15 habits to break before you turn 30

Our 20s are a seminal decade. It’s a time for figuring out who we are, what we want and where we’re going. There are career moves, friendships forged and relationships built. And because we spend so much time not knowing what we’re doing with our lives, we’re bound to make mistakes.

However, as our 30s draw ever closer, we’re starting to understand much more about ourselves, and also realise that it’s up to us to make our lives what we want them to be. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have got into some habits that you’d rather not let define you any longer. Here are some of the top examples that came out of our research, as well as some ways to change the habits for good.

1. Breaking promises to friends

Do what you say you’re going to do. If you make plans with friends, honour them. And if you genuinely can’t make them, let your friend know. Give them notice, too. There’s not much worse than being told an hour before you’re due to meet your friend that they had a heavy night and aren’t out of bed yet, so can they please take a rain check? If that’s the case for you (the heavy night, we mean), or if you’re feeling tired or stressed, consider sticking with those social plans. It might not be what you feel like doing, but it could take your mind off things, stop you from stewing in bed, and help you feel better in the long run.

2. Wasting time on dates that won’t go anywhere

Time isn’t running out for you. You don’t have to meet Mr or Mrs Right immediately. And you don’t have to go on a date that doesn’t feel right. If you’ve been chatting beforehand but the conversations run dry, or you simply have a funny feeling in your tummy, take your own hint and duck out of that one. Remember, if it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ it should be a ‘hell no.’

3. Forgetting to call your family

We’re particularly talking about older relatives here. We all have busy lives, and spending 10 minutes on the phone with grandma might not feel high on the list of priorities. But put yourself in her shoes. As we get older, we spend more time at home, and more time alone. A phone call from you could be the thing that makes your grandma’s day. And we all have so much to learn from the older generations. You never know how the conversation might make you smile, too.

4. Saying ‘sorry’ all the time

In our culture, it almost feels customary to apologise for existing. Whether we’re a little late responding to a text message, or we’re saying no to a social invitation, there’s no need to apologise if there’s a valid reason for our answer. Clearly, when it’s necessary to say sorry, it’s important that we do so. But if we save it for those times, it’ll actually look like we mean it.

5. Waiting for life to begin

The sooner we realise that life isn’t a dress rehearsal, the better. Life won’t start when we’re thinner, richer, or with the partner of our dreams. It’s already happening now. Keep that in mind, and don’t put anything off until some imaginary time.

6. Blacking out

It might have seemed fun in university to wake up and not remember the night before – where we were or how we got home – but in our 30s, is it quite so cool? Not only are we growing out of that now, but there’s a real danger that we’re posing to our brains when we black out, too. Definitely not cool.

7. Never shopping for food

Ordering a takeaway or popping to the local restaurant can feel like the easiest option much of the time. It’s a chance to socialise, or it allows us to relax after a busy day. But is it really healthy for our bodies? And do our bank balances appreciate it, too? The answers are ‘probably not’ and ‘highly unlikely.’ Try shopping for food more often and enjoy the satisfaction of cooking it in your own kitchen.

8. Never exercising

Exercise keeps you strong, fit and healthy, as well as more likely to live longer. Also, we’re all working more sedentary jobs these days, and it’s becoming more important to counteract that. Since our bodies weaken as we age, make the most of the days when exercise and recovery don’t feel so hard. Hit the gym, go outside, or work out in the comfort of your own home.

9. Comparing yourself to people on social media

Instagram isn’t real. People curate their own profiles so we see only the best bits of their lives. That’s no secret; we all do it, if we’re honest. The trick is in remembering that when you’re scrolling through your feed in a fit of self-doubt and comparing yourself to the friend who’s always having a good time. Firstly, a picture is just a snapshot of one moment in time. You don’t know what else is going on in that person’s life. And secondly, remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Use the pictures you see as inspiration to get out and live an awesome life yourself.

10. Checking your phone all the time

When you’re at dinner or with a friend, or even driving your car, it’s unlikely that there’s anything happening on your phone that deserves your attention more. Respect the people you’re with and save checking your phone for your own time.

11. Always being late

There are real reasons for our lack of punctuality. The sooner you figure out what’s making you late and work on being on time, the less stress you’ll have to deal with in the rest of your life.

12. Not doing what you love

If there’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or a new career path you’re desperate to pursue, there really is no time like the present. Whether you want to take up running, learn a new language, try that drama class or get singing lessons, what’s really stopping you? Maybe you want to go after that business idea you’ve had on your mind. Think about it… If you don’t go for it now, will you regret it later? If the answer is ‘yes,’ you know what to do.

13. Arguing with your mum and dad

Our parents know exactly how to wind us up when we’re teenagers. Or at least that’s how it feels. Sometimes it feels as if they do it on purpose! But now that we’re fully-fledged adults – almost 30, no less (!) – we don’t have to be enemies with our parents anymore. They have valuable advice to pass on, and can even be fun hang out with now that we’re grown-ups, too.

14. Not cleaning your home

We’re not students anymore. Yes, work takes up a lot of our time and we don’t always get round to tidying up. But isn’t it nicer to come home and not have to wash a pile of pans before you can start cooking dinner? Also, think about how you’ll want your guests to feel when they walk into your home.

15. Not saving money

As mentioned above, life has started. It’s happening now. And you never know what’s around the corner. To not save for the future would be a mistake. And you’ll thank yourself for those savings when you’re old enough to need them. Besides that, there are holidays and houses and the like to be thinking about. Start putting money away each month and these things will be easier to afford in time.


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