Why life begins at 30 – and how to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself

Today, I’m writing about myself. Because, even if you follow me on all my social media channels, and subscribe to this blog, and have read the About section of this site, you’ve probably discovered that you still don’t know very much about Hannah Brice.

In fact, the grand total of what you’ve learned about me so far amounts to this:

  • I like chocolate and cake and chips and cheese. I’m basically a dietician’s worst nightmare.
  • I am sensible with my money day to day so that I can frequently treat myself (HOPEFULLY that has come across because if it hasn’t then this blog has been a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME thus far!)
  • I have a very cute baby (see my instagram feed)
  • I’m Scottish and I live in Berkshire.
  • As well as maintaining this blog, I’m also a PR director.

Not a whole lot of detail there, huh?

Well, the purpose of this post is not to fill in the gaps by giving you details like my height and my shoe size (although if you work with a leading women’s shoe brand, I’d happily give you my details over email 😉 ). Instead I want to talk about myself from a emotional and mental point of view. And put to bed a horrible myth about women.

You see, I think there is an attitude out there that sucks. No it’s not political or racial although it is absolutely frightening what is happening to the UK at the moment and I truly hope the madness will end soon. No, what I’m referring to is this mentality that when a woman gets to 30, she’s pretty much past it.

How many of these have you heard about women over 30?

  • She’s now on a race against time to have kids.
  • That’s it, she can say goodbye to decent boobs now.
  • A 30 year old in a club? Ha! Move over grandma!
  • Once you hit 30, hangovers last at least 3 days.
  • If you haven’t established a career by the time you’re in your 30s, you’ve got no chance.
  • Over 30s cannot and should not wear mini skirts, crop tops, hot pants, braids.
  • If you haven’t met the man/woman of my dreams by now, it’s probably never going to happen.
  • Once you hit 30, it’s so much harder to lose weight. You might as well make friends with your cellulite because it’s sticking around forever.

Life begins at 30

I think this mentality is disgusting. None of that’s true. And I’m about to present my case why, in fact, life actually BEGINS at 30 and any goal you set yourself is achievable. [bctt tweet=”Life BEGINS at 30 and any goal you set yourself is achievable” username=”hannahlisabrice”].


Career goals

I went to uni when I was 17 and graduated at age 20. I then skipped the travelling part (except for a few trips to China and Thailand) and started work. For the next decade, I changed jobs 6 times. Yup. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. My career goal amounted to a salary target. I hadn’t considered the role I wanted to get or the job satisfaction, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that it wasn’t until I reached 29 that my situation at work finally clicked. I was leading a team at a PR agency, thriving and loving my job. And despite the fact that I’ve been on maternity leave for a while, I’m excited about starting back next week because I know that my career is just beginning. At 31, I’ve discovered what I’m good at, what’s important to me and where I want to end up which means I can set a path to get myself there. I also have 10 years of experience of handling issues and mistakes which makes me wiser!

At 30, you have another 35+ years of your working life to go. You’ve only experienced 1/4 of your career time so far which is nothing!

My advice to you, whether you think you are in the right career or not, is to take a step back and imagine yourself at 55 and on your way to work. What is that job you’re heading to? For me, it’s one of two: MD/CEO of a comms agency or the CMO of a consumer finance company. What do you want to be? Then, think about what you need to get there and take into consideration the fact that you have 25-ish years to do it. What experience do you need? What would the typical career path look like to get there? Start planning now and believe in yourself that you’ll make it happen.   A complete career change is possible in 30 years!

[bctt tweet=”At 30, you have another 35+ years or 3/4 of your working life to go.” username=”hannahlisabrice”]

Financial goals

Hands up if you spent (or are spending) your 20s skint. Well it’s not entirely surprising. When you’re starting out at work, you don’t earn a lot but you have to pay big city rent prices and it’s likely you spend 30% of your time in the office, 30% of your time in bed and the remaining 40% of your time in the pub!

You look back and think WHY didn’t I save so that I could build a deposit and get on the property ladder??! Well, even if you had saved a little when you were younger, your 30s is the time to save properly. After all, you’re likely to be earning more and you have licence to be a little more sensible with your spending.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been good at saving. Why? Well I used to be cheap. I didn’t like spending money and when I did I’d buy cheap things. Then, I met my husband and he changed me. I now love expensive food and wine, I’ve realised that quality costs money, and I’ve finally discovered the thrill you get from buying something nice that you’ve earned by working so hard.

It does mean that I’ve had to get even better at saving money and thanks to buying a flat in London in 2007 just before property prices crashed, I feel I have debt everywhere. I want to clear that debt. So, I’ve set myself a target – an amount I need to have saved to pay off a significant amount of my debt by 2020. I’ve broken that down into a monthly figure and I’ve changed the way I spend completely. I’m a girl who needs to treat herself so I’ve established a system whereby I can still buy what’s important to me, I just buy it in a way that means I spend less.  I really recommend that you adopt this plan too and you can follow the guide for free by popping your email address below.

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[bctt tweet=”Life’s too short to be skint and in debt. Start thinking about your financial future.” username=”hannahlisabrice”]

Beauty and weight goals

I’ve been overweight my entire life. I wouldn’t say I’ve been fat but the charts would say I was overweight.

In an effort to change that I spent every day of my 20s on a diet. No, actually, that’s not true. I spent every MONDAY of my 20s on a diet. And I tried every diet. I also got into swimming and did a bit of running. I joined a gym. I bought clothes too small for me as an incentive. I hid money so that I could financially reward myself for weight loss. But nothing worked.

Perhaps there were too many temptations in my 20s. Because, once I reached my 30s, something changed. Maybe with age, I’m better at committing to things? Maybe, I am more health conscious? Or maybe it was because I signed myself up to a challenge that I couldn’t let myself fail.

In July last year, I had a baby and tipped the scales at 11 and half stone. At 5ft 4, that’s a lot of weight for my frame to be carrying around. My focus was sleep so I continued to eat whatever I wanted and then one day my brother, who was visiting us, told me about a half marathon he was doing 8 months later and asked me to sign up. Running was not my thing – I hadn’t run further than 5km before that point – but I knew that by committing to some sort of goal which would result in public humiliation for me if I failed, I would train as much as I needed to get there.

And so I signed up and for the next 8 months, I ran when I could and tracked it all on Under Armor’s Map my Fitness app. The good thing about running is that it becomes easier the more you do so I quickly saw a significant improvement in my fitness and I got a teeny bit addicted to the buzz it gave me. Intrigued as to how many calories this exercise was burning, I synced the Map my fitness app to the MyFitnessPal app and that encouraged me to start tracking the calories I consumed.

While I didn’t become obsessed with calorie counting, I did learn masses about my calorie intake and by making a few tiny changes to what I ate each day, the weight began to fall off. (Basically I was eating too much butter. Wayyyyy too much.)

Needless to say, in March this year, I nailed the half marathon, running it in 2 hours. I also lost my baby weight and a lot more and am now the slimmest I’ve ever been. Age has nothing to do with it.

If you want to lose weight or get fit, sign up to some sort of exercise challenge which is out of your comfort zone, tell everyone you care about that you’re doing it (so that you’ll be humiliated if you pull out!) and then get started with the training. Yes it will seem a challenge a first but will get easier and you have the incentive of showing people and yourself what you can do!

Set yourself a goal today and download those two apps I mentioned!

Life goals

I’m going to finish with the very generic term of Life goals which are whatever you want them to be. As with all of the other goals above, take some time out to think about what you want to achieve. If it helps, imagine yourself in your 70s looking back. What would you want to have achieved? Think about the time you have to achieve that (up to 40 years!) and then set yourself some realistic goals and a plan to get there. Anything is possible.

Want to write a book? Set an end date, work out how much time you need to spend on it each week and if that’s do-able, then arm yourself with the help you need to make it happen (i.e. story writing lessons, a laptop, a quiet distraction-free place to work) and do it.

Want to swim with sharks? Work out where you need to go to do it and how much it would cost. Using my free money saving course, find out how much you can save per month and then book that trip.

Want to find happiness? Well, that’s a big one but you can take action and try this little exercise. Take a huge sheet of paper, write happiness in the middle and then around it write down the things that you THINK make you happy (or would make you happy). Then for each of those things, write down why those things make you happy. Then write how you’d do them. Pick a few of the things that you’ve written down and set yourself short term deadlines to complete them. If they are indeed important to you, you’ll make them happen and if you don’t, then go back to the sheet and do some re-working.  This obviously does not solve the huge issue of happiness but might help you gather your thoughts about what you want and need.

My point is, life begins at 30. I’m 31 now,  I have big dreams and I’m going achieve them.

I hope this has helped inspire you! What are your goals? If you’re in your 40s or above, the same applies! What are you working towards?

67 thoughts on “Why life begins at 30 – and how to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself

  1. When I was in my 30s, like you I had a busy life working and travelling. I married late and did the whole career bit first. Like you, I finished Uni at 20 and been working ever since until I married and had my baby. Let’s just say, I’m in a different phase in my life right now. There are times when I miss my old life, but I’m certainly enjoying and loving what I have now too. x All worth it! Oh and as for the goals? At the moment, my goal is to have a fun-filled summer for T. When summer ends, I’ll think of a new one. And yes, your post is definitely inspiring! 🙂

  2. My life followed the same path too but right now I am enjoying concentrating on my little family, and getting through the Summer holidays in one piece!

  3. Great post! I actually married and had children at 24 and was divorced by 28 so for me, life DID begin at 30 as I was newly single, doing what I wanted for the first time in my life, changed career paths, met my second husband and actually my thirties have been amazing, I feel so much more happy than I did in my twenties.

  4. Awesome post, it was really lovely and enjoyable to read! I’m not yet in my 30s but I don’t dread it either lol life is what you make it after all!

  5. Really interesting post. I think you have the right idea, I am in my 40s now but I know that in my 30s, I felt a lot more grown up and in control of my life than in my 20s. It is a great decade, enjoy it

  6. I love this. I agree – it’s like when people say you are what you feel. Having goals is the perfect way to go about it and not just for 30 year olds too. I’m in my mid twenties but since I’ve been a teen I’ve always set myself a target each year to work towards something and I’m so happy to where I’ve come and the things I’ve got planned 🙂

    Alina | DIY lifestyle blog

  7. It’s all about the attitude you have in your head – I never worried about hitting 30 and I won’t be worrying about hitting 40. As long as I’m happy then all’s good. 😉

    Great post x

  8. Lovely post, I think what ever the age it’s brilliant to relfect on accomplishments and try to achieve more the next year (as long as your healthy and positive) 🙂

  9. It’s so nice to read such a positive post about the 30’s!! I’m 30 now and retraining from a career in financial services as a corporate relations manager to a psychotherapist…..3 years down, 2 to go….I can’t wait!!

  10. I’m currently 26 and always worry that I’ve left it too late to do certain things in my life. It’s good to read positive posts like this, you made me look forward to what my 30’s may bring.

  11. I’m 31 now too. I haven’t made any life goals yet as pretty much everything I do centres around my daughters. Thanks for the inspo x

  12. Sounds great, when I reached 30 I knew what I wanted to achieve and achieved them, albeit with an expected son thrown in 😉 Now I’m over 40 I quite like to be a bit more spontaneous and achieve family based goals.

  13. I totally agree with this. In some ways I’m lucky that most people in my job (local government) are 60+ – everybody under 50 is a whippersnapper, and you get to see so many inspirational people who have completely changed career paths / beliefs / etc in later life. It’s made me realise that it’s not a race to get every single aspect of your life map done and dusted; life really is a journey.

  14. When I hit 25 I was really worried about 30 creeping up on me, now I’m about to turn 28 I really don’t mind that I’m nearly 30. I have so many years ahead of me to figure out what I’m doing and where I want to go with my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my stuff together, I have a wonderful daughter and my own home, but I just think there’s so much pressure on everyone to have everything so figured out and at such an early age too… Gosh, I’m still hoping my dreams from when I was a kid will come true, my adult decisions can hold off for a little longer! xx

  15. Brilliant post! You know, I’m almost 25 now, and when I was in my teens I thought I’d have it all figured out by now – the job, husband, kids, house & mortgage… Ha! Ha ha ha! Life is so mis-sold, we need to stop teaching our kids that everything good happens before you’re 30 and it’s all down-hill from there. I intend to have just as much fun (if not more!) after I’m 30.
    Also well done on your half marathon – two hours is a brilliant time!!

  16. thats a very interesting read. I have heard that 30 is where it starts. I’m 25 and still sorting my life out. I’m not worried though

  17. I’m turning 30 at the end of the year and reading this has just made me even more excited to hit that milestone. While I may not be in the house or relationship that I thought I’d be in. I know career wise I’m in the right job. I just can’t wait to see what I can achieve at 30 – thanks for sharing! x

  18. I was dreading hitting 30 but loads of great things have happened… I own my own house, I ditched a job I hated and got one I enjoy, and the friends I have now might be fewer and scattered away from me, but we appreciate each other even more for it.

  19. I’m almost 30 and my boobs stopped being decent a long time ago

    Seriously though I’m excited for 30! I’ve achieved my before 30 goals (marriage, home, baby) now I want to start thinking of some 30+ goals. Your post has inspired me to get thinking!

  20. I’m only 19, but I love seeking advice from the wise!
    I’m just like you when you were younger. Cheeappp cheap cheap. I don’t think my husband is going to change that though!
    I definitely need to work on that goal making, grabbing a sheet of paper and writing down happiness. Really needed this post!

  21. I had a miserable time in my 20’s but my 30’s were fab. I got married, bought a house and finally found a career i loved. Now I am in my 40’s and happy and settled in what I do…….the decent boobs did disappear sadly

  22. This is a great way to look at life. I think life starts again when you have kids and then again when they finally leave home. We’re constantly moving forwards and it’s never too late to make changes!

  23. Grat post I have been there, and heard all of these, I had my Daughter when I was 36 so you can imagine all the comments I had, I will say though that 30’s is just the beginning. Life certainly begins at 40 x

  24. Such a great post, being only a few years away from 30 I literally have no idea about huge aspects of my life. Like you I have a money goal of what I want to earn but not a massive idea of what I want to do. 30 sounds so long away when you’re a teenager but it quickly creeps up x

  25. I’m 19 now and currently struggling with career decisions so It’s reassuring to read about how you struggled for years even after uni so I need not worry about it so much 🙂

  26. Being only 22 years old I love your message to the readers. I have a personal finance blog and I preach financial goals all the time to my readers. There is so much reckless spending today that people will never retire! Appreciated the career and life goals as well 🙂

  27. My 33rd birthday is coming up this week, and honestly, I’ve been looking forward to my mid-30s for my whole life! I felt like this was when I’d have it all together, and so far, I seem to be on the right track for that to be true!

  28. I still believe that there is nothing too late in setting your goals and making achievements. And indeed, life can start at 30 🙂 I also love chocolate, cake and cheese or my 3C’s. I just lessen chips nowadays. Haha.

  29. Completely on board with this! 30 is not the beginning of the end, that is complete BS. Thank you for sharing some details on your aspirations, I love reading about goals — it always helps me work on mine. I’m currently working on the second draft of my novel!

  30. OMG I love chocolate, cake, chips and cheese too!!!! Many of my friends are almost 40 and have yet to have children, and do many other things they want to do, life is only over when it literally is as far as we’re concerned it’s generally never too late to do things.

  31. Lovely post Hannah! I love cake, chocolate and chips too!! I am nearly in my mid 40’s and I have put so much weight on since Christmas, I really need to do something about it!! Good to get to know you a bit more. Off to check out your Instagram feed now 🙂

  32. It feels like my life only started when I turned 30. I ended an abusive marriage and really felt like I started living for the first time!!

    And the older I get the more fun I am having. I think the older you get the more you don’t care about what everyone else thinks and just get on with doing your thing!

  33. Great post! Very motivational. Im 32 and have been living in th same area most of my life. Next year im uprooting and moving across the country. More adventure. More travelling. Those are my goals!

  34. I must say this post have spoken to me in more levels than I knew, I will be 30 next year and turning 29 in 3 days the idea that I had missed my boat (marriage, kids etc) pretty much freaked me out but I am learning to be at peace with that and continue enjoying my life

  35. This is a great post, absolutely motivational! I love your message and I totally agree with you: it’s never too late to achieve our personal goals 🙂

  36. Getting older really does bring more wisdom! I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin and better at making choices that suit me since my 30s and beyond!

  37. I am in my 40’s and my older 2 kids are 18 and 21.
    In my experience it really depends on the individual. While some things are definately better after 30 and even 40 some younger people know what they want from life from a young age.
    My 21yr has known what she wanted since she was 9 and she still wishes to follow those dreams and with each year is closer to achieving them.

  38. I agree so wholeheartedly with this post, everything changed for me when I hit 30 but in no way like all those terrible things you hear in the media! I’m more ambitious, I’ve just started playing a team sport (roller derby) and I’m feeling younger and more carefree than ever. Age really is just a number and something I too am so passionate about, love you post & your blog and will be following for more updates!

  39. This post gives me so much hope. Im in mid 20s and im having a breakout. Society has so much standards especially for us women and sometimes I feel like im running out of time. I want to have a career but I also wanna travel the world. And then we have the marriage and kids.

  40. Such a great read 🙂 I’m 35 have 2 children my career in London is no more but I now have very different life goals. Amazing how you life changes but I’m definetly happier being in my thirties. Signing up for your ecourse because I could definetly do with a little help when it comes to being good with money!!! So glad I found your blog 🙂

  41. Love this. I turned 36 this year, and sometimes I feel like I’m so “late” in life. Then I realize how many years I have until I’m 60. I can do so much in that time. I had my first child at 31, and I’ve learned so much since then. I’m growing so much as a person, and really love who I am now compared to 10 years ago.

  42. Good wisdom here, Hannah. 🙂 I’ll be 32 this year and completely agree on so many of these areas. I remember as a kid thinking 30 was so old and now I feel like it truly is the beginning of so many good things. Discovered you via the FB blog group and look forward to visiting again soon! 🙂

  43. I love the personality reflected in your writing, especially in the beginning. The humor “say goodbye to decent boobs” lol
    Brilliant read and so well laid out, I felt like that was a solid A-Z plan for anyone needing direction and motivation.
    You honestly don’t look anything near 30 though but gunbatte on all your goals for after 30.

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