Mind, Body & Spirit,  On Relationships

30 Things I’ve Started Doing Differently in My 30s

  Face it, we’re not kids anymore and we no longer hold the pass of living in our self-absorbed 20s. Our 30s are about learning to be our best self and how to contribute our unique abilities toward a better world. I’m now 6 months into my 30s and in this short time, I’ve already seen major changes in my approach to life.

1. Take Vitamins

30 is a whole new beast, it’s time to start considering aging and keeping strong bones. If children are on your mind it’s important to make sure your body’s receiving the nutrients it needs to avoid birth defects. 30 is a time to start taking ownership of your body. I recommend a multi-vitamin. It’s easy. You take it once a day and it helps promote a better you. I’ve also started taking a tablespoon of coconut oil each morning. This is good for skin, hair, it curbs your appetite, and keeps your mind stimulated for longer periods, as well as a lot of other benefits. The effects are almost instant and the best part is unlike a lot of other health trends this one is inexpensive.

2. Drink Less Coffee

Seattle, WA

Coffee has been proven over and over to be good for you, but some people (like me) take coffee drinking to extremes. I’ve cut it down to 2 cups a day; 3 on especially groggy mornings.

3. Drink More Water

We all know water is good for us, but did you know that water is also a key contributor to our energy level, skin clarity, and weight loss? The average person should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day to be our best selves. Don’t live your life dehydrated, drink more water!

4. Stop Feeling Bad About Snacking

Turns out snacking isn’t a bad thing. Sure, you should take into consideration what you’re snacking on, but eating every 2-3 hours helps keep your metabolism levels high. This is important in your 30s when your metabolism naturally starts to slow.

5. Make More Friend Time

If you have a significant other it’s easy to get lost in the buzz of being in love. It often tends to be your friend time that suffers from this. Stop! Make a vow to yourself to have your friend time. It’s good for the soul and for your relationship. If you’re already with your Mr./Ms. Right, you have the rest of your life to live with them. If you’re not with your Mr./Ms. Right, well, then you can thank me later for reminding you of the importance of friend time.

6. Stop Checking Emails and Social Media as Soon as You Wake Up

It’s a nasty habit many of us are guilty of, but it’s not the best way to start your day. Take some YOU time before you start sharing yourself with the world.

7. Meditate For 10 Minutes Daily

Instead of going straight for your phone in the mornings, take 10 minutes and sit silently. These 10 minutes of ME time change my entire day. They make me more patient, more focused, more in control of my own emotions, and an all-around more pleasant person.

8. Do Some Social Good

Our 20s are the Me, Me, Me decade, but our 30s are a time to start giving back. Even if you just donate 1 day a month to a local charity, it’ll make you feel better about your contribution to the world.

9. Exercise for the Mental Benefits Instead of the Physical

Sunrise Yoga in Bali

Don’t get me wrong, the physical benefits of exercise are incredibly important, but sometimes when we’re focused on losing those last 5 lbs. we lose the motivation to keep going. Ahh, who are those 5 lbs. really hurting anyway? BUT when we start focusing on how exercise helps to relieve stress or makes us feel happier going for that run suddenly doesn’t seem so taxing, even if it’s only a 10-minute jog.

10. Be More Communicative with the People You Love

I recently became acquainted with a wise author /motivational speaker who told me that one of the things he’s been working on recently is to talk to his mother daily, even if it’s only sending a text message to say hello. He said that his mother told him this little change has made their relationship stronger than it’s been in years. This tidbit has inspired me to try harder to be in better communication with the people that I love who I don’t get to see often. It’s easy to get lost in our personal lives, but taking a minute out of your day to send a message that says, “Hi, I’m thinking of you!” can be a real game changer. 

11. Wake Up Early /Stop Hitting Snooze

Monday through Friday our days mostly belong to our place of employment. After work, there’s always something going on: workout, grocery shopping, happy hours, meeting your kid’s needs (or your dogs in my case). There isn’t much time for YOU in the day. So, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier and/or stop hitting your snooze button! Fit some YOU time into your days. Plus, I recently learned that hitting the snooze button is hurtful to your sleep cycle because you restart the cycle and don’t have time to let it play out. So, you wake up more tired than you would’ve when your alarm initially went off.

12. Splurge on Things that Bring You True Joy

I recently got a new dog walker, he costs me a bit more, but he writes little stories at the end of each day detailing his adventures with the girls, along with a plethora of pictures documenting their fun. This extra expense weighs on my weekly budgeting, but it makes me so happy to know that my girls are having a great time while I’m away at work. The feeling of joy it brings me is well worth the extra cost. This can be applied to anything – travel accommodations, technology devices, spa days, etc. if it truly brings you joy.

13. Make a Vacation Fund

As soon as I returned from my last vacation I started a vacation fund to kick start the next one. I felt so refreshed after vacation and I realized what a priority seeing the world is for me. So, for my first contribution, I took my leftover vacation cash and put it in my treasure chest and now at the end of each week, I take all of my loose change and extra cash and add treasures to my treasure chest.  

14. Set Monthly Goals of Things You Want to Accomplish 

 Set goals for yourself. Acknowledge certain things that you want to accomplish in specific months. They don’t need to be huge goals. Take it as an opportunity to study a new subject, reach a new fitness goal, or try something new. 

15. Learn to Talk Through It Instead of Arguing

Stop nitpicking! Instead of picking a fight just for the sake of it, ask yourself if it’s worth getting worked up over. Are you _really_ going to care about this 1 week from now? Instead, have a conversation. If something is annoying try explaining what and why this is happening. Most of the time, talking through helps you to see how minute the matter really is.

16. If You Get Upset, Walk Away and Catch Your Breath

Take a breather. Give yourself some space so you can fully evaluate the situation. Don’t cause yourself the stress of an explosion. You’ll be grateful for it later.

17. Did You Know that Nervousness and Excitement are Almost Identical Feelings?

I recently read that the emotions of nervousness and excitement are almost identical. So, next time you’re feeling nervous convince yourself it’s excitement. Your world may change forever.

Things I wish I knew when I was 20.

18. Take in as Many Sunrises as Possible 

Watching the sun rise shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s the most spectacular time of the day. The sunrise is the universe’s magic trick. Make an effort to get up and appreciate the show.

19. Appreciate the Benefits of a Walk

Next time you’re feeling stressed or you’re looking for a burst of energy or a surge of creativity take a walk. Clear your head, unwind. Then go back to the task at hand.

20. Avoid Hangovers

Fact: The older you are the worse hangovers become. 

I love going out for a few drinks, but I’m not looking for a hangover. There’s not enough time in the week for that silliness. Limit your drink intake and stay hydrated with water. You can still be a social butterfly and a productive person the next day. 

21. Be Aware of What You’re Eating

Turns out, the things you eat and the time of day you consume them really has an impact on your body, metabolism, and energy levels. Who would’ve thunk it? In your 30s, it’s okay to switch out the bag of Doritos for the bushel of kale. Your body will thank you later.

22. Try Something New

Whether it’s picking a new entree off the menu of your favorite restaurant or going sky diving, step outside your comfort zone. It keeps life exciting!

23. Put Other People Before Yourself

As I mentioned, your 20s are all about Me, Me, Me, but your 30s should be about putting other people before yourself. Never neglect your own needs, but learn to take your loved one’s feelings into consideration, and sometimes be prepared to put them first.

24. Be A Better Co-Worker

Turns out, a lot of your time is spent with your co-workers. Get to know them, respect them, listen to them and learn from them. The worst thing that could happen is you become a better person for it. You might even make a new friend!

25. Stop Complaining

Your significant others, your friends, the person riding beside you on the subway – nobody likes a complainer. Vent when it’s necessary, but only when it’s necessary. We all deal with different stresses every day. Unloading your daily list of grievances on your people, helps no one. Besides, why waste any more time dwelling on the things that make you unhappy. Replace your complaints with happy thoughts!

26.Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Let it go! If it’s not something that is truly going to impact your life, take a couple deep breaths and watch it blow away with the wind. 

27. Read as Much as Possible

You don’t need a fancy degree to be the smartest person in the room, you just need to be well read. But reading’s so much more than that, it’s the gateway to the big wide world and it’s the best fuel for our imaginations. Who cares what you enjoy reading, the pleasure you get from it is all that matters.

28. Study Subjects That Interest You

Last month I studied the basics of wine – the best regions for the best grapes, the difference in the flavors of grapes. It is not pertinent information, but I enjoy wine, so I wanted to have a better understanding of what I was drinking. I’m not an expert, I just did a little research. Try picking a new subject each month that you want to know more about.

29. Have A Project

What activity do you most enjoy doing? I love writing. Writing this blog and working on my novel are my projects. I get home from work and I’m excited to work on Ramen Holiday. I don’t make any money off of this site, but it brings me joy to create these posts and share them with the interest. What do you love to do? Photography, crafting, painting? Whatever it is, make time for it and stop making excuses why you shouldn’t waste your time on it. If it brings you joy, it’s worth it.

30. Laugh as Much as Possible 

Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. If you find the opportunity to laugh, take it! Laugh your ass off. Everyday. As much as possible. Just as Audrey Hepburn said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”


Following a five-year stint in New York City, Ashley is now a Los Angeles transplant. Having grown up in rural Kentucky, Ashley is passionate to share self-care techniques used around the world and hopes to make them accessible to folks in rural communities. Ashley believes in gratitude, personal legends, and doing good. Aside from being a business leader in her professional life, Ashley is a novelist and freelance writer.


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