Many gurus will tell you not to waste your 20s. While that statement is true, I think you shouldn’t waste your 30s either.
I wrote this entry in January of 2024, and this year I turn 34. (yikes)
If you’re like me and want to set your future self up for optimal success, let’s dive into what you should do in your 30s that you won’t regret when you’re older.
1. Get (and stay) in Great Physical Condition
The body you have in your 40s is the body you will likely have for the rest of your life. That means if you’re not in shape in your 30s, you need to make that your goal or else you’ll regret it later.
After spending thousands of dollars on gym memberships since my early 20s, I made the decision a few years ago to invest that money in home fitness equipment. If you have the physical space for a home gym, I would highly recommend going this route sooner than later.
My home gym started with a water rowing machine, which is an incredible, low-impact, full-body workout. The second purchase was a set of hex dumbbells from 5-60 pounds, along with a gently used competition-grade adjustable bench. When I have the room, all I need is a 4-post power rack with a set of plate weights, and I’m set for life.
All this for around 3-4 years of a gym membership.
If you’ve never had a fitness routine before, trust me when I say that you need to learn how to work out before you hit the gym. Most people, myself included, have muscular imbalances that affect range of motion and certain positions, and it can take months of repetition to safely exercise, especially if you’re a noob.
- What physical lifestyle do you want for yourself in your 40s, 50s, 60s+?
- Are you willing to invest hundreds of hours exercising?
- Are looking and feeling healthy important to your long-term goals?
2. Invest for Retirement
It’s a fact that the majority of successful people have investments across various asset classes. Even if your definition of success is a tiny home on a small piece of land, worrying if you’ll have enough money to replace a roof or buy a new vehicle is something you don’t want.
Have you ever seen how expensive a quality garden hose can be?
From my personal experience:
- Real estate is a long-term strategy where you don’t see a huge return on investment until the property is paid off and you’re making pure rent income every month.
- Stocks and ETFs can pay dividends right away, but the market fluctuates in the medium term.
- If you want guaranteed returns, GICs are an option.
- There are private equity companies that offer off-market investments.
- I know people who own gold bricks as an investment strategy.
- Commodities like oil, lumber, grain, etc., are all “investible” in some way.
- I’ve never met a long-term successful Forex (foreign currency) trader. It’s just as easy to double your money as it is to lose it all.
As a teenager, I saved every spare dollar I had, which enabled me to buy a house with 5% down at the age of 20. Sure, I missed out on houseboating parties and mountain ski trips with friends, but thinking back to 2011 when I signed the mortgage papers, this has been the best investment in my future and lifestyle to date.
Nothing that I’m sharing is financial advice. I’m just some guy currently in my 30s not wanting to HAVE to work when I’m old and grey.
Even though I plan to stay productive for the rest of my life, I don’t want to feel like I need to collect an income at that stage in my life, and you don’t either.
- What type of investments get you interested in learning more?
- What level of risk are you willing to explore yourself?
- How much money can you save on a regular basis to invest?
3. Develop Multiple Hobbies
Your 30s are the perfect time to cultivate hobbies that can enrich your life for decades to come. When you invest time in hobbies now, you set the stage for a fulfilling midlife and an engaging retirement.
Stay with me here. This is what I’m thinking.
It’s been said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. It’s also been said that you can learn 80% of something in 20% of the total time. This means you can spend a handful of years in your 30s learning 80% of what you need to know about 2-4 new hobbies.
Call me crazy. But I think there’s some truth to this.
This entry is also a call to action to start your passion project. Be it writing, photography, or a side business – just start something now, so you’ll be a master in a decade.
- What are 2 interests you’ve never explored?
- How can you leverage your existing knowledge into a new hobby?
- Have you ever wanted to be “known” for something cool?
4. Start Cooking for Yourself
When you develop a good relationship with flavors, and you know what seasonings and textures complement each other, you’ll start craving “the meal you made last week”. And when you do go out to eat, you’ll likely enjoy it more as a treat than a source of nourishment.
The type of food you consume is arguably the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. So, if you enjoy healthy eating, home-cooked food generally has fewer ingredients than something you’d get from a restaurant. Personally, I like to know and control what goes into my food.
Here’s an underrated productivity hack.
Bulk cooking for the majority of your meals ahead of time can free up several hours a week of physical time cooking and headspace worrying about what to eat.
I’ve been bulk cooking roasts, stews, rice bowls, casseroles, you name it, for years, and I’m never going back. The time and stress benefits are unmatched.
I typically cook 2 large meals a week for 5-6 days worth of lunch/dinner leftovers for me and my wife. On the off days, we’ll throw something on the grill with a side salad.
- What are 5 meals you could consistently eat every month?
- Can you eat leftovers for 3 days in a row?
- Do you have the cooking supplies to prepare great meals?
I encourage you to take these ideas, tweak them to fit your unique journey, and embrace the adventure of your 30s.
Here’s to making these years count and to a future we can look back on with pride.
BOOM. I would read that, Derek.— Dickie Bush ???? (@dickiebush) January 6, 2024
Let me know when it goes live.