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Starting Over In Your 30s: Where To Go From Here

Starting over in your 30s can be a daunting prospect, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to reinvent yourself and create the life you truly want.

Do you ever feel like your life has become stagnant and unfulfilling? Are you in your 30s and looking for something more in life but don’t know how to move forward?

Starting over can sound daunting, especially in your 30s when many of your peers have already established their lives and find contentment.

But starting over is often the best way to re-energize yourself and create a life that will bring fulfillment.

The year I turned 30, I made some big changes in my life. My husband and I were living in downtown Seattle with our 18 month old son. We were actively house hunting but struggling to find what we wanted.

We suddenly felt like this wasn’t the life we wanted to live. So while expecting our second son, we relocated our entire family across the country to a small town in Pennsylvania. The changes we made were in-line with our values and we are so much happier in our new location and pace of life.

two women drinking wine outside

The Quarter-Life Crisis

When you leave your late 20s behind and enter a new decade in your early 30s, a lot of experience what is called a quarter-life crisis. You might be questioning the choices of your whole life wondering how you ended up here.

It’s an unsettling, but normal feeling at this time of life.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips for starting over in your 30s including removing toxic influences from your life, creating goals that are meaningful and achievable, finding support systems to rely on as well as identifying new hobbies or activities with which you could further enrich your experiences.

So if you’re ready to make bold changes in order to lead an inspiring live then read on!

Starting Over In Your 30s

Recognizing the Signs of Needing a Fresh Start – Finding Your “Why”

One of the first steps and a good starting point is to figure out your “why.” Why are you seeking this change? This is a great first step to take.

Sometimes, life can feel like it’s moving too fast. You wake up one day and realize you’re stuck in a rut.

Maybe you’re constantly tired, unmotivated, and feeling like you’re going through the motions.

Or perhaps you find yourself in a job you hate with your current career, a dead-end relationship, or just overall unhappy with your life.

Recognizing the signs that you need a fresh start can be tough, but it’s important to listen to your gut.

Are you daydreaming about a new job? Have you lost touch with old friends or stopped doing things you once loved?

These could all be warning signs that it’s time for a change. Remember, it’s never too late to turn your life around and start fresh.

And try not to compare yourself to friends or family members you see on social media. Their dream job doesn’t have to be your dream job. The good news is that we are all on our own paths.

two women sitting at a table

Reasons why people start over in their 30s:

There are many reasons why people “start over” in their 30s. Here are some of them.

1. To Pursue a New Career:

Many people in their 30s are looking for more meaningful work that gives them purpose and direction than what their current job offers.

You may have been thinking about a career switch but haven’t had the confidence to make the change until now.

People might make the change even if they have a seemingly successful career so that they can pursue a new passion or make a higher salary. At the end of the day, the specific reason doesn’t matter all that much.

If you’re looking for a new career path, perhaps explore a new field with new challenges. You likely have many transferable skills and soft skills. You just need to find the energy to make the switch.

Give yourself plenty of time to do research on what industry you’d like to move into. Are you open to learning new skills? How can you tap into your network? The beautiful thing is that in your 30s, you have spent the last decade establishing yourself in your career so you likely know a lot of people and have solid skills.

2. To Find a New Relationship:

If you’ve been single for too long or in a relationship that’s not healthy, it might be time to start fresh and find someone who truly values and respects you.

Good relationships take time. If you’ve learned a valuable lesson through a toxic relationship or a rough breakup, the good news is that many people in their 30s are in the same spot in the dating pool.

There are plenty of men and women out there looking to start a new relationship. At this age, you may find yourself dating older or dating younger. But put yourself out there, let this be a starting point.

3. To Re-evaluate Your Priorities:

Life can get busy and hectic, so sometimes it helps to stop and re-evaluate your goals, dreams, and priorities. What do you actually want in life?

Take some time and jot down what your ideal day looks like. How do you spend your time? How do you support your mental health?

Living in a schedule that does not align with out authentic self is damaging.

woman sitting a chair with a notebook

4. To Reconnect with Yourself:

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it’s important to take time for yourself so that you can reconnect with yourself on a deeper level.

5. To Find Meaning and Purpose:

The 30s are a great time to find purpose and meaning in life.

Many people decide to pursue their passions or start a new business venture during this decade, as they have the confidence and skills needed to succeed.

What are the challenges of starting over in your 30s

There are many challenges you might face when starting over in your 30s. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Stigma:

Society is often judgmental of those who make drastic changes, especially when they’re in their 30s.

You might encounter people who don’t understand why you want to start over and try to discourage you from doing so.

2. Financial Insecurity:

Starting over often involves a financial commitment which can be difficult to manage.

You may need to take on additional side jobs or investments in order to support your new life.

3. Fear of the Unknown:

The idea of starting over can be intimidating and it is completely normal to feel fear when faced with such a big change.

You may worry about failing or not knowing where to start.

4. Balancing responsibilities:

Many people in their 30s have additional responsibilities such as children or aging parents, which can make it difficult to devote the time and energy needed for starting over.

two women baking cookies

5. Isolation:

It’s important to surround yourself with a supportive network when you’re making such a big change. However, it can be hard to find people who are going through similar experiences or who understand your journey.

6. Lack of Support:

It can be difficult to find people who are willing to offer emotional support and understanding when you’re starting over. You may feel like no one is in your corner or that no one truly understands the challenges you face.

Starting over in your 30s can be a daunting task, but it’s also an exciting and empowering experience.

It’s never too late to make changes and create the life you want for yourself. You are not a failure. Taking control of your life can help you find happiness, fulfillment, and a new sense of purpose.

Steps To Take When Starting Over In Your 30s

There are many steps you can take when you decide to start your life over in your 30s.

You don’t have to follow these steps exactly as written, but consider them all part of your journey.

1. Evaluate your current situation:

Take time to examine your current situation and assess what you’re unhappy with.

Make a list of the things that need to change or be improved.

2. Set goals and determine your priorities:

One of the next steps is to think about what you want to achieve when starting over in your 30s.

Write down short-term and long-term goals so that you have an idea of the direction you want to head in.

3. Make a plan:

Now that you know what your goals and priorities are, create a plan for how to reach those goals.

This could include taking classes, getting certifications, or applying for new jobs.

Do you need to get a new degree? Can your first job or previous career be a stepping stone? Get a plan in place to move forward.

woman sitting at a desk

4. Take action:

Start making changes and taking steps in the direction of your goals.

This could include making a career switch, moving to a different city, or working on side projects.

5. Take care of yourself:

Starting over is an emotional process that can take its toll on you mentally and physically.

Make sure to take time for yourself to rest, relax, and recharge.

We all know the importance of taking care of our body and mind, but sometimes life gets in the way and we forget to do so.

Giving your body the right amount of sleep, hydration, and exercise helps keep your mind sharp and your body running smoothly.

Eating healthy foods that are high in nutrients and low in processed ingredients also plays a huge role in overall health.

Of course, taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.

Take some time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, meditating, or taking a bubble bath. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary for a happy and healthy life.

6. Adjust as necessary:

As you go through the process of starting over, you may find that your goals and plans need to change.

Adjust as necessary and remember that it’s OK if things don’t always go according to plan.

As life progresses, it is important to stay flexible and open to making changes in your plans. Life has a way of throwing curveballs that can throw off all the best-laid plans.

Adjusting your strategy when necessary can help keep you on track and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Being able to recognize when adjusting is needed, whether it be a change in job, city, or lifestyle, is an important skill to have.

Starting over can be intimidating and overwhelming, but don’t let fear stop you from taking control of your life.

Take the necessary steps to start living the life you want for yourself and never forget that it’s never too late to make a change.

woman writing in a journal

Strategies For Success When Starting Over In Your 30s

So, you’re at a crossroads and need to figure out how to move forward. First of all, take a deep breath and remember that everything is going to be okay.

The key to creating a plan for moving forward is to start by assessing your situation. Take a step back and consider what led you to this crossroad in the first place.

Reflect on what’s working for you, what’s not, and what you’d like to change. Once you’ve identified the key issues, you can start to brainstorm potential solutions.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box or enlist the help of others. Just remember that creating a plan takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and trust that you’ll find a way forward one step at a time.

Here are some more effective strategies for success when starting over in your 30s.

starting over at 30

1. Build a Network of Supportive People

Life can be tough at times, which is why building a network of supportive people is so important.

Whether it’s family, friends, or acquaintances, having a group of people who are there to offer advice, lend a listening ear, or even just make you laugh can be extremely beneficial.

Plus, it’s a two-way street – being a supportive friend or family member also has its own rewards.

So, don’t be afraid to reach out when you need help or to offer an ear to listen when someone else needs it.

Together, we can all build a supportive community that brings out the best in everyone.

2. Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the most important things you can do for personal growth and development is to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

It’s kind of like taking an inventory of yourself. What are you really good at? Also, what comes easily to you? What traits do people compliment you on? These are your strengths.

On the other hand, what do you struggle with? What do you avoid doing? What feedback have you received that you need to work on? These are your weaknesses.

Identifying these things can help you become more self-aware, allowing you to develop strategies to build on your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.

It’s not always easy to do (trust me, I’ve been there), but it’s definitely worth the effort.

two woman talking about work at a desk

5. Evaluating Your Finances

Money can be a tricky subject, but evaluating your finances is an important step towards achieving your financial goals.

It’s like a health checkup for your wallet! Start by tracking your expenses and categorizing them into essential and non-essential spending. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back, and ultimately save more money.

Don’t forget about debts and loans, either – take the time to assess your outstanding balances and interest rates.

Once you have a clear picture of your financial situation, it’ll be easier to set realistic goals and make a plan to achieve them. Remember, small changes can have a big impact on your overall financial health!

Examples of Successful Restarts In Your 30s

The names and places of these stories have been changed to protect the identities of their contributors.

1. Amanda got divorced and moved away from her hometown to start over.

She enrolled in a technical school and got certified as a medical assistant.

After several years of hard work, she now works in one of the best clinics in the city and couldn’t be happier.

2. Dave was laid off from his job after 15 years of working for the same company.

He decided to use this opportunity to start his own business.

He used a combination of savings, small business loans, and crowdfunding to get his venture off the ground.

Today, he owns a successful construction company that employs dozens of people.

3. Ashley was burnt out from her corporate job.

She decided to pursue her dream of becoming a professional photographer instead. She went back to school to get her degree and took on freelance gigs while she was still studying.

Now, she runs a successful photography business and is booked months in advance!

4. Allison left an abusive marriage.

She moved back home with her parents to restart her life. She went to therapy, found a new career she adores working with animals, and is a new loving relationship.

These stories are proof that it’s never too late to make a fresh start or pursue your dreams. You just have to believe in yourself, develop a plan of action, and stay focused on your goals. Good luck!

two women drinking smoothies

In Summary: Starting Over In Your 30s

Starting over in your 30s can be overwhelming and intimidating, but it’s worth the effort.

Making sure to take proper care of yourself, build a network of supportive people, and evaluate your finances are all key steps to make the process easier.

By embracing who you are and utilizing your strengths to create a plan for moving forward, you’re setting yourself up for future success.

To start this process off right, it’s important to recognize the signs that you need a fresh start—like being unable to find purpose through current activities or despairing due to stagnation—and open yourself up to all new possibilities in front of you.

With the right attitude and some hard work, you can find success in this new chapter of your life.

Health and Skincare In Your 30s

About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.