Turning thirty is pretty scary. While I still feel like the same whimsical travel-loving Gemini I was in my twenties, the start of my thirties have been centered around a different set of thoughts. All of a sudden there are more responsibilities, less time and an endless list of tasks that never seems to end. Truth is, adulting seemed so much more glamorous from a far! The reality however, is that it can be pretty stressful if you don’t have a handle on it. Rather than mourn the death of my twenties, I choose to embrace this new chapter and be that glamorous thirty-something I’ve always wanted to be. Here are 6 easy tips that I’ve started following to help me get my life in order which I’m sure, will help you too.
Wake up earlier
The start of my thirties have suddenly been flooded with an endless list of things that I need and want to do. Unfortunately there are just so many things on my lists that I usually end up starting multiple things and taking longer than usual to finish the simple things that I love to do. From the freelance writing jobs… to my steady full-time job… to writing and scheduling new blog posts to editing videos… to just having some solid ‘me’ time…. there are just so many things to do! To help me get a handle on it, I usually start by making a list of all things I need to do – personal and work-related – and plan them into a daily schedule by allocating times when I will work on each task. This is done in between working, gyming and just living. There really isn’t enough time in the day, so recently I’ve started waking up between a hour or two earlier so I can squeeze in a few more tasks into my day. Whether it be editing articles between 5.00 – 5.30 am or writing a chapter of my book between 5.30 – 6.30 am, those extra 90 minutes or so really make a difference.
Prep your meals
Sadly, turning thirty does mean your metabolism starts to slow down a little more and you’ve got to spend more time focusing on your body. One of my goals for this Year of Thirty and the next decade on wards is to be healthier. No, not diet or try to lose weight (because I’m hopeless at dieting!) but to be healthier and take better care of my body. In keeping with my 30 Things to Do During my Year of 30 List, establishing healthy routines has become very important to me. Knowing what I’m eating and what’s going into my body is key to being healthy. Sure there are those days when you just want to eat take out (and that’s okay too) but for the majority of the week, I like to make my own meals. Set some time aside on the weekend when you plan out your weekly menu and recipes in advance. This way you’ll know exactly what you need from the grocery store. Then set some time aside (either every day, or every second or third day) where you prep and pack your lunch. Not only will this save you time and money, but it will also save you from buying unhealthy lunches and snacks at work.
Reading is one of the best things you can do to cleanse your mind and escape into another world. Be it a travel book, something fiction or even a self-help book; reading gives you new perspective and more knowledge of the world around you. Not only will your vocabulary and the way you converse improve but it will also make you a much more interesting person when you talk about what you’re reading or are able to relate to someone because they are reading something you already have. I love reading, especially on gloomy days but with life getting in the way, I never seem to have the time to sit down and take in a chapter or two. In China, I would squeeze in some pages on the subway to and from work, but since I’ve moved to Cape Town and need to drive everywhere, that option is out. To help me combat the reading slump I’m in, I try to set aside some time every week where I just read a chapter or two. For me, it’s usually Sunday mornings when I make a cappuccino, sit in the sun and devour a chapter or two. It’s a lot less than I’d like to read but it still makes me feel happy that life hasn’t completely taken over.
My twenties were some pretty care free years where I threw most of my money into travelling without a second thought. While I did save in those years, I was pretty sporadic and that wasn’t my priority. Perhaps not the wisest of things to do but now that I’ve decided to start adulting, it’s time to focus on my finances and see where my money is going. To do this, I’ve started a monthly spreadsheet where I document how much of money I have incoming from my steady job, freelance writing and the blog itself. Next I map out what my recurring and essential expenses are such as rent, retirement plans, health insurance and so on. Lastly I make a list of day-to-day expenses like groceries, shopping, beauty treatments and so on. This way, I get a clear visual picture of what I’m spending my money on and where I should be cutting back. I can then divert those extra funds into a separate travel account and plan those trips that I still want to take.
Get out more
Fresh air does wonders for your mind and soul. Schedule time every week to spend some time outdoors whether it be just going down the road for a walk, running at the beach or finding an outdoor café to sit in. I find it is best to schedule this as alone time where you can just spend time with your thoughts. Not only will being outdoors help in clearing your mind but it will also put things into perspective. Use this time to reflect on the last few days, mentally wok through thoughts that are troubling you or the pros and cons of upcoming decisions that you need to make.
Have a GYST day
Yes, you read right. A GYST Day – that’s a ‘Get Your Shit Together’ Day. Pick one day out of the week where you just get your things in order, do your cleaning, organizing and planning. I usually do this on a Sunday in preparation for the week ahead. I do my laundry, clean around the apartment and pack things away. Then I schedule some time to plan out things for my blog – be it which posts will be uploaded and what new things I will be adding. I make a list of deadlines I have to meet, prioritize articles for clients and tasks that I need to complete at work. I also schedule some important personal grooming time on GYST days where I paint my nails and do all the other girly stuff I need to do. GYST days are pretty essential for me as it’s the perfect time between weeks to stop, get my life in order and plan for what’s next.
What are some of your adulting tips? Share them in the comments section down below!