1. Don’t smoke. If you’ve started stop, immediately “If you could see me now, I’m down on my poor, crackling knees begging you to at least consider stopping smoking,” writes one person. It’s expensive, smells gross, and is 100% guaranteed to cause health problems. It’s time to give up.
2. Use sun cream. Do you want wrinkles and thin skin from sun damage and bruises from just lightly touching the side of a box and having your skin peel off? Go ahead, enjoy lying in the sun without sunblock.
3. Start saving money. Even if it’s just a tiny bit. Yes, this is a boring suggestion, but it’s true. In your 30s, the average person has a lot of disposable income, some of which can almost always easily be set aside for use later in life. Plus, building the habit of saving early means you’ll continue it further down the line.
4. Maintain (or repair) relationships with parents and siblings. Even if you have very complicated relationships with them, and sometimes even hate each other, you still need to get on with them. Family ties are extremely important. Soon or later you’ll understand that your family is the most valuable thing you’ll ever have.
5. Collect memories instead of things. You are the sum of your experiences. Don’t wake up when you’re 50 and realize that you’ve wasted life gathering possessions. Memories won’t depreciate and can’t be burned in a fire.
6. Give something back. Give to others so you feel the goodness that service brings. However you give, do it with your full heart, soul, and effort. Expect nothing in return.
7. Take up sport. Get into an active lifestyle right now, then you’ll be a lot healthier by 50. Don’t gain weight and take regular exercise. Look after yourself.
8. Learn to be content with what you have. Happiness is what matters far more than worldly success. If you are content with what you have then you may be a bit less likely to end up a millionaire, but you will have a happier life. And if you do become a wealthy person — is no reason why not, you’ll be a more happy, fulfilled and productive wealthy person
9. Don’t delay pursuing your life goals. Want to buy a house? Have kids? Write a book? Get a second degree or advanced degree? Change your career? Learn to play a new musical instrument? Learn to cook gourmet meals? Try scuba diving? Run for public office? Start a business and be self-employed? Then start today. It’s easy to put things off. “I’ll get to that someday.” But it’s really true that time starts accelerating as you enter your 30’s, and it keeps accelerating. The time that you’ll get around to those dreams should be now
10. Get some sleep. A dark room or sleep shades will block out light. No bright screens before bedtime. Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time.
11. Take care of your teeth. Go to the freaking dentist already. Get your little cavities fixed as they come up. Unlike many body health issues, dental problems only get worse — and things like crowns and implants are uncomfortable, time-consuming and expensive. If you have a good savings and income, the bills won’t be the painful thing — but there’s no getting around the pain and the time suck
12. Be curious. Get out of the house and have an adventure right now. Make it as big as you can possibly manage, take lots of pictures, throw caution to the wind, take on the risk. If possible, include someone you’re close to — make a BIG memory. It needs to be measured in days, not hours or minutes. You’ll still be smiling about it when you’re old.
13. Stop eating crap. You can make a lot of money in 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s,…90s to buy the whole world when you are at age 50 or beyond. But, you cannot buy your health. Give up on fast food right now at age 30.
14. Read at least 10 books a year. Your brain never stops growing, so exercise it with media that matters.
15. Learn to meditate.The list of benefits is endless, it only costs you a small amount of time a day, the change in your life and the people you love will be amazing. And compared to ten years ago, there are long lists of scientific studies to back it up.
16. Travel. As much as possible, whenever you can. Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life. And…inspiring others to step out of that fear, too.
17. Stop comparing yourself with anyone else. When you reach 50, you’ll be completely indifferent what impression you make on those around you. Find your own path. Be strong.
18. Keep a diary. You will definitely forget more of your precious memories than you’ll remember. Your written records will entertain and endear in your future. Your computer should make this archiving all the easier to implement and retain/recall. Put files on memory sticks with photos. Your kids (or surviving spouse) may someday love you for it.
19. Take care of your friends. Choose people who make you feel like you already are your best self, who challenge you by their example, and who you genuinely enjoy. Nurture them. Laugh with them. Be silly, too. Contribute to their survival and enjoyment of life. Take the time every week to be in touch.
20. Buy your own house. This is of course, not so simple as it once was in the current climate. But do whatever you can to ensure you have your own place to go home to and relax at the end of each day. And it should be nearly paid for by the time you’re 50.
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