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15 Milestones Everyone Needs to Reach by Age 30

So, you've nearly hit the big 3-0! Congrats. You've probably seen a whole load of milestones along the way—make sure you don't miss these.

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Thoughtful young brunette woman with book and cup of coffee looking through the window, blurry winter forrest landscape outside

Live alone

From the trials and tribulations of house-shares to living with your mom and dad, you may have seen it all. However, if you’ve yet to have your own place—even for a short period—it could be time to give it a shot. Coming home to an empty apartment or house may sound a tad sad, but it doesn’t have to be. That time and space alone could be just what you need to figure out who you really are when no one else is watching. Find out 32 secrets of people who’ve crossed major items off their bucket list.

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Rear view portrait of young African American backpacker facing sea standing on viewing platform or rock, admiring fascinating views in European resort city, dressed casually. People and travelling
WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Take a solo trip

Ditch the standard vacay and opt for a solo adventure this time around. Having complete control over where you go, what you see, and what you do is at once enlightening and liberating—this trip is yours and yours alone. Live it. Check out the best places to travel alone as a woman.

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The young man looking at the beautiful view at the lake
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Accept who you are

Self-acceptance is not an easy game. Many people will spend their entire lives trying to gain it and, sadly, some never will. “Our society puts huge pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others; this causes a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety,” said Mark Williamson, PhD, Director of the Action for Happiness charity, in a recent report. Accepting yourself for who you are and forgiving yourself for your mistakes is a noble goal we should all reach for.

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Rear view of a happy couple sitting together on bench outdoors

Be friends with your parents

While we’re growing up, our parents morph from the heroes of our childhood to the authoritative figures of our teens. In our 20s, though, we begin to realize that they are human too. They are no longer the rule makers or enforcers; they’re people with struggles and feelings. Getting to know them as friends rather than just family is one of the most enjoyable experiences you will ever have.

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Pretty Caucasian smiling woman putting a plate with meal on dining table at backyard celebration.

Host an adult dinner party

While planning a menu, buying the ingredients, and cooking a tasty meal for four or more may sound like a trial, it’s well worth the trouble. Hosting a dinner party for your friends or loved ones is an excellent way to show how much you care—and no one will care if you have mismatched plates and silverware. Trust us. Here are the secrets to throwing an amazing dinner party in a small apartment.

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Cheerful Female Manager Talking to her Subordinate at her Table Inside the Office.

Ask for a raise at work

Have you been struggling away at work without getting the recognition you deserve? You’re not alone. Many of us find that asking for a raise is one of the hardest workplace challenges we will ever face. Get over it. It’s important to ask for what we deserve. And what’s the worst that can happen, anyway?

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Businessman sitting at a table reading a document in a large open plan office, view from behind over his shoulder

Quit your job altogether

Staying in a job you hate is a mistake. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that, and yet so many people out there do it. But before the age of 30, you likely don’t have a whole bunch of obligations or constraints, so there’s no better time to do it. Here are some signs you’re in the wrong career—and how to find one you love.

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Young Woman Sitting On Bed Having Back Pain
F8 studio/Shutterstock

Stop caring what people think

When you care too much about what people think, it holds you back in more ways than you expect—you end up living your life on other people’s terms. That’s not OK. Focus on yourself and what you want, not what other people think of you. While that may be easier said than done, it’s something that you should aim for each and every day.

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Young yogi woman practicing yoga, sitting in Vajrasana pose with Namaste behind the back, working out wearing black sportswear, cool urban style grey studio background, full length, rear view

Practice meditation

There’s a reason that the art of meditation is so popular these days. Not only has research suggested that meditation can alleviate depression when combined with exercise, but it also gives you the headspace you need. Taking the time to relax and unwind each day will make you calmer and more balanced, in all areas of your life. Want to stay healthy for decades? Incorporate these health tweaks during your 30s.

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Close up hands playing keyboard.

Learn a new skill—just for you

Throughout our lives, we need to learn a whole bunch of things. Between algebra, the inner workings of a frog, and PowerPoint, you need to learn a lot in high school, college, and in the workplace. But, ask yourself, when was the last time that you learned something new for the pure joy of learning? Whether it’s learning to play piano or a new language, now is the time to give it a go.

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Psychotherapy session, woman talking to his psychologist in the studio

Get some therapy

You don’t have to be in the depths of despair to book yourself an appointment: Therapy can be prevention as much as it is a cure. Having an expert to talk to when you need guidance or support could be just what you need. Opting to get a therapist is a form of self-care and self-love. Here are 13 smart tips for finding a therapist you can trust.

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Woman enjoying the view of the beautiful landscape
Zoran Temelkov/Shutterstock

Learn how to handle sadness

Life is not one endless period of pure bliss; there are times when we all feel sad or even just a little down. Rather than fighting this emotion, though, it could be better to allow yourself to truly feel it. Researchers at the American Psychological Association recently suggested that the key to happiness could be letting yourself experience your true emotions, be it sadness, anger, or guilt.

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Image of young lady standing in clothes shop indoors choosing dresses. Looking aside.
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Splurge on a gift for yourself

When was the last time that you splurged on something just for yourself? Most of the time, when we buy gifts, they are for other people; friends, family, and so on. Buying something truly special for yourself may seem a little naughty, but that’s exactly why you should do it.

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Group of young sporty people practicing yoga lesson with instructor, sitting in Vajrasana pose with hands hooked behind the back for Triceps stretch exercise, working out, indoor, studio, rear view

Find some gym buddies

You may already have your exercise game on point, but how can you take things to the next level? Research has found that getting active with friends improves your quality of life while also helping you reduce your stress levels. Finding some friendly gym buddies by the time you’re 30 will help you put your exercise at the center of your social life.

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A traveler brunette girl is looking at the city skyline during in the evening.
Nat Chittamai/Shutterstock

Learn to be selfish

Many people are under the impression that being selfish is an inherently bad thing. It doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, being a little selfish or just doing something on your own terms pays off. If you’re the type of person who is always people-pleasing, you need to quit it. Be a little selfish, no one’s going to be mad. Next, find out 30 things everyone should own by age 30.

Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger is a creative feature writer, with a flair for personal and lifestyle pieces. Her word has been seen in a number of regional publications in the UK. She has a knack for making any subject engaging and interesting and is able to promote her work via social media effectively.