How to get your life together – definitely the favorite question of millennials and angst-ridden individuals alike. There’s a reason why it seems that the whole world is struggling to reclaim the course of their own life and it all boils down to managing our own expectations. Now, the following get your life together checklist is not a magic formula that will suddenly make your efforts worthwhile, but it can turn to be an amazing ally if you seriously wish to grasp the notion of what truly means to value your journey on this particular earthly plane.
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- 1 1. It’s time to stop complaining
- 2 2. Do something!
- 3 3. How to get your life together with goal setting
- 4 4. Embrace the organization tactic
- 5 5. Choose your company wisely
- 6 6. Remove yourself from all the drama
- 7 7. Take care of another
- 8 8. Happiness is not an external thing
- 9 9. Accept yourself for who you are
- 10 10. Listen to your inner voice
- 11 11. Engage in things you truly enjoy
- 12 12. It’s OK to feel negative emotions
- 13 13. Stick to your word
- 14 14. Widen your horizon of experiences
- 15 15. Take good care of your body
- 16 16. There’s no time like the present
- 17 17. Try to cut out things that are bad for you
- 18 18. Practice self-care
- 19 19. Maybe it’s time for more obvious changes
- 20 20. Perfection doesn’t exist
- 21 21. Not every little thing is personal
- 22 22. In the end, it’s your self-image that matters
1. It’s time to stop complaining
We just love to complain. We complain about the weather, about the food we eat, about the actions we take or fail to take, about the situations in the world we have absolutely no control over, and pretty much everything else that we can think of. Does this seem like a good way to live? Of course not.
Complaints are, in essence, negative thoughts. You might not be aware of this, but we honestly tend to have more than a hundred negative thoughts per day. And you’ve probably guessed it, one of the first tips to change your life is to focus on the positive more.
When you wake up and see it’s raining, try to think how the rain will help the plants and crops grow, or how the earth will smell nice afterward; don’t just think “oh no, this rain is ruining my mood from the very start of the day”. This is just a simple example, but if you consider your thought processes carefully, you’re bound to find this “error in judgment” for a bunch of different things that we encounter during the day.
In order to start living a better life and find meaning in the concept of getting one’s life together, it’s imperative that we practice gratitude and positivity in the mundane and daily tasks. This is a serious matter; it’s too easy to succumb to negativity and complain to the universe even when you have to wash your face or brush your hair. This negativity is eating you up from the inside, making it impossible to make the change you long for.
So, to begin with, do yourself a favor and make a conscious effort to find more silver linings in everyday situations instead of just complaining inside your head.
2. Do something!
Let’s not beat around the bush here; if you’re wondering how to get your life together, you’re probably waiting for some external force to magically happen and make everything better. News flash – there is no external force – only you.
You don’t need anything but your own internal power to get proactive in your daily life and finally do something that would warrant a gradual change. Just do something, however small – do it!
For instance, you might be obsessed with losing weight and/or getting in shape. Still, you tend to wallow in self-pity every second of your free time as you wait for the magic burst of willpower to flood your senses. It doesn’t work like that. You really have to get up, change into your workout clothes, and start moving if you want the change to happen! No one can do this in your stead. Even wizards from the stories have to find the power within in order to learn the spells; why would you or anyone else be different?
The power to act and do is yours!
3. How to get your life together with goal setting
Chances are you’re already very familiar with the concept of goal setting. But have you been setting the right goals for yourself? It’s great to have a goal like “this time next year I’ll be a millionaire” but how realistic is this goal, really? Are you actively working on becoming this millionaire? Do you have an action plan? No? Well then, it won’t work.
Goals and dreams can overlap sometimes, but if you tend to dream big, it’s crucial that you’re more practical with your goal setting. Your goals have to be achievable in order to motivate you and push you further toward your dream.
To continue with the example of money, it’s not necessary to set a goal as high as becoming a millionaire in order to use it as your moving force. Instead, set a more realistic amount of money you wish to save by this time next year. That way, you can create a bunch of smaller goals that are achievable and measurable. Consider your current situation and earnings so that you can come up with a plausible savings plan. Start practicing the actions required by this savings plan. And, most importantly, don’t beat yourself over the fact that sometimes you’ll have to deal with unforeseen expenses. This is life and getting it together means not giving up when you’re already doing something practical, meaningful, and purposeful.
4. Embrace the organization tactic
If you want to learn how to get your life in order you have to create order in your life. Simple as that. Before you tackle the order within yourself, start with things you actually can control right now – your home.
It might seem like a gimmick but the fact of the matter is that one of the most effective tips to change your life revolves around organization and order in your personal environment.
Your personal environment has a huge effect on your mental and emotional well-being, even though you may not be consciously aware of it. If you find your home is too cluttered or doesn’t fit the ideal lifestyle you wish to lead, why not make some good changes to the place?
If you’re still not sold on this practice 100%, start by organizing something small such as your wardrobe. Get rid of the things you never seem to wear so that you can organize your clothes in a way that makes you happy and easy to pick out. You’re bound to notice a flow of positive energy once you’re done. Continue by organizing just one room in your home to progress the process and you’ll experience an even stronger perception shift.
Fortunately, there are always things in our lives that could do with a bit more organization. Once you’re done with your home, you can move to your yard, your car, take up scheduling your tasks, creating to-do lists for your work or shopping, and so on.
Creating an order where you can is essential for allowing you to recognize that it’s you who can make a positive change.
5. Choose your company wisely
People you spend most of your time with will influence your behavior and attitude towards life a lot. No matter how strong your sense of individuality is, people in your life will always contribute to your views and actions. And if you’re constantly together with people who tend to be very negative, you can’t really expect to have a burst of positive energy yourself.
No matter what we do and what choices we make in life, it’s almost unavoidable to have some toxic people near you. Now, you don’t have to cut these people out of your life completely if you care for them, but you can and should minimize contact with them.
Think about all the individuals that you connect with regularly. Who are the people that make you feel uplifted, happy, and confident after spending some time with them? Answer this question and you’ll also find the ideal group of people that you can share your life with as you’re working on get your life together checklist.
6. Remove yourself from all the drama
You might be quite content with your inner circle of friends but, unfortunately, we simply cannot escape drama completely. Whether it’s the people that hang out with you and your family/friends on occasion, colleagues at work, or even some family members, the drama will inevitably occur at some point.
As someone who’s sensitive and desperately looks for a way out of uncomfortable situations, you might feel the need to get involved, defend your or other people’s actions, justify your words and/or choices, and so on. But you know what? People who deliberately tend to create drama or make a mountain out of a molehill, do this intentionally. No matter what you say or do they will continue to dramatize things, especially if stronger emotions are involved. That said, one of the biggest lessons you’ll have to learn in order to get your life together is to simply ignore all the drama that may be thrown at you.
When you think about it, why should you put yourself through unpleasant situations where people would accuse you of being someone you’re not? This can only hinder the efforts you’ve made to become a stronger individual so far. No one deserves to be unjustly pulled into a malicious circle of false stories and gossip, and neither do you.
7. Take care of another
Even though your focus is your own life, it’s crucial that you find a way to get out of your head. If you constantly think about your own benefit and analyze every single thing you do or don’t do, things are only going to get more complicated and difficult. But, taking care of another soul can be an amazing way to experience responsibility and recognize your own skill to make a difference in someone else’s life. That said, getting a pet may as well be the right trick to help you on your learning journey of how to get your life together.
Do you think this is silly? Well, the change might not be accompanied by fireworks, but having a pet to spend time with and take care of has provenly led to stress relief and mood increase for many a pet owner across the globe.
Think about it – when you’re responsible for the well-being of another, you have to make some effort to create a comprehensive schedule during the day. This may be a small but considerably strong step in the right direction when you’re looking at how to get your life in order.
8. Happiness is not an external thing
One of the biggest problems our society as a whole has is the fact that we’re constantly looking for external sources of happiness. Sadly, this is also a rather difficult habit to break. But precisely because it’s so difficult, you don’t have to force yourself to completely eradicate it. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice every once in a while, be it a weekend trip, new clothes/accessories, a meal in a fancy restaurant, and so on.
The true problem lies in the excessive pursuit of external happiness. Extremely bad habits such as drugs, alcohol, and binging are the most severe consequences of looking for the happy feeling elsewhere. Obviously, these issues have to be addressed and treated with care.
That doesn’t mean that if you’re not excessive in your bad habits you don’t have to work hard. Even shopping can become too addictive when you create a false belief that new stuff will make you happy. Whatever it is you do to make yourself feel better and happier for a short while needs some evaluation.
No one can tell you what the best way to break a habit is for you, but the best start for people thinking “how to change my life to the better” is to accept the fact that happiness always and unmistakably lies within. You are the source of your own serotonin and any other external source of happiness is, truthfully, the fool’s gold.
9. Accept yourself for who you are
To be and love yourself is all that you can do. This is the ultimate truth. But as you’re trying hard to change your life, you might think that you have to change yourself to the core. Don’t fall into this trap. You may have to change your attitude towards life and some bad habits but remember – you are not your habits. There’s no need to be afraid to let your personality shine.
The problem may lie in your ability to recognize your diverse personality traits and individuality. If this is the case, it’s paramount that you give yourself time to discover what lies beneath the mask you’ve created. Start by differentiating this mask from your real self. You might learn more about yourself by finding clear patterns in how you wish other people to perceive you. But that concept is wrong, to begin with; you shouldn’t concern yourself with how others think of you. When you’re sure of yourself, the masks fall, and it’s the people who truly love and care for you that remain.
Remember, just by being here in this world, your existence is already validated. The only acceptance you need to seek is your own.
10. Listen to your inner voice
Your inner voice or your gut feeling is a very important variable on your get your life together checklist; in order to be yourself, as previously mentioned, and make the choices that align with your personality, it’s paramount that you actually start making decisions for yourself. If you live your life by listening to what others dictate, chances are you’ll never be happy, and, as a consequence, you won’t learn how to get your life together.
This doesn’t mean you should never ask others for advice; sure, ask away, but make sure that you’re always the one to make the final decision that matches your ideals, goals, as well as your gut feeling. Hushing your inner voice constantly will create a turmoil deep within your soul. This is your entire being protesting because you fail to take the wheel of your life. But if you don’t want to do that, how on earth could you hope to make a change? Your life needs you to take charge!
11. Engage in things you truly enjoy
Getting your life together is not all about a practical approach and searching for the answers within. Sometimes, you just simply have to relax and enjoy the things that make your heart happy. But the sad reality is that people who are constantly stressing about making the right choices, organizing their life, and getting things in order more often than not fail to fill their free time with activities they used to like so much.
You probably already know just how important it is to let yourself unwind and have some pure fun. This reduces the feelings of stress and anxiety and provides a considerable mood and energy boost. It doesn’t matter what type of activity you fancy engaging in the most, from reading a book to hiking in nature, it’s your hobbies and interests that will pull you through into the concept of the order you so desperately seek.
12. It’s OK to feel negative emotions
It’s true that one of the main tips on how to get your life together includes more positive thinking and less complaining, as mentioned previously. This focuses more on your attitude towards life. However, it’s also true that some situations will inevitably cause you to feel negative emotions which are completely justified.
We all like to immerse ourselves in the positive when we can. But, a great majority of people also tend to avoid facing those more difficult emotions as if accepting them is going to make things worse. Quite the contrary, trying to avoid them is what makes things worse in the long run.
Just because you’re not at the top of your game some days or actually feel really sad and distraught for one reason or another, give yourself time to process your feelings. Let yourself be the complete human being who has both yin and yang within. Light cannot exist without the darkness, and we humans cannot live a full and happy life without accepting all parts of our existence, both the good and the bad. After all, to what impossible standards are you holding yourself up to when you think you’re not allowed to feel the whole spectrum of emotions?
13. Stick to your word
How many times have you trapped yourself by promising to do something only not to do it and feeling all stressed and anxious about it? One too many times undoubtedly. This is the time to realize that it’s you who has the right to say yes or no and decide what things you can do and what’s not possible to accomplish at the moment. What’s more, being realistic with your own capabilities will only make you look more responsible in the eyes of other people in your life, even if the matter is purely about you.
That said, if you constantly say how you’ll start exercising or eating healthier, but also push this change to the next Monday for weeks and months on end, people who listen to you will simply stop taking you seriously. Even worse, you yourself will stop believing your own words. In that sense, actually doing what you say you’ll do will have a much bigger impact on your own peace of mind and help you with finding your way in the “how to change my life labyrinth”.
You might think that you’re disappointing others by not sticking to your word, but the fact is you’re disappointing yourself even more. This can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and self-loathing which is very difficult to get out of. Therefore, keep in mind that you don’t owe your time and effort to others – only to yourself.
14. Widen your horizon of experiences
Now, no one says that you have to do a bunch of things you’ve never dreamed of doing just for the sake of getting new experiences. This isn’t how you get your life together. But, you can make a positive difference within your mindset if you finally find the courage to try things you actually want to experience. So, don’t shy away from opportunities that could bring you joy, happiness, excitement, and lifelong memories. Stepping out of your comfort zone may be scary but if you recognize your desire to proceed and let go, fight the fear with all you’ve got.
Not only is this a great way to learn for yourself just how simple it is to make new choices and have fun while doing so, but it will also allow you to meet more people, socialize, open up, and find that life doesn’t have to be tedious, scary, or unfulfilling.
15. Take good care of your body
There’s absolutely no way to learn how to get your life in order if you consistently ignore your physical health. No matter how tired you are of hearing this, the fact of the matter is that your physical condition and well-being have an immense effect on your mental and emotional state as well as the ability to become strong enough in order to get your life together.
Physical activity will do wonders for your body inside out. Not only will you gradually see a change in your appearance, but you’ll soon notice amazing benefits for your mental condition, too. Through physical activity, our bodies release toxins, thus keeping a favorable balance in your neurological system. Your joints get more flexible, which instantly reduces pain. What’s more, physical activity is the most natural way to get a burst of energy and happiness through the body’s production of serotonin. With all that said, why not make use of it on your journey to get your life together?
Aside from regular physical activity, healthy eating is also important. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch all your favorite foods and drinks for good. You can treat yourself to a hearty meal or even junk food occasionally, as long as you make healthy eating a norm. Eating healthy is not all that difficult either. It’s recommended to have three main meals and two snacks in between. Avoid saturated fats and overly processed foods while enriching your plate with more fruits, veggies, and lean meat. Also, think about fruits and veggies that you love; if you hate broccoli with passion, don’t force yourself to eat it. There are bound to be different kinds of fruit and vegetables that you actually like the taste of, so focus on those first.
16. There’s no time like the present
The past is in the past and future holds as much truth as a fairy tale. The only time you should focus on is your present. Wherever you look for advice and tips on mindfulness and stress-free lifestyle, you’ll find that present living is a crucial part of how to get your life together.
Instead of wasting your precious time and clouding your mind with thinking about your past, or not doing anything valuable while daydreaming about the future, remember that only your present life and present actions will make a difference for the future as well as make your past more meaningful.
Of course, our past is what shaped us but that doesn’t mean it’s alright to get stuck in it. It may not seem fair but we have to move on in order to live. If you haven’t moved on or dreamily wait for a magic future, you won’t be doing anything about bringing the change you wish for.
It’s the present that holds the answer to how to change my life question. In the present you do and in the present you change.
17. Try to cut out things that are bad for you
Smoking and alcohol may be your way to relax and have fun, especially during the weekend, but it’s also important to realize that these habits affect your health and mental stability. Now, smoking is tough to quit, and if you’re an avid smoker, you have probably thought about quitting countless times already. Hopefully, you will find a way to get rid of this habit or at least cut back on the cigarettes in order to improve your quality of life.
The bigger issue, in this case, can be alcohol. Of course, if you just tend to drink a glass or two of wine or beer during the weekends, you probably don’t have too much to worry about. But, if you find that it’s getting more difficult to control your drinking urges, it’s paramount that you do everything in your power to quit alcohol consumption. This is especially imperative for people who find they suffer from really debilitating hangovers or tend to get depressed and stuck in bed all day after a night of drinking. If this happens to you too, this is a clear sign that alcohol is messing up your body chemistry worse than what’s typical.
18. Practice self-care
Self-care means something different for everyone. As someone who’s wondering how to get your life together, chances are you need to devote more time to your own wellness. We have already covered just how important the state of your personal environment is. In that respect, even tidying up and organizing your home can be considered self-care.
Furthermore, your willingness to engage in activities that bring you joy are also an essential part of the process. However, this is where you need to be careful; sometimes, people who feel lost tend to spend too much time immersed in hobby-like activities without getting any real work done at all. If you have a similar problem, your first self-care tip should involve organizing and scheduling your time better so that you can manage all of your tasks properly and still have time for hobbies.
As stated, taking care of your body is a must on this journey. Aside from physical activity and healthy eating, which are priorities of the self-care concept, why not give a skincare routine a shot? It’s not necessary to buy tons of expensive creams and lotions or spend too much time on an elaborate skincare regimen – unless you want to. Even just a couple of minutes you take to apply one lotion or serum, exfoliate your skin, put makeup in the morning (if you wear it), apply a conditioner after you shampoo, and possibly even massage your face and body are more than enough to provide you with good skincare results, and, more importantly, the sense of keeping things in control.
19. Maybe it’s time for more obvious changes
By trying to get your life in order, you obviously focus on making positive changes in your attitude and daily habits and activities. However, it might happen that the biggest cause of your chronic dissatisfaction lies in something much more prominent in your life. Do you hate your current job? Maybe you dislike your roommate or want to move out of your parents’ home. Does your romantic relationship troubles you more than it brings joy? These are some of the existential aspects that can weigh heavily on a person’s mind, thus causing them to feel trapped and smothered, without a clear course in front of them. In this situation, it’s difficult to take charge of your life as well.
That said, a very difficult decision is before you. You have to take the time to assess your current situation and pinpoint whether there are some big aspects of your life that are truly putting your down. It may all seem like an impossible mission, but no one will love you more or respect you more if you put up with things that stress you out to no end. You’ll only end up stressed out, lost, and possibly even physically ill from all the negativity you experience constantly. So, who are you trying to protect by not making a move to change YOUR life for the better? It’s your right to seek betterment and happiness, and if the answer lies in a career change or breaking up with your partner, so be it.
20. Perfection doesn’t exist
There’s no such thing as living a perfect life. Getting your life together doesn’t have anything to do with managing different things perfectly. The focus should be on your progress, not perfection. Keep this in mind as you actively involve yourself with the changes. Just like with everything new, it’s only natural to stumble and fall, but the true power of having it together is to be able to get up and continue once that happens.
Don’t waste time and energy on comparing yourself to other people. In this day and age when we see people on social media, their life may easily seem perfect. But that’s definitely not true. These people may be happy, they may have their sad moments like everyone else, chase their own dreams, and battle their own demons. But you won’t see these details in their social media posts and photos. All you’ll get to see are smiling faces and people having a great time. Obviously, these are situations that one would want to savor and share with others.
So, no comparing and no looking for perfection. These are pointless and energy-draining notions that can only slow you down on your journey. Your life is your own just like someone else’s life is their own. People will always share some same interests and preferences, but ultimately, we are all unique and inherently different. Such differences should be celebrated – not used as a self-degrading manner of comparison.
21. Not every little thing is personal
Humans simply can’t get away from their own self-centered view of the world. And that’s OK; we are, after all, the center of our own universe. But that’s the thing – it doesn’t mean we’re the center of someone else’s universe.
Throughout your life, there are bound to be certain situations when you’ll feel attacked or scorned in one way or another. Other people around you may make decisions that won’t end up the most favorable for you. But, and keep this in mind constantly, this doesn’t mean that those people planned to make those decisions just so that they could spite you. Just like you, they are also trying to do the best thing for their own life and peace of mind. If you don’t want to focus too much on what other people want in order to get your own life together, why would you expect others to do that? Not everything unfavorable that happens to you is personal or strategically aimed at you.
And you know what? If you’re absolutely positive that someone purposefully acts in order to bring you down, the problem lies within them, not you. Do your best to distance yourself from this person.
22. In the end, it’s your self-image that matters
As you could probably see from the previous tips, the biggest portion of work involved in getting your life together focuses on your view of the world but your own self-image as well. In order to get your life in order, you also have to work on loving yourself more.
Being in control of your life is not just about practical or material things; it’s not only about how much or hard you work or how devoted you are to your goals. Even if you find a way to function highly efficiently when it comes to your livelihood, you will never feel like you have it together if you’re deeply unsatisfied with yourself.
This is why self-care is so valuable in every single thing you do and every action you decide to take – or not to take. Self-love and getting your life together go hand in hand. Respect and love yourself for who you are and all the effort you’re putting into changing the old negative ways that have been binding you from living the life with your whole heart.
No change can happen quickly. And changes of mind and attitude take the longest to recognize. Just like you need to engage in something for a set number of times to form a habit, you have to push yourself forward consistently to make decisions that will ultimately lead to a stronger sense of self and let you take control over your life.