If you're like many others, when you turned 30, you panicked. You might have even cried. You planned and threw a massive birthday party...and then made a list. It's time to decide to embrace your 30th year by writing a list of 30 fabulous things that you want to experience or achieve over the next 12 months that will make the year fun (rather than make you stress about not having checked all the age-appropriate boxes.) While your list might include to-dos that are specific to your life—master the art of making caramel, go to the ballet, etc.—we've put together a more general list to inspire your choices.
Congrats, you’re 30! Instead of complaining about being another year older, make a list, seize the day, and have some fun.
Here are 30 things to do in your 30s.
Travel to Somewhere You've Never Been
Sure, international travel is great, but you've likely been to fewer places in the domestic United States than you care to mention. Now is the time. Whether you travel alone, with a significant other, or with a group of your best friends, close your eyes and pick a place on a map of America and hit the ground running.
Pick up a New Book
Read a classic you've always wanted to read but never got around to. You know the one: You've devoured tons of current best-sellers, but there's that one book (or 10!) that you're always a little embarrassed to say you never picked up in high school or college. And hey, it's a classic for a reason—it will likely expand your creative view in a way that you never thought it would.
Fall in Love
Ok, so this isn't exactly something that you can force, but the sentiment behind this list item is this: Let loose. Stop wondering how you look to others, stressing over how smart or creative you sound in conversation, or listening to that ticking clock. Just be yourself! The rest will fall into place.
Rob the Cradle
If you're single, go out with someone who is scandalously young, like a recent college grad. After all, it wasn't that long ago that you were in their shoes, too. You've become quite serious in recent years and dating someone a bit younger might just remind you of your reckless abandon.
Host a Dinner Party
Hosting a dinner party is a great way to get old friends together, introduce new ones, and maybe even meet a few new people yourself. And don't stress out over the setting. Whether you're married and living in a suburban home or still single in a tiny studio apartment—your friends don't care! They just want to come over for some good wine, great food, and killer company.
Buy a Nice Piece of Furniture
It's officially time to get rid of all of that Ikea furniture that you've been hoarding since college. Whether you've been eyeing a splurge or going thrifting instead, it's time to find that diamond in the rough and start to update your nest.
Ditch Your Roots
Get rid of your roots. Go natural or close to it. The deep brunette-to-ice blonde is too much to maintain for the next 60 plus years. It's time to embrace the hair that's growing out of your own head.
Invest in Beauty
Invest in face and hand creams. Use them often. Your 40-year-old self will thank you. Not only should you have been moisturizing already, but as we get older, our skin is only getting naturally dryer, so it's more and more important to take care of it as you get older.
Step-up Your Booze Game
Level up your booze game: Get top-shelf. You’ve been drinking charcoal-filtered long enough. After all, it's only a few more dollars for a bottle of whiskey that doesn't taste like window washer fluid.
Buy one piece of nice jewelry for yourself. Don't wait for someone else to do it. The flimsy metal pieces you've been collecting just aren't going to cut it for long and it's time you start building a collection that will not only stand the test of time but that you will be able to pass along to your children one day.
Save money. Whether it’s for a new car or to fund your next trip, you’ll be happy you did it. Besides, now that you're 30, it's time to start shopping better and not more.
Keep your routine—you will regret it if you don't. It's so hard for you to get back into it once you stop, so you might as well keep the momentum going strong.
Amp up Your Hostess Game
Buy and use cloth napkins. Invest in some new china. It's time to ditch the plain white plates you've had for years and stop using paper towels as napkins when you invite your friends over. It will instantly elevate your hostess game, too.
Say thank you when people compliment you. We know—it's hard to take one...you're humble! But it's time to learn that you should appreciate yourself the way that everyone else does and take a little credit for all that you do.
Learn About Wine
Start a wine cellar—even if it’s in the back of your hallway closet. Invest in lesser-known bottles when wine tasting, and store them to enjoy at a later date. You might even want to sign up for a few wine classes, be it virtually or in-person, to explore some tastes that you never would have known to look for.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water is the single best thing that you can do for your mind, body, and skin. You're not hurting anyone but yourself when you're dehydrated and, let's be honest, you're really not doing yourself any favors when you are.
Make cocktails with fresh-picked citrus—think daiquiris or margaritas with limes, greyhounds with grapefruit, or sidecars with lemons. Have a favorite pour at a local restaurant? Chat up the bartender and learn how to make some semblance of it at home. Hey, you might even have so much fun that you start making up your own and become your friends' favorite mixer!
Print Your Favorite Photos
Go through your most beloved pics and choose a few to set out around your home. Fame them, large or small, and give your space a little more personality than it might have had without. We promise: Especially when you're feeling down, looking at a bunch of photos of your nearest and dearest is just the thing that you'll need for a pick-me-up.
Ditch Old Undies
Get rid of any tired underwear—no matter how comfortable they are. If they have holes in them or if they’re stained, throw them away. You'd do the same with an old grungy T-shirt, so why not Marie Kondo your lingerie drawer as well?
Write and Send Thank You Cards
One of the most important practices as an adult—yes, we said it—is writing and sending thank you cards. And they don't have to only pop up when your friends give you a gift, either. Did someone invite you over for a dinner party? Weekend away? Babysit your puppy while you were working? It's time to give back, even if it's just through your eloquent words.
Use Proper Glasses
Gone are the days of pouring cabernet into a pint glass and drinking an IPA from a coffee mug. Shop some wine glasses, champagne flutes, and maybe even whiskey glasses while you're at it.
Bake a Cake
Bake a cake from scratch for a friend who is turning 30 too. He or she will appreciate the hard work you put in so much more than if you'd gone out to the store to purchase one, ready-made.
Take a Lesson
Learn a new skill. It could be a golf lesson, pasta-making class, calligraphy webinar—whatever strikes your fancy!
Swim in the Ocean
Land-locked? Hop in the car and take a little road trip. There's nothing quite like the sand between your toes and the salty waves crashing at your back.
Go on a Road Trip
It's the perfect way to visit an old friend or head to a city to which you've never been. It's a definite must on your calendar this year, whether you fly solo or bring a bunch of friends along for the ride.
Give the Gift of Flowers
Bring a friend a surprise bouquet of flowers for no reason at all. It will brighten up her home, smell absolutely delicious, and make her smile every time she looks at the arrangement.
Plan an Impromptu Picnic
On a super-sunny day, gather all your friends and head to the park. With a picnic blanket, some snacks, and a little bit of music, the spontaneity is what's going to make it super special.
Try a New Hairstyle
Always wanted a bob? Looking for more of a shag? Or perhaps you're looking to smooth out some super curly locks. Hair grows—there's no time like the present to try something new.
Call Your Parents
Call your parents at least three times a week. They’re getting older too.
Wake up every day and remember: You are perfectly fine just the way you are.