Hitting the big 3-0 is like reaching a major checkpoint point in life. You’re suddenly compelled to examine your choices and decisions and to start becoming more serious in life. Your 20s have given you plenty of time to grow and establish yourself, but the journey doesn’t stop there. To truly set yourself up for success, here are a couple changes that you should make in your 30s. They’re not as easy as they sound, but trust us–they will be worth it!
It doesn’t matter how well-paid or successful you are; if you don’t know how to manage your money or if you have the wrong mindset about wealth, you will never achieve financial independence. Take steps to raise your money IQ while you’re at the prime of your career and have a high earning potential. You can attend workshops and seminars that teach you the basics of financial success, read financial books and articles, and seek professional advice about how to best manage your money. It’s also helpful to develop good money habits like living below your means, budgeting, saving, and investing. Your future self will thank you for it.
Take care of your body.
If you’re used to living the life and going all out every weekend with back-to-back parties and drinking binges, you might want to scale back a bit. Age brings about major changes in your body and it may not be able to cope up with those excessive habits anymore. If you want live a long and fit life, start being conscious of your health. Cultivate healthy practices like getting enough rest and sleep, eating right, and exercising regularly. Have regular consultations with your health providers to keep you in tiptop shape (and not just when you’re sick). And do drop the vices–they might give you a temporary high, but they’ll do more harm than good in the long run.
Learn how to network.
Like it or not, who you know has as much impact in your career and your life as what you know. So now’s the time to start taking networking seriously. And we don’t mean the sleazy, salesman-type networking. Instead, learn how to interact and build the right relationships with people in a respectful and genuine manner. Approach people with the intent to help them and to add value in their lives, not just to take something from them. It takes time, effort, and skill to build a solid network of respected mentors, peers, and other like-minded individuals but it will pay off in the long run. These people will vouch for you, help you out in a pinch, and open doors to great opportunities.
Take more risks.
Most people think that risk-taking is only for the young, but here at FN, think otherwise. If you only live life within your comfort zone, you deny yourself the chance to grow and realize your full potential. So don’t be afraid to take risks even in your 30s. Of course, you need to be discerning and choose your risks wisely but don’t always play it safe. The best and most exciting opportunities don’t always come with a 100 percent success-guarantee but the rewards are so worth it. And if shit hits the fan? You still won’t lose out because you’ll gain valuable lessons and become wiser and stronger.
Be an expert at what you do.
Want to learn the tried and tested formula for success? Follow Malcolm Gladwell’s advice and spend 10,000 hours being so good at what you do. There’s no other way to get to the top unless you’re willing put in the work. Being an expert in your field will give you a huge career boost because you’ll be able to make more valuable contributions and groundbreaking strides at work. You won’t have any problems scoring your dream job (and salary) because companies look at you as an asset and not just an ordinary worker. Being an expert also allows you to command respect and admiration from your peers and colleagues. And you can even step it up and become a leader in your industry!
Live life on your own terms.
Growing up, we’ve learned to seek approval from our family, friends, and peers, because getting validation for our decisions and actions makes us feel that what we’re doing is right. But living this way isn’t sustainable–in fact, it’s downright ridiculous. Only you know what’s best for you. So stop trying to please other people and start calling the shots in your life. Take the driver’s seat and steer it in the direction you choose. It doesn’t matter if other people agree or disagree with your decisions–you don’t have to answer to them. But you owe it to yourself to live life in the way that satisfies you and makes you truly happy.
Stop comparing yourself with others.
There are people who will always be smarter, richer, prettier, luckier, and better than you. It sucks but that’s the reality of life. Playing the comparison game will get you nowhere and will just keep you from being happy and awesome. It’s time to stop caring about how you stack up against your peers, and redirect the focus on yourself. Embrace your unique characteristics, abilities, skills, and even the imperfections – because that’s what makes you "you." And there’s only one "you" in this world.
Learn how to negotiate.
Being a hard worker can only get you so far. If you want to rise up the ranks and have your own corner office someday, you need to learn how to ask for what you want. Learning the art of negotiation will accelerate your career much faster than just quietly working and hoping that you get noticed by your superiors. A lot of career women lose out on promotions, salary increases, and other perks just because they don’t negotiate–and you don’t want to be one of them. And negotiating isn’t just useful at work–it can also save you money at the tiangge or palengke, and give you more flexibility in managing your obligations and commitments. Being a good negotiator allows you to be in control, which makes life a whole lot easier!
Stop thinking about the what-ifs and could-have-beens
We all have things that we regret at some point in life. But wallowing in the mistakes of the past will just keep you from being present in the now and living life fully. Let go of those nagging what-ifs and could-have-been’s. Accept the decisions you made in the past–no matter how stupid or impractical they seemed in hindsight. Although things might’ve been better if you picked A instead of B, you wouldn’t be where you are now if you did things differently. Also, life has a funny way of still turning out okay even if you had major screw-ups. So give yourself a break and start erasing those regrets from your life.
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