15 Mistakes Made at 30 That Can Ruin Your Life After 40

When we’re 20 years old, we truly believe that adulthood only starts when we hit the 30-year-old mark. But then, that 30th birthday inevitably comes and that’s when most people still convince themselves that 20 wasn’t that long ago! And while it is true that people in their 30s are young, full of energy, and have everything it takes to make the world a better place, chances are that there are mistakes from their youth that can creep into their current appearance.

We at Bright Side decided to recall our experiences (and the experiences of the others) to put together a list of 15 mistakes that people make in their 30s that they’re likely to regret years later.

1. You abruptly change your life.

There is a category of people who have certain plans they want to make by the age of 30. They need to get married, have a child, build their career and buy a house by that time. If something goes wrong with this plan, they need to fix it immediately. For example, a woman decides to marry a man she’s just met only because she’s already turned 30. However, a couple of years later she understands that it was a big mistake despite the fact that they have kids. All these plans are only in our heads. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody. The clock is not ticking, and you don’t need to be like everyone else. Kim Kardashian honestly admitted that her idea of getting married by the age of 30 no matter what became the reason for her marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries. 72 days later the couple filed for divorce.

2. You spend weekends on the sofa eating junk food and watching TV.

There’s nothing wrong about chilling on the sofa, and it doesn’t matter whether you have to work with your hands at a factory or with your mind in an office. But if you spend all your weekends like this, it’s time to think about your psychological health. Laura Vanderkam, a time-management specialist and the author of the book, What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend, recommends planning weekends a week in advance. You’d better make sure to do your house chores in the middle of the week while leaving your weekend time open for doing sports and meeting up with your friends.

3. You get a ridiculous tattoo on impulse.

Inking is an art. Are you sure that you want to have a stupid internet meme or the name of someone you’re currently in love with on your body? But what happens if you separate? Of course, you can add “is a bastard” after “Alex” but did you really need this tattoo from the start? A few years ago it was trendy to ink butterflies on the small of the back. Later, everyone decided it was too banal. Then big tattoos on the hips became trendy. Who knows what’s going to be in trend tomorrow? If you decide to get a tattoo, think it over thoroughly. A drawing on your body should go along with your personality because it will be your companion for the rest of your life.

4. You fine-tune your face and body in fear of aging.

You may be afraid of seeing any new wrinkles on your forehead and will want to remove them immediately. Whether it’s lifts, peels, laser procedures, hyaluronic acid, or botox injections, you’re ready for anything — even plastic surgery — in order to look like you used to when you were 20 years old. Of course, taking care of your body is necessary. Keeping a healthy diet, moisturizing your skin and using sunscreen is important. But trying to keep yourself youthful by any means necessary will only make you look ridiculous and unhealthy years later. Do you really need it?

5. You try to be a teenager forever.

You can’t buy alcohol without an ID, you love cartoons, fantasy and computer games, you wear a T-shirt with Deadpool on it, and you’re scared of the words “responsibility” and “family.” Congratulations, you’re a typical kidult — an adult who refuses to grow up. There’s a very insightful movie that touches on this topic called Laggies starring Keira Knightley. The main character enjoys the company of teenagers by the means of which she runs away from her problems. But when she dares to take responsibility for her decisions, she finds herself and her happiness.

6. You cease to learn and study.

When we were young we thought that we’d never study again after graduation, we would just relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor. By the way, many people follow this rule. They do the same job for decades and avoid innovation. And one day they’re just left behind. We live in the era of information explosion. Something new emerges in our world every day. If you don’t learn new things and widen your horizons you’ll stay stagnate.

7. You remove all youthful items from your wardrobe

You may conclude that 30 years of age is no time for experimenting and will give away your daring mini-skirts, biker jackets and blue hairspray to your younger siblings. In turn, you get a basic wardrobe of 13 items, 10 of which are white and black, and you wear only them. Could it be that someone told you that you weren’t pretty, slim or young enough for such youthful outfits and you believed them? Your 30s are exactly the right time for wearing daring and bright things. Just don’t wear them all at once!

8. You work at a job you hate.

Even though you’re not one of the Lannisters you have to pay your debts too. However, it’s not a reason to work at a job you hate, spending 40 hours a week in hell. If every time you think about your job you get shivers down your spine, you need to change the situation immediately. It’s always better to make changes when you’re still young and full of energy.

9. You spend money on things, not impressions.

Insatiable shopping malls can’t wait to see us and our wallets every day. We buy things to feel better. It’s true that they give us satisfaction for some time but soon this feeling passes and we need to buy something new. It’s a vicious circle. Thomas Gilovish, a professor at Cornell University, says that habit is the worst enemy of happiness. Instead of buying another iPhone, he recommends spending money on new impressions, like visiting an interesting event or jumping off somewhere with a parachute.

10. You waste hours — even days — on social networks.

Do you spend your days posting stories, looking through the news feed of all your 456 friends who you don’t even know, watching reality shows on TV and liking posts on Facebook and Instagram? You need to understand whether this behavior is useful to you and if it makes your life better. If not, then it’s time to limit your information intake. Social networks consume our powers just like dementors. Use social networks for something constructive like arranging a meeting with your friends in reality.

11. You chase prestige and pretend to be someone else.

You think that society needs to see you as a successful person. And you’d do anything to correspond to this image — you have the latest phone, the most powerful car and you travel only to exotic countries. While deep inside you’d rather prefer to spend your vacations in the countryside. You need to indulge yourself. Don’t yield to false temptations and don’t buy things just to impress others. Being completely in debt is not the best solution.

12. You yield to bad habits.

“Why would I bring food to work from home in a container? I’d better buy a burger on the way.” “Why would I take a walk in the park or swim in the pool? I’ve had a very hard day! I’d rather have a couple of beers watching TV.” “Why would I go to bed early? A triple espresso and a cigarette in the morning will sort it out!” When you’re 30 years old you’re strong and full of energy and you don’t notice that bad habits undermine your health. If you don’t want to have health issues when you’re 40, try to change your lifestyle for a healthier one today.

13. You don’t have a financial pillow.

You’re young and healthy, you have a regular income and the idea of tomorrow doesn’t bother you much. Optimism is a wonderful quality. But what will happen to you if you can’t work for a few months starting tomorrow? Will you be capable to support your current lifestyle? We’re not trying to make you paranoid or fearful for the unknown future but a bit of healthy realism never hurt anybody. Passive income, health and life insurance, and retirement savings may sound boring when you’re 30 years old, but they can save you from a financial fiasco later.

14. You worry about useless things.

Your world seems to be full of problems: someone stepped on your new white sneakers in the overcrowded train, the water supply in your home was suddenly cut off, and you can’t forget that time when you were a child and you asked your parents to buy you rollerblades but they never did. You may think that your life is very hard and full of problems. Our lives consist of many different things. If you focus only on the bad things, it may drive you crazy. If something unpleasant happens to you, try to remember something good as well. Your childhood’s hard feeling and regrets will not help you in your adult life, they will only make you miserable.

15. You’re afraid to be brave, courageous and crazy sometimes.

You used to steal green apricots from your neighbor’s garden as a child and you used to crawl through the window to get to your date as a teenager. There were so many crazy and reckless things you did in your past but you’re an adult now and you don’t have time for such stupid things. We continue to be young when we can enjoy new things in our lives. Try to do something reckless from time to time: go on a distant trip alone, conquer a summit or be the first one to say “I love you.” Who cares that you’re 30? It’s just the right time!

Which mistake, in your opinion, is the most common among 30-year-old people? Would you like to add something to this list? Tell us in the comments below. We’re really curious.

Preview photo credit Alicia Amira / EAST NEWS, Amanda Ahola / EAST NEWS