If you're in your 30's and haven't done these, god help you.
Your 40's are gonna suuuuck.
Hopefully, though, there's still time.
Goal 1: Figure Out How You Learn
You, like many others, are probably guilty of packing your brain day-after-freaking-day with useless factoids, cool movie quotes, and the painfully clear details of Kim Kardashian's Starbucks habits on Tuesdays. It's no wonder that the moment you're tasked with learning something important...alas. You've discovered that you've forgotten how to learn skills like you used to.
Your 30's are an amazing time for growth. You're young enough to be agile, but old enough to make good decisions. The sky is the limit.
But growth means challenges, both physically and mentally. Pushing yourself to your own edge intellectually. There's no rule that states this kind of behavior is only for a younger generation. As someone interesting, you should never, ever stop learning. No matter your age.
So that's why learning "how you learn" is such a very, very important skill to have.
I went back to school in my 30's to get a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. Turns out (...and I found this out later) that while I was there BU was ranked as the toughest school in the United States to get an "A" in. (edging out MIT, Harvard and other giants)
One of the most important things I did in retrospect? Constantly experiment with different ways to learn and retain info.
Until that faithful day where I nailed down what really worked for me.
(in case you're wondering, it was re-writing lecture notes in a way that made sense to me, in a Moleskine notebook, for every class, for 3 years. I took care in making them very clean and very organized. This helped me get straight A's in incredibly competitive, highly analytical classes. Eat it, nerds!)
Point is, there are many ways to learn nowadays. YouTube, audiobooks, live tutors, virtual tutors...the list goes on.
Experiment with ways to learn until one clicks. Trust me, this is a skill that will take you far.
Goal 2: Decide To Be Your Own Doctor
Look, don't take this the wrong way. There are plenty of health issues that are unavoidable, unfair and absolutely tragic. And I have the utmost respect for those squeezing the best life they can out of dark circumstances.
But then there are some folks with health issues that make you step back and say..."I mean, what did you expect?"
This is what I mean by 'be your own doctor.' Take some responsibility for your own health and well being. Realize that no one is going to step in and save you, my friend.
It's up to you to save yourself.
Wake up to the fact that (most times, anyway) the people responsible for providing your "nutrition" and advice about your lifestyle absolutely DO NOT have your well being and best interests at heart. I know, I know...shocker.
Point is, do your own research.
Study yourself, study your body. Listen to your body.
I don't have to tell you (if you live in the US) that health insurance premiums are ridiculously unaffordable. Borderline robbery.
(Side note: don't be surprised when insurance companies, who seem to have created a situation for themselves in which they can be taken advantage of, now feel like passing that financial burden onto you. Cause they 100% are. You already know this, though)
While you may not be able to avoid medical treatment completely (think broken leg from that electric skateboard you told your friends would be a 'great' idea), you can play the long game and keep yourself healthy by making good decisions with what you eat.
Or don't eat.
My humble advice to start? Stop. Drinking. Soda.
Goal 3: Don't Be Afraid To Start Over
Like the photo says. Yup.
Just because you started down a path in your 20's doesn't mean you need to follow it. Sometimes, we need a reset button. And you shouldn't be afraid to push it.
Maybe you want to travel. I don't mean travel like you did in your 20's, where life is one big fire-pit Thai party on a beach during a full moon. In your 30's, travel takes on a whole new personality. Rather than see the world as your personal party destination, you start to see deeper into people's lives.
Deeper messages begin to click.
Or, instead of traveling, maybe you want to quit your job. Start a new career.
Look...no matter how old you feel right now, no matter how much you want to say "nah I'm too old to start over" ...resist that urge. That's the easy way out, and you will regret it.
You'll wake up in 5 years feeling worse than you do now, kicking yourself that you didn't start today. Willing to give anything to travel back to this moment and switch gears.
But guess what? You don't have to worry. Because you're in this moment now.
Push yourself into strange situations that will help you grow. Challenge yourself, damnit.
Goal 4: Choose Who You Take Criticism From
Only take advice or criticism from people who have been in your situation and no one else.
Everybody will have an opinion. Spend 30 seconds on Facebook and y0u see this loud and clear.
But not everyone formed that opinion from experience. The only people you should listen to are the ones who had the courage to try what you're trying in the first place.
Those who stepped foot in the arena.
Listening to anyone else is like getting wrong directions from a stranger in a strange town. When you realize they had no idea what they were talking about, sometimes it's too late or you're too tired to go back.
Goal 5: Become Comfortable Listening To Your Gut
You would think because you're older and "wiser" now, you've gained an edge on your gut. You would be wrong.
We all have a 'truth' that rings for us. You need to start listening and acting upon it.
Do these things and you'll look, feel, think, play, and enjoy life, young.
Unless you drink soda while doing all of them. Then all bets are off.
To life, amigos.