glass or two, can contribute to unwanted weight gain, poor sleep, impulsive eating, and may increase your risk of overdoing it in the long run. And ask anyone who’s hit 30: those hangovers are a totally different animal than the ones you had at 22.
Forgetting to Remove Your Makeup Before Bed
After a long night out, you might want to just crawl in bed with a full face of makeup on. Pro tip: don’t. Sleeping in your makeup can clog pores, increase breakouts, and may even make you look older, thanks to the damage all those environmental pollutants clinging to your makeup can cause.
Not Reading Labels
By the time you’re 30, it’s probably a safe bet that you know how to read. Unfortunately, plenty of us don’t practice that important skill at the store. In your 30s, it’s important you start taking the labels on your food seriously, cutting out trans fats, and seriously limiting your intake of sugar and sodium. You might be shocked by what’s lurking in your favorite foods.
Gossiping at Work
Your 30s are the perfect time to start making major strides in your career. However, if you have a reputation as the office gossip, don’t be surprised if you’re the last person who knows about insider info from the office, like hirings, firings, and potential promotions.
Not Visiting Your Parents
You depend on your parents as a young kid. You resent them as a teenager. You probably depend on them more than you want in your 20s. And in your 30s, it’s time to start paying them back. Visit them at the holidays, foot the bill for dinner when you go out, and let them know how special they are to you whenever possible.
Regularly Indulging in Refined Sugar
Even if you think you’re pretty healthy, odds are you’re eating way more sugar than you think. According to the CDC, added sugar makes up 13 percent of the average adult’s caloric intake, putting you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The best way to fight sugar cravings is to stop eating sugar, so scale back now.
Not Wearing Your Glasses
We get it: your glasses didn’t give you that Clark Kent look you were going for. However, if you’re not wearing them, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not wearing glasses if you need them can cause eye strain, headaches, and make activities like driving more dangerous. Get glasses you like or opt for contacts and you’ll be safer in the long run.
Maintaining Relationships With Bad Friends
That friend who slept with your boyfriend is not a good friend. Neither is the one who drunkenly shows up at your house on a Monday morning and screams at you when you can’t let them crash. You only have one life to live, and your 30s are prime time for getting rid of those people who are bringing it down.
Ignoring Your Biological Clock
While you don’t need to suddenly decide it’s time to have kids just because you’re 30, it’s not a bad idea to talk to your doctor about your fertility if you want to someday. Despite what we may wish, neither men nor women are fertile forever, and it’s important to figure out what your options are if you want kids, but not now.
Not Shredding Your Bills
Unless you want to wake up and find that your bank account has been drained by someone half a world away, it’s time to start shredding your bills. Anything with your social security number, account numbers, or full name and address merit a good shred.
Instead of simply admiring your body in the mirror like you did in your 20s, in your 30s, it’s time to start giving it a more thorough inspection. Noting any new freckles, moles, or changes to your skin, and making sure to give yourself regular breast or testicular exams can help you catch illnesses before they become serious.
Sleeping on Dirty Sheets
If you’ve hit 30, you’re old enough to have a nice bed, and one that’s clean, too. Wash your sheets at least once a week or you could be setting yourself up for breakouts, dust mites, and the general ick factor of sleeping in your own cells and sweat.
Not Backing Up Your Data
While springing for extra cloud storage may have seemed out of your price range at 20, by 30, you should be backing up your data. You won’t miss those few extra bucks each month, but you probably will miss a lifetime’s worth of photos.
Doing Fad Diets
Your metabolism may be slowing by the time you’re in your 30s, but that doesn’t mean a fad diet will fix it. Your 30s are a great time to make your health a top priority and focus on food as a means for a healthier, longer life, not just a thinner one.
Not Seeking Work Life Balance
If you’re planning to retire at 65, this job you loathe at 35 probably isn’t sustainable. If you’re working 14-hour days, weekends, and holidays, it’s time to reconsider if that job is worth it. After all, nobody says, “I wish I had spent more time at the office” on their deathbed.
Dating People Who Treat You Badly
By the time you’re in your 30s, you probably realize how quickly life can pass you by. If you’re in a relationship that makes you miserable, your 30s are a perfect time to end it. Luckily, you still have tons of time left to meet the right person and start making a life together.
Skimping on Sleep
Those all-nighters you pulled in your 20s aren’t worth your time a decade later. Getting enough sleep—that’s at least 7 hours a night—is associated with a longer life expectancy, increased concentration, and even a healthier BMI. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of hours in the day to get everything done.
Not Telling People You Love Them
While you’re navigating relationships in your teens and 20s, it can feel awkward to throw out “I love you”s, even if you mean it. By the time you’re in your 30s, you can rest assured that most people won’t assume you’re pining for them if you tell them you love them. And since you only have so many years on this planet, it’s well worth letting the people you love know how you feel. And when you want to improve your outlook even further, turn to the 70 Genius Tricks to Get Instantly Happy!
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