our thirties can be the perfect decade for you. You’re more responsible than you were in your twenties, and you have less to worry about than you will in your forties. It’s that nice sweet-spot in life where you have things a little more together, but the bloom of youth has not yet dissipated.

But you still want to get things done in your thirties, you likely have some life plans in mind already. Having kids maybe, getting serious about a relationship, looking for bigger and better job opportunities. 

And while these general ideas are great to keep in mind. There is more to be unearthed, goals that will give you some enrichment and pleasure. 

Try not to get stuck in these mandated goals that everyone has set up for you and take a look at these six goals that might deviate a little from the norm and are aimed at taking care of you first.

Just because you’re a full-fledged adult doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself, it means that you should improve your body and mind. 

  • Start eating healthy now, not later
  • Find a job you love
  • Learn another language
  • Travel, travel, travel
  • Become a bibliophile
  • Take care of your skin
A man and a woman sit at a table eating a breakfast of fruit and toast.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a chore, you can still have foods you love in your diet. 

Start eating healthy now, not later

You’ve likely heard it from your parents and your doctor, and it goes in one ear and out the other because you’re one for pizza and beer, just the sight of a light salad makes your nose wrinkle.

But as nagging as this advice might feel it is the truth, and when you’re in your thirties you’re going to start feeling the effects of your food choices more. 

When you were younger you could probably go days without drinking a glass of water or eating something other than pancakes and bacon for breakfast, no fruit or vegetables to be seen. 

But nowadays in your thirties, you find that your stomach protests more often than not when you eat something chock full of salt and butter.

It’s important to maintain a good balance in the food you eat. If all you’re eating is healthy stuff, doggedly focused on implementing kale into every meal of your day then you’re going to drive yourself crazy. 

Don’t become obsessed, it’s not healthy, instead just focus on eating more fruit with your breakfast, and making better decisions when you go out to eat. Pass on that cheeseburger, try the turkey one instead. 

An above view of two men and a woman planning out structural designs on paper at a desk.
Even in your thirties, it can be time for a career change.

Find a job you love

This is a goal more easily dreamed of than done. It’s easy to say “I’m going to get a job I love doing” when the job that you want pays all the bills and then some. This usually isn’t the case, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep striving for it. 

A job you love doesn’t have to be your passion. Oftentimes people who have made their passion their work will say that combining the two can take the joy out of something you once loved doing. So maybe a career in art or film or science isn’t for you.

You can find a career, however, that you love without merging it with something you like to do in your free time. The goal here isn’t to combine all aspects of your life into one box, but to make sure that you’re satisfied with the work you’re doing and keeping your finances in check as well.

If an office job isn’t for you, try exploring some other options. Maybe you’d like to go back to college and get a degree in something that would keep you out of a cubicle? Or maybe you prefer the steady sure life of a corporate worker. Or maybe you’d like to be more hands-on with your work.

It might seem like it's too late for a career change as you live on into your thirties, but it never is too late and better that you realize that now. 

An open book on a desk with highlighted Spanish vocabulary sits under a cup of coffee.
Not only is learning another language a great life goal for the mind, but it’s also extremely applicable.

Learn another language

Most everybody knows how hard it is to learn a language once you’ve passed that ten-year-old marker, kids suck up new languages like a sponge, and once you get older it becomes harder to retain the words.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Being multilingual is one of the best skills that a person can have, and not just from a life perspective but a networking and job perspective as well. There is nothing better to have on a resume than a couple of languages you speak other than English.

It’s going to take a lot of practice on your part, dedication, and repeated lessons that you take day-by-day but the payoff is worth it, especially if you’re speaking the language you learn frequently.

There are multiple apps that you can use, some for free, to improve your language of choice. But there are more in-depth classes you can take at your local college or university as well. There are tons of options you should check out, and get your Spanish, Mandarin, or Italian skills up to snuff. 

A man sits on top of a mountain in a rainforest overlooking the terain.
There are seven continents, and you should try to get to at least six of them in your life. Antarctica is a little far-fetched. 

Travel, travel, travel 

If there is a piece of advice you hear most from people in their forties and fifties you hear the most, it’s probably this one. Travel. 

It can be so easy to get sucked into life’s monotony, wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, do your work, come home, eat dinner, sleep. Repeat. This isn’t to say that you should quit your job and jump on the nearest airplane to Europe, a lot of people can’t do that. 

Traveling requires free time and money. Traveling is a privilege, but if you even have the slightest ability to do so, take that opportunity by the horns and go now. In your thirties, you’re likely to have more money and security than in your twenties, and more free time than you will in your forties.

There is a limitless amount of places to go in the world, and you’ll never see all of it. But you’re going to regret it later on if all you see of the world can be summed in a few short sentences.

As Oberyn Martell of Game of Thrones fame once said, “Tis a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don't want to be most of us.”

Two women sit in bed, one with her head resting on the other, reading a book.
Need something to do with your time? Try reading a book!

Become a bibliophile 

What is a bibliophile you may be asking? Well, it’s an individual with a great love for books. And let me tell you, people that love books are some of the happiest.

Not everyone is a big reader, and that’s okay you don’t have to go immediately deep-diving in your library with a stack of tomes to bring home and read-through. All this goal entails is that you try reading out as a hobby if you don’t do so already.

There is something out there for you to read that you’ll like, saying that you don’t like reading is no excuse because there is an infinite amount of things in the world to read about. There is going to be something that is going to speak to you.

Reading will not only enhance your mind but expand your worldview. Books of fantasy and science fiction can provide an escape for your life in your thirties. Books of romance can transport you to that torrid love affair you’ve always dreamed of.

Or you can go in the complete opposite direction and take up reading biographies, autobiographies. Stories of every-day life and the extraordinary. You can read non-fiction, books on nature, or books on politics. The options are limitless for you to enjoy. 

A man washes his face with white cleanser cream.
That lovely glow your skin can be retained with special care and protection from the elements. 

Take care of your skin

Skincare is somehow both an overlooked and overinflated aspect of health. The skincare industry is worth 134.5 billion dollars, and with the number of ads you can spot for anti-aging cream and acne-cleaners in a shopping mall, that’s not a surprise to anyone.

However, skin-problems often seem relegated to a teenage issue. Once you’re out of puberty the pimples are going to stop, and the only issue you’ll have later is wrinkles but you can deal with that when your fifties come along.

All of this is untrue, your skin issues are going to stubbornly persist your whole life. But they can be managed and made better if you consistently care for them. Make sure that you’re doing so in your thirties.

One of the easiest ways to take care of your skin, besides keeping a daily face-washing and moisturizing routine is to apply sunscreen. No, it’s not something you should only be applying at the beach or pool.

Your face is extremely sensitive to the sun and takes damage even in your daily routine outside. There are specialty sunscreens available to apply just for your face, gentle and easy on the skin. Make sure to apply this every morning when you’re getting ready.

A woman drinks a cup of tea, her braids tied back with a red bandana.
Try not to worry about accomplishing all of these things at one time.

These goals aren’t meant to be achieved in a week, a month, a year even. These things take time, and it’s better often that you stretch these goals out to better reap the benefits.

Nothing good ever comes easy, which is true to a certain point. Hard work can get you far, but you also need help sometimes. You’re not a monolith and you can’t achieve everything you want out of life by yourself.

When looking to make your thirties a better place for you physically and mentally don’t forget that you’re not alone, there are people around you who likely feel the same and would be happy to help in your endeavors.

Mar 26, 2021