For most of us, our 20s are for figuring things out: Yourself, your career, your relationships. You made tons of mistakes along the way (as we all did). But now, you’re nearing or are in your 30s, and things feel a little different. Maybe you know yourself better, feel a little more confident, or just aren’t afraid to be yourself.
And while we can’t expect to suddenly become perfect human beings just because we’ve entered a new decade of life, it doesn’t mean there aren’t things we should have outgrown by our 30s.
And that’s because some of our youthful behaviors no longer serve us in positive ways. Holding on to certain habits from our younger days could actually hold us back when it comes to obtaining the relationships, careers, health goals, and happiness we want. So, in the spirit of breaking habits that no longer serve us well, read 14 things we should no longer be doing in our third decade of life below.
1 Drinking wine and cocktails out of plastic cups
Different beverages require different glasses. This is not vanity or for mere appearances—this is physics. Wine needs oxygen to unleash its flavors. Hence, the globe shape of wine glasses! An old fashioned ought to be served in an old fashioned tumbler, so that the whiskey has ample room to surround the ice. Plastic ruins the taste of our beloved beverages. Go to a thrift store, and get yourself the right glasses for each job. You’ll thank yourself later.
2 Neglecting your skin
When we were younger, we thought we were invincible. Aging is something that happens to other people—not to us. So finding that first gray hair or hint of a wrinkle can be pretty sobering. Just remember: Wearing moisturizer and sunscreen daily can not only slow signs of aging, but can actually prevent damage. It’s time to get proactive!
3 Ignoring your fingernails and toenails
Sorry guys, dirty, chipped nails must now be a thing of the past. Wash your hands, trim those nails, push back those cuticles, moisturize your nail beds. It’s not just about vanity, it’s about hygiene. Fungal infections are nasty, y’all.
4 Not washing your sheets and towels regularly
What, you thought there was a clean sheet fairy who magically replaced your linens when you were out? (If only!) Now that you’re in your 30s, this is definitely a habit to get into regularly. You really want to invite that new bae over only for them to slip into sweaty, crumb-laded sheets?
5 Letting food go bad in the fridge
At the very least, mold is gross, and at most, it’s actually unhealthy. Plus, coming home to a clean fridge just feels nice. Toss that ish out, and clean your fridge regularly. We’re talking a mere once a month. Dampen a paper towel with some warm water and a little vinegar or lemon juice, and give those shelves a wipe down. We promise: Your very soul will feel cleaner.
6 Not taking out the trash
You ever been over to someone’s apartment and seen their trash cans overflowing? It’s a major turn-off, right? Don’t be that person!
7 Stacking dirty dishes in the sink
The kitchen sink is not a storage unit for dirty dishes. Use a dish? Wash your dish! Easy as that. When dishes stack in the sink, several unfortunate things happen: 1) That bacteria-filled stagnant water attracts bugs. 2) The pressure created by dishes stacked precariously on top of each other is how dishes chip and break. 3) Your housemates have nowhere to rinse their dishes or fill up their water filters. Let’s not anymore.
8 Not asking for what you’re worth
In our 20s, we’re still proving ourselves. That often means accepting entry-level work for the experience, and later, letting people make us feel that the experience is still worth being underpaid. But there comes a time when you just have to say, “I know what I’m worth, and I expect to be compensated appropriately.” If you feel like you need some help figuring out how exactly to say this to an employer, we feel you, and here’s a helpful resource.
9 Forgetting to prioritize your family or loved ones
As you grow older, you may be realizing that time moves extremely fast—and once it’s gone, it’s gone. So, connect with your loved ones. Give them your time. Your heart will thank you, as will theirs.
10Not saving money when you have some to save
Common investment knowledge tells us that in your 30s, you should try to be saving 15 to 25 percent of your earnings, whether in the form of a (401)k, a Roth IRA, or even just a regular old savings account. This cushion will give you freedom when you want to make more “grown up” purchases, start a family if you want one, or just help you in retirement. Do your future self a favor and start thinking about ways to save.
Okay, we don’t want to be the life police here (or sound like your mom). But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that most cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients. When they burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association. Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them can cause cancer. They also clot your blood, clog your pores, yellow your teeth, and create wrinkles around your mouth. If you’re a smoker, your 30s might be the time to seriously consider strategies for quitting or cutting back.
12 Never exercising
Young bodies are amazing. They maintain their shape and elasticity with hardly any effort. That’s due to a little process called metabolism. As we age, our metabolism declines. If we don’t stay active, we’re risking all sort of health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a myriad of others. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Associationfound that regular exercise saves individuals $2,500 a year in medical costs!
13 Drinking too much on the weekend
For many of us, bar-hopping every weekend was a rite of passage into adulthood. Well, now you’re an adult, and you might be realizing that there’s so much more to weekends than nursing hangovers. Knowing your limits and drinking responsibly will keep your rested and alert for yoga, road trips, dinner parties, or even just a weekend of not feeling icky.
14 Obsessing over what or whether your crush is texting you
He only texted you four kissy faces at the end of his sentence, when you sent him seven! What could it mean? You’re too darn busy for this! Let your 30s be a time of openness and honesty with someone you’re interested in, as opposed to “who texted last?” playing-it-cool games.
Remember, all of the above aren’t hard and fast rules. Sometimes we all drink a little too much, neglect our laundry, or have mini-freak outs over a crush—at any and every age. But many of the above tips will actually make you feel healthier, happier, and less stressed on a daily basis—and what better reward than that?
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