Before You Hit 30, 30 Things to Consider
Which of these is relevant to you?
I am a fan of these types of articles, so here is my attempt at being original. This blogpost was inspired by two of my favorite OAPs (On-Air Personalities) who recently turned thirty: Gbemi Olateru of the beat FM and Toke Makinwa of Rhythm FM. These are things I would like to do or habits I encourage people to develop before age thirty. And if you are above 30, I believe these still apply. Enjoy:
1. Learn to save and invest. By age 30, you should have a growing savings account. Beyond saving for big things like a vehicle or a house, other emergencies could also come up and you'd be glad you had some savings. Also if you are a risk taker, try the stock market or money market. Try a fixed deposit investment. Put your money to work.
2. Make your bed after getting up every morning. Not just a 30 second rush work, but make the bed with love and thereafter, resist the temptation to jump back in. If you remember that you spend 25%-30% of your life on your bed, you'd realize how much love you need to give to it. Treat it specially and use quality beddings.
3. Eat healthy. This cannot be over-emphasized. It is so important to eat a balanced diet and get all your needed nutrients daily. Meal prepping helps with a healthy diet. Sugar is so not your friend, and neither is salt. A glass of wine every now and then will do you some good. Eat your veggies. Take a daily multivitamin supplement too, your body will thank you.
4. Develop a fitness/exercise routine. One that is enjoyable to you and you can stick to. Some people prefer to go running at the crack of dawn. Others are fine with playing soccer every now and then. Fitness is my personal challenge but I'm working on it because it is just too important. I personally prefer Zumba, Pilates or plain old walking on the treadmill or elliptical.
5. Read the newspaper everyday. Also, websites, blogs, anything to stay informed. Not everyone can be a voracious reader but hey, if you make an effort, soon it would become a habit. Never mind that the news in Nigeria always has more negative than positive, its good to stay informed. You will find that you have better conversations after some time. And if reading is just not your thing, ensure you catch the evening news.
6. Travel alone. Even if it's just to a different state from the one you live in. Travel expands your horizon, your view of the world gets more robust, and you learn about new people and cultures too. One of the best things I did in 2013 was to visit China alone; I can say my eyes opened. Travel helps you to get your mind off your present worries and renew your mind.
7. Change your looks/Reinvent yourself. Having the same hair style or cut for 10 years is boring. Maybe put some color in it or cut it into a bob. Also your wardrobe, if you've been rocking only dull colors, add some vibrancy. If your clothes belong to the 60's, come back to 2014. If you've been using a boring phone, get a smart one. Get with the times. Lol
8. Give: I'm a firm believer in the sayings " To whom much is given, much is expected” or "If you are blessed, be a blessing to others.” When you give to others from the little you've been blessed with, you not only make someone else feel better, but you also feel better with yourself. Donate your gently used items that you know you don't need. Donate to charity if you can afford it. Smile at a stranger, it's free. Spread love and good cheer.
9. Have some online presence. Some people detest this and try to argue their stance but I am of the opinion that everyone above 18 should have one or more accounts of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or LinkedIn. It's just too important. Beyond social networking or career networking, it shows that you exist in this fast growing world of technology. If I googled your name and found nothing, I would consider that negative.
10. Live purposefully. From time to time, look into the mirror and speak to the person you see. By 30, you should have a fair idea of your purpose on earth and endeavor to live a purpose driven life. The carefree and happy-go-lucky thing is cooler when you are still rocking your twenties.When you live purposefully, you think before you act develop better habits, and your attitude reflects it. When you know yourself very well, you become more confident, you form better relationships with others and also attract the right kind of people.
11. Drink your gallons. It is recommended that adult men consume 3 liters of water daily while women should drink 2.2 liters. Your body will function more effectively, your skin will be clearer and you will be all-round healthier if you do. Some people find it difficult to achieve this. I recommend that they eat water-rich fruits like watermelon, cucumber and oranges.
12. Be excellent at something. After three decades in this world, there just has to be something you are excellent at. It could be writing, motivating people, drawing, dancing, singing, and making hair, a particular sport or a musical instrument. Just own it and become a star at it.
13. Have a personal policy. It could be anything as mundane as, "I'm never buying or wearing Aso-ebi,” "I must get up by 7 AM everyday” or "I must turn off all gadgets by 11 PM” (which are some of mine). Others I have heard include: "I must read 3 books every month,” "I don't pick up calls from unknown numbers,” " I must try to visit a new city/country every year,” "I must research a new topic weekly,” and the list goes on. Personal policies show that you can put yourself under check and develop some self-discipline. From Detective Bunk in The Wire, one of my favorite TV shows, "A man must have a code."
14. Learn to cook. And not just boiling egg and indomie hehehe. If you can't cook anything at all by age 30 then I'm sorry but you just suck! Cooking is a life skill. Don't be dependent on buying food or waiting on others. Also have a favorite meal or recipe that's your go-to meal. If you are going to have guests over and you would be making a meal for them, you should have no cause to worry. Mothers should teach sons to cook just like they do for daughters.
15. Learn to drive. Whether you own a car or not. Like Nike says, Just.do.it.
16. Be passionate about something/Follow a cause. Examples of causes are breast cancer awareness, autism awareness, sickle cell disease, hunger and poverty eradication, education for all, Female genital mutilation etc. I like it when people educate me on the causes they are concerned about.
17. Have a "Road Dawg". I would describe a road dawg as a best buddy who is down for whatever. Someone you can always call on. Someone that just gets you. Someone who will help you hide a body. (haha) As a woman, this is the person you cry to when your heart is broken. This is someone that would be your chief bridesmaid on your wedding day. Your BFF (best friends forever). Can I add that your road dawg should be different from your significant other?
18. Make friends with people who are older and younger. I think this is important because it enables you to stay connected with the younger generation (kids and teens) and the older generation (our parents). You become more informed and better able to see beyond your perspective. Also establish mentor and mentee relationships.
19. Know your UNPLUG and RESET mechanism(s). I figured out mine a while ago and they work when my stress levels go through the roof. Sometimes we just get so swamped with work and life that we need some time to ourselves. May I suggest you take a personal day off work and just go shopping or window-shopping? Or relax in a hammock till you feel Zen? Or turn the music up and dance away your worries. Know when to unplug from social media too.
20. Be intentional with time spent socializing. This goes along with knowing yourself and having purpose. As we get older, time available to spend socializing reduces and we get complaints from friends that we no longer get in touch with them. We need to figure out a way to show people that we value them. At least, once in six months, organize meet-ups with friends or actually take time out to go visit them. They will appreciate the gesture.
21. Be financially prudent. Being a good spender goes along with being a good saver. We need to learn to separate needs from wants. It's okay to satisfy some wants but it's not everything that appeals to you that you need to purchase. Also buy things with good quality. Things that last.
22. Be firm about your belief. By age 30, you should know where you are. Among Christian, Muslim, Traditionalist, Atheist or Agnostic (did I exhaust the options?). It's not enough to identify with a religion; you should really believe and practice the tenets of your religion. NHB taught us that this brings fulfillment.
23. Learn to be a great host. I think being a great host can be both a talent and a skill. It is such an admirable trait. I like people who have welcoming personalities. They have the right blend of humor and graciousness in them. 'Mi Casa Es Su Casa' holds true for them. I do enjoy hosting New Year parties and it's always a great time.
24. Do something you consider daunting. Perhaps skydive. Or try zip-lining, bungee jumping, visiting a gun range. Challenge yourself to learn a new language.
25. Learn to mix a mean cocktail. Matter of fact, learn to mix three cocktails. Some popular cocktails include martini, chapman, mojito, piña colada, margarita; long island iced tea or bloody Mary.
26. Have a perfect outfit. You know that dress that looks like it was sewn for you or that suit that fits like it was bespoke tailoring. Yes, that one. Keep it clean and ironed, you never know when you would need it.
27. Learn to swim. Besides the fun and euphoria that swimming brings, it is also great cardio exercise. More importantly, swimming is a life skill much in the same way that driving is.
28. Volunteer. It's not enough to give monetary donations. Volunteering is an awesome way to give back to your society.
29. Check your thoughts. My college president loved to quote Margaret Thatcher:
"Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.”
I think the above is so profound. Try to think positively all the time.
30. Throw a party to celebrate. ♫Fire up loud! Another round of shots! Turn down for what?♫ Of course you need to celebrate the big thirty! 21 was adulthood but 30 is ADULTHOOD. Party like it's 1999.
...Feel free to tell me what I left out.