It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire decade since I graduated high school and moved away from my hometown. During my 20s I made some great decisions and took some risks that paid off. I also made relationship choices I regret and financial decisions I wish I’d evaluated more.
Honestly, I’m very happy with where I am in life, but I could have made some choices (like buy Bitcoin in 2008) that would have improved my life significantly. My goal today is to encourage you to reflect on your life and where you want to be down the road. Take some time to think about where you come from and the decisions that shaped who you are today.
The choices you make this year and over the next decade will form who you’ll be in the future — for better or for worse. Heavy but true. So here are 10 questions my friends and I use to keep ourselves on track for a healthy, happy tomorrow. Use them to shape your future, and remember there are no wrong answers.
1. What and who gives me the most joy?
Life can be so busy we lose track of the simple things that bring us joy. Think honestly about the people, places, and activities that make you smile. Then try to shape your life in a way that includes more of those things.
2. What is the most meaningful thing I’ve done in my life?
Every single person has a desire to be part of something meaningful. Some part of our soul wants to be remembered for the good things we accomplish. Reflecting on those moments we felt meaningful and — appreciating them — is healthy. Acknowledge and cherish them.
3. Which relationship had the most impact on me during my teen years and early 20s?
Everyone had a role model or someone they looked up to as they grew up. Think about some of the things this person did — positive or negative — and how their actions affected you. Then think about someone in your life who you could impact in a positive way. Don’t underestimate the power you have to make a difference.
4. What kind of person do I want to be when I turn 30?
It may seem obvious but becoming the version of yourself that you want to be takes time. Think about what qualities you are naturally good at and others that may need some work. Set some goals that will make your strengths stronger and develop your weaknesses into some of your finest qualities.
5. Do I have a bucket list?
There’s never a bad time to create a bucket list. However, the earlier you make your list, the more time you have to add things and check them off. The most epic bucket lists are created early and modified often.
6. Am I taking care of my body?
The beginning of the year is always a great time to look at your habits. Think about what you put into your body during the past week. Think about how active you’ve been. In general, health is a balance of what you consume and how active you are. Make changes today for an overall healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you for it later.
7. What kind of person do I want to marry?
I’ve said it before, but the person you choose to marry has the greatest impact on your happiness in life. Think about or even make a list of some of the qualities that are most important to you and be intentional about seeking out a potential mate with those qualities. Take the list seriously, but not too seriously, because you can’t always plan love.
8. Is traveling a major priority?
Some people feel the most alive when they are experiencing new places and experiences. Others live for quiet moments in familiar places. If you are someone who loves to travel, think about what you can practically afford and start planning. If you don’t plan it, you will either pay more for the trip or never make it happen.
9. What is my personal mission in this world?
It’s okay if you don’t have one. It’s also important to seek out opportunities to help others. Some focus on those in our immediate surroundings and others think globally. Listen to your heart concerning how and where you feel called to serve. You will never regret giving as much of your time and energy as possible toward improving the world around you.
10. How much money do I need to live comfortably for the rest of my life?
The target for most people used to be around one million dollars. Believe it or not, most financial analysts project that in most states $1 million will only last between 12 and 20 years. Depending on your lifestyle and when you choose to retire, you may need more or less. Regardless of your goals, don’t underestimate the time value of money. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to compound and grow.
Okay, so I went deep with some of these questions. But being the best version of yourself takes work. If you’re not intentional about the way you live your life now, you’ll turn 30 and be shocked at what did or didn’t happen. Don’t let a decade go by without making an effort to be the best version of yourself.
What do you need to do to experience peace and joy on your 30th birthday?
By Mitch Reinholt