We all like to set goals for ourselves, and we often set a timeline to accomplish them based on certain milestones—the end of a year, an anniversary, or a certain age are popular choices. Many folks like to use the beginning of a new decade in life as a “chronological yardstick” to gauge what they’ve accomplished in life and what they still need to do.
Are you about to turn 30? If so, then congratulations—for many people, this is an important time in life. It’s an age at which your adolescent and young adult years are firmly behind you and you begin embarking on the middle portion of your life’s journey through adulthood and towards middle age. You may be wondering what sort of goals in life you should have achieved by the time you reach this milestone. The following are some ideas for things to try to do before reaching 30. How many of these have you already done?
1. Start a checking/savings account: If you haven’t already, it’s about time you established a bank account that will allow you to pay bills, save money for a rainy day, and not keep your life savings in a shoebox or under your mattress.
2. Establish a money-saving routine: Living paycheck to paycheck may have worked when you were younger, but life tends to get more complicated—and expensive—as you get older. Building a regular money-saving routine will help you face unexpected life expenses when they come up.
3. Start a retirement account: The older you get, the closer you get to the end of your career journey—and retirement. It may seem like it’s a long was off, but trust us, the years tend to go by faster the older you get, and it’s never too soon to start planning for retirement—either independently or through your employer if feasible.
4. Build good credit: The things we tend to covet and need later in life—from a home mortgage to a car or bank loan and more—often require having good credit. Work on building a solid credit history now, so you won’t have to scramble later.
5. Invest in the stock market: Consider taking advantage of investment opportunities in the stock market to strengthen your financial position as you transition into adulthood.
6. Buy property: Have you always thought of buying and owning property? Now may be a good time to see what’s available and what makes sense for your financial position.
7. Pay off your credit card debt: For many folks, becoming a fully-fledged adult means becoming more financially responsible—which includes getting rid of credit card debt.
8. Get a gym membership: Taking care of your health becomes increasingly more important as you get older, and turning 30 is a good time to establish a regular exercise routine. Joining a gym can be a great place to start.
9. Run a 5K: Consider challenging yourself by signing up for a 5K run in your area; often, these races help raise money for good causes, so it’s a real win-win.
10. Climb a mountain: What better way to challenge yourself than facing an actual mountain and conquering it? Go for it!
11. Exercise every day: Do yourself a huge favor and commit to doing some type of regular exercise every day—and stick to it. It’s okay to start small and build from there.
12. Get out of your comfort zone: There’s nothing quite like envisioning a new challenge or obstacle—and then overcoming it! Think of something you’ve always wanted to try, or have been afraid to try, and then do it.
13. Be a boss: As we get older and climb our career ladders, it’s natural to want to take on more responsibility and be in charge of supervising others. Becoming a boss is a great way to test our professional skill set.
14. Start your own business: It’s not uncommon to want to take the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in your professional experience thus far and use it to blaze your own trail. Many successful business ventures have been started by people before they reached 30, and you can join this list.
15. Consider a career change: By the time we reach 30 we’ve often had a few years of experience in our chosen industry. It might be worth taking some time to consider other possible options, which may either reassert your original choice or put you in a bold new career direction.
16. Help someone just starting in your industry: It’s always a nice idea to “pay it forward”—chances are someone helped you learn the ropes when you were starting out, and it’s nice to do the same thing for someone else who’s new to your company or industry.
17. Get a master’s degree: Consider pursuing an advanced degree to open up a world of new career opportunities.
18. Enter into a committed relationship: Many folks feel that finding a partner and building a life with them is a core part of adulthood and can really fill your life with happiness and meaning.
19. Learn a new language: Learning a new language can be a wonderful challenge and a valuable new skill to acquire.
20. Spend more time with family: The older we get, the more we realize that life is short and that spending time with loved ones is a valuable gift—and one that we should take greater advantage of whenever possible.
21. Volunteer: Consider investing your time and energy in a cause that really means something to you. It will be time well spent.
22. Travel abroad: Do you have a desire to travel and yearn to see a new part of the world? If so, there’s no better time than now to embark on a new journey.
23. Practice forgiveness: Life can be complex and difficult, and none of us handles every situation we encounter perfectly. Try practicing the art of forgiveness—including yourself and others. Carrying fewer grudges can really lift a huge weight off of your shoulders.
24. Move to a new city: Do you sometimes feel as if you’ve lived in one place for too long? If so, you may want to make a big change and relocate to experience a change of scenery and pace.
25. Start a new hobby: A great way to make a positive change in your life is to build your skills and knowledge when taking on a new hobby. Think of something that has caught your interest recently and dive in!
26. Read more: You’ve probably learned by now that knowledge is power, and the more you know about a wide variety of subjects, the better off you’ll be in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Making more time to read—whatever subject interests you—will enrich your life in countless ways.
27. Face a fear: We all know what this entails—staring directly at something that has always intimidated us or has sent us running and facing it head on. There’s simply no better way to know what you’re capable of in life than to face down something that scares you.
28. Learn to cook: This is a great way to expand your horizons, learn something new, and save some money (goodbye takeout). Try learning all about a cuisine that you’ve always loved and then have fun exploring with flavors.
29. Trace your family tree: Enrich your life by learning more about where you came from—you may be surprised by what you discover!
30. Talk to strangers: This may sound strange at first glance, but give it a shot—it may just remind you that the world is full of interesting people and you may make some new friends.
There you have it: 30 ideas for things you may want to try before you reach 30 years old, which should keep you busy until you’re ready for 40 ideas for things to try before you reach 40!