After graduating college, your 30th birthday will come up before you know it. Between friendships, relationships, job hunting, house hunting, and otherwise getting your life in order, your 20s can slip away fast! Don’t forget that you also need to make time for yourself during this decade. Check out our list below for nine things you NEED to do before turning 30!
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1. Read More Books
You may have groaned about having to read when you were in school, but you should make reading a habit before turning 30. Getting lost in a book can improve your vocabulary, help you learn new things, and let your imagination soar. Joan Didion’s memoir The Year of Magical Thinking details the author’s first year after her husband’s death. Its honesty about learning to be on your own is perfect for young adulthood.The Group by Mary McCarthy follows a group of female friends who speak frankly about young women’s issues like sex, careers, and more. If you want an all-in-one book of advice for your 20s, pick up Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter – And How To Make the Most Of Them. Check out this list for even more awesome book suggestions!
2. See The World
While you are still young, travel as much as possible! Make a list of all the places you have been dying to visit and make a real plan to get there. Exploring new places alone is a great way to learn things about yourself. Traveling with a partner or friends creates life-long memories and strengthens bonds. Think you don’t have the budget for your dream vacation? Travelation has amazing deals on airfare to places all over the world. Just use Coupon Code FLYTL15 to get $15 off!
3. Keep A Journal
Journaling isn’t just for preteens writing down their crushes. Get back into the habit before turning 30! Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and goals is a healthy way to deal with your busy adult life. Don’t know where to start? Try The 5 Minute Journal. This journal helps improve your mental health by writing just a few minutes each morning and night. You’ll write down a daily affirmation, expectations for the day, and reflections on the great things that happened that day. By practicing gratitude, even in a private journal, you’ll feel happier and more optimistic and maybe even improve your relationships with others.
4. Donate To Charity
Nothing feels better than giving back. By the time you’re 30, you probably have a little more disposable income to give to causes you are passionate about. Charity USA allows you to donate to a wide variety of charities, including those that help people, animals, and the environment by buying fun products or donating directly. If you’re on a tighter budget, you can even help these causes out at no cost to you by clicking on the free contribution button!
5. Discover Your Heritage
If you’ve ever wondered about your family background, now is the time to find out. Talk with your family about stories from their childhoods or do some genealogy research to find out where you came from. You may even find a family member you resemble! 23andme does the work for you by analyzing your DNA to figure out your ancestry. Once you know where your family is from, start planning a trip around the world that is uniquely you!
6. Love Your Body
Everyone has things they don’t like about themselves. But as we get older, it’s important to learn to love yourself, flaws and all. Often we’re our own worst critics, and what we see as undesirable, others may find beautiful. For example, I used to hate being so short (I’m just shy of 5 foot 1!) but my husband loves tiny girls, so I was his ideal. Try to stop criticizing your body and instead focus that energy and attention on what you can do to make it as healthy as possible. Whenever I’m feeling down on myself, a super sweaty workout or a healthy meal instantly makes me love what I see in the mirror. Embrace the things that make you unique, beautiful you!
Let’s face it: we’re not getting any younger. Getting fit will only get harder as we age, so now is the best time to start exercising! Whether you want to lose weight, tone your muscles, or just feel your best, establishing a regular exercise routine before turning 30 is key. But that doesn’t mean you have to log a bunch of hours on the dreadmill. If running fills you with dread, there are tons of other options for getting in shape. Kickboxing, yoga, barre, Crossfit, the list goes on. Research gyms and fitness classes near you (or check out YouTube if you’re on a budget) and find your passion!
8. Learn To Cook
While ramen and TV dinners every night might have been your norm in your 20s, learning to cook is essential before you hit the big 3-0. No one is asking you to become a gourmet chef overnight, but every woman should have at least a handful of delicious, nutritious recipes up her sleeve. Even simply learning cooking techniques like baking, boiling, frying, and roasting will set you up for endless dinner possibilities. Literally, have no time to cook? Invest in a slow cooker and try some of these recipes; your food will be ready to eat when you get home from work!
9. Pull An All-Nighter
You probably did this a lot in college finishing assignments. But before you’re no longer in your 20s, you should stay up all night for fun! Whether it’s hitting the club, chatting with your partner, sharing secrets with your girlfriends, or watching the sun rise in nature, do this while you still can. Recovering from an all-nighter will be harder soon! Kids, a demanding job, and other adult stresses can also get in the way, so live it up now before turning 30!
While all these things are beneficial to your health and happiness during your 20s, don’t stress. They’re supposed to make you happy! Complete them in your own way and on your own time to make coming up on your 30th birthday less full of dread.