15 life changes to make in your 30s that will set you up for lifelong success

Your 30s are a decade when you have the chance to set yourself up for future fulfillment and success. 

None of us can predict the future with certainty, but by taking the following advice while you’re still in your 30s, you will rocket yourself forward in powerful ways. 

Here’s a look at the best things to pursue in your 30s if you want to have a life full of abundance, deep connection and meaningfulness. 

1) Become more self-aware 

Becoming more self-aware is a great goal throughout life. Your 30s are the ideal time to get to know yourself on a deeper level.

What makes you tick? What do you love? What do you hate?

Identify your emotional triggers, the kinds of relationships that are meaningful to you and what people bring out your best and your worst. 

This process of self-awareness will bring maturity and a lot of success later in life. 

2) Build emotional independence and resilience

Emotional resilience is a highly valuable characteristic that you can build in your 30s. 

This will prepare you to weather a lot of the ups and downs that inevitably come in life, especially as we age. 

Building emotional resilience is all about learning to rely on yourself first and foremost and not to get too caught up in the expectations, judgments or poor actions of others. 

You have value whether or not it’s recognised by other people, and you don’t depend on external validation to know your value. 

3) Learn to assert yourself 

Your 30s is ideal the time to learn to assert yourself. 

If you tend to be a more restrained or self-deprecating people, this is your decade to step into your own power. 

Practice powerful body language, make eye contact, project your voice and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe. 

It’s not possible (nor desirable) to be liked by everyone. Focus on being true to yourself, as it will set you up for a lifetime of respect and authenticity.

4) Cut toxic people out of your life

Your 30s is the ideal decade to cut toxic people out of your life. 

If they’re your family or connected to you by work and things that are less easy to control, this may be harder to do in the short term. 

But to the extent you can do so, cut toxic people out of your life and focus on being around empowering and can-do folks. 

This brings me to the next point…

5) Network with powerful people

Few factors influence us quite as much as who we spend time around on a regular basis. 

Try to network and spend time around powerful and successful people. Your 30s is the time to upgrade everything about your relationships and seek out people who are passionate about ideas and life. 

Spend time with them and enter their orbit. You’ll find that you naturally begin operating at an increased clip as well. 

6) Learn to show love to those who matter 

Learning to conserve your energy and affection and focus on those close to you is a key part of maturity. 

Be kind to everyone, but don’t spend too much of your energy on strangers. 

Instead, save it for those folks who mean the most to you and have given the most to you as well.

As American poet and author Maya Angelou memorably put it:

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. 

Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”

7) Discover your life mission 

Discovering your purpose can feel very intimidating. 

Do you even have a purpose?

I want to assure you that you do! We all do. But it’s often buried under a lot of social conditioning and pressure from family, friends and regular society. 

It can feel like you’re just following roles set out for you instead of really being who you are. That’s why finding out what really makes you tick and where your talents and passion align is key to living a great life. 

8) Develop your talents 

Your 30s are the perfect time to work on honing your talents. 

This can be a time you start doing more hobbies and work on your talents for career. You can also practice skills like communication and empathy. 

As you spend time developing and learning, you set yourself up for a future of competence and success. 

All of this time you spend improving is time you will be avoiding and sidestepping unnecessary drama and suffering down the road. 

9) Find work that you love 

If someone displays these behaviors theyre quietly succeeding in life 15 life changes to make in your 30s that will set you up for lifelong success

Finding work that you love doing that also lines up with your talents is a key part of discovering your life purpose and putting it into action. 

This can be an ongoing process, so don’t beat yourself up if meaningful work seems to elude you. 

It can take years of grinding before you have a payoff and finally find the kind of people you love working with and feel understood by. 

Finding work that you love and are good at is a huge blessing, and your 30s are the ideal decade to begin that search in earnest, including if it leads you in the direction of entrepreneurship and starting your own business. 

10) Align your thoughts with action

Your 30s is the time to get out of your head. 

This is the decade when you can learn to align thoughts with action and really make your mark in the world. 

It’s one thing to have intense emotions, high ideals and deep experiences. But translating those into your work, your love life and your daily habits is another matter. 

It takes attention to detail and humbling yourself to be self-disciplined and honest with yourself about where you want to go in life. 

This leads me to the next point… 

11) Set short, medium and long-term goals 

Setting goals is a key part of spending your 30s productively. 

The best way to do this is to reverse engineer from a final goal backwards to smaller steps. 

If you have a goal for the year to save $40,000 and lose 50 pounds, for example, break that down into monthly segments:

You need to save $3,333.33 per month and lose four pounds a month. This breaks down to saving $833.33 per week and losing one pound a week. 

For even longer term goals, don’t be afraid to think big and work backwards as well. 

12) Follow through all the way on goals 

Having goals is one thing, but following through on them is another

Your 30s is the best decade to get used to following through. 

Start small with doing the dishes or cleaning. Take tiny steps by promising to get a work project done and then doing it even when it was harder than you expected. 

Bigger goals will come. By getting used to completing them, you set yourself up for the right mentality in the future. 

13) Get your finances stabilized 

Financial stability is a vital part of life, and your 30s are the ideal time to make it happen. 

While the 20s can be a time of exploration and adventure, your 30s are the years to combine your wanderlust with some pragmatism as well. 

Love it or hate it, money is a tool and we need it to meet our basic necessities as well as to contribute to the people around us. 

Finding ways to ensure your finances are doing well and you’re out of debt is a great goal to have in your 30s so that the rest of your life is much more pleasant and full of potential. 

14) Work to own your own home 

Owning a home is a wonderful goal to have and it’s good to have some idea of what you’d like your future home to be before you turn 40. 

If you don’t yet have the funds or opportunity to get a home that’s fine, but making a plan and having a vision for what kind of home you want is a great suggestion. 

It gives you a goal for what you’re working hard for day after day and also helps you plan out other parts of your life in terms of where you want to live and the kind of lifestyle you want to have. 

15) Learn to adapt to change

The only constant in life is change

We all have times that we want to hit the pause button or rewind, but there’s no actual option to do that. 

The only true choice is to adapt to change and stay ahead of the curve. Change is going to keep bucking you off until you learn to enjoy the chaos to some extent and focus on what’s in your control. 

Learn to ride the tiger.

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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