Do you ever feel like your life isn’t quite as put together as you thought it would be? Don’t worry; you aren’t alone. And while there’s some comfort to be had in knowing that you aren’t behind your peers in getting your life together, it can still feel disheartening.
After all, most of us had a vision of what adulthood would look like. We would have a stable job, plenty of disposable income, a beautiful home, and maybe a somewhat glamorous lifestyle. It’s not too late to achieve that vision you had in mind.
You can start making the changes you want by telling yourself, "I'm getting my life together," then follow this get your life together checklist to make it happen!
Getting your life together in 16 steps
So, if you're ready to get your act together, follow these simple steps to get started!
1. Start getting your life together by making a list of your current circumstances
To decide what you want your future life to look like, it’s important to first acknowledge where you are today. If your life isn’t exactly where you hoped it would be, then it might feel easier to ignore your current circumstances. But you can’t make meaningful change without taking a hard look at where you are today.
First, make a list of your current circumstances in each area of your life. Areas you might make a note of include:
- Your current job
- Love life
- Health and fitness
- Your religion or spirituality
Your list should include everything you want to improve on!
2. Decide which parts of your life you’re happy with (and which you aren’t)
The next step in getting your life together is deciding which of your current circumstances are exactly where you want them to be and which aren’t.
First, go through the list of your current circumstances and indicate which ones you’re happy with. This part is easy since you don’t need to make any meaningful changes there. The harder part is going through your list and highlighting the circumstances you aren’t happy with.
Sure, it might be hard to see just how many parts of your life aren’t where you want them to be. But now that you’ve identified them, you can start making a plan to change them and get your act together.
3. Set specific goals
Once you know what areas of your life you’d like to change, you can start setting goals to improve them.
When you’re setting goals for yourself, try to be as specific as possible. It’s not enough to just decide you’re going to get your finances in order. Instead, you should set specific financial goals such as starting a budget, saving $1,000, or paying off your credit card debt.
Set one or two specific goals for each area of your life that you’d like to improve. Some areas might seem more difficult than others. After all, how do you set specific and quantifiable goals for your relationships? Well, in that case, you could set the goal of having a coffee date or phone call with one friend each week.
Once you decide on your goals, make sure to write them down. Data shows that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. For an extra boost of motivation, write them down and place them somewhere you’ll see them every day.
Also, don't forget how powerful positive affirmations can be. So, telling yourself, "I'm getting my life together" or "I have my life together" can be a huge impact on accomplishing your goals!
4. Start small when trying to get your act together
You can’t get your act together all in one day. Instead, you have to start small. As you decide what changes you want to make in your life, break them down into small, bite-sized pieces.
Sure, saving $10,000 is a great goal. But it’s not one that most people can achieve in just a few months. Instead, set a goal for how much you want to save each week, month, or paycheck.
Similarly, start small when it comes to changing your habits. Let’s say one of your goals is to get in better shape. If you currently don’t exercise at all, then it’s not sustainable to set the goal of working out six days per week. You’ll burn out pretty quickly that way.
Instead, start with one or two days. When you’re consistently sticking with that, then you can add another day or two. Getting your life together can be accomplished by getting 1% better every day!
5. Organize your physical space
A huge part of getting your life together is getting organized. Often, a disorganized physical space can make you feel disorganized in other areas of your life. Imagine waking up in the morning and having a hard time finding your keys because your kitchen is cluttered.
Suddenly you’re late for work and have higher stress the rest of the day. And not only is your stress higher at work, but you might even be dreading going home, knowing that you’ll have to deal with the clutter.
Clearing physical clutter might not seem like it will make a difference when it comes to your finances, your health, or your relationships. But you’d be surprised just how much you carry that stress and disorganization into other parts of your life.
6. Find the right tools to help with getting your life together
A big part of getting your life together is finding the right tools to use along the way. No matter what goal you’re trying to reach, there’s probably a tool designed to help you get there. Here are a few examples:
A habit tracker is an app that helps to create new positive habits. You set up the habits you want to set and how often you want to do each one. Then the app reminds you of your habits and allows you to track your habits.
There are plenty of budget apps designed to help you reach your financial goals. You can find different apps based on your budgeting style, the goals you’re trying to reach, and more. Budgeting your money is a big part of getting your life together!
For someone with health and fitness goals, a fitness tracker is a perfect tool. First, fitness watches can help you track your steps and workouts. And fitness tracking apps allow you to track calories in and out.
Project management tool
For anyone starting a business or working on another big project, a project management tool like Trello or Asana can help you get your act together. It allows you to create specific tasks, assign them to different people, and create checklists of items to do along the way.
If your mind is what’s holding you back from reaching your goals, then a journal might be just the tool you need. Studies have shown that journaling can have significant impacts on both your emotional and physical health. It can decrease stress, decrease your chances of getting sick, and more.
7. Make a plan for your money as an essential part of getting your life together
One of the most important steps on the get your life together checklist is making a plan for your money! Money is the number one source of stress for a large majority of people. It beats out politics, work, and family as a source of stress and has even more significant impacts on younger generations.
Whether or not your goals are financial in nature, making a plan for your money and getting your finances in order can go a long way in helping you get your act together.
8. Get your act together by minimizing stressors
If there’s something in your life that’s stressing you out, it can have a negative impact on many different parts of your life. Let’s say you have work stress. Like many people, you might bring that stress home with you at night. It can go on to affect not only your work life but also your relationships, health habits, and more.
To start reducing stress in your life, make a list of everything in your life that causes you stress. Are there any on the list you can eliminate entirely? This could be the case for expensive subscriptions or social obligations that add more stress than they’re worth.
Other stressors you simply won’t be able to eliminate. Examples of these include work and family. And while you can’t eliminate these stressors altogether, you can identify changes you can make to reduce the stress.
9. Find a mentor
If you have big career goals that you haven’t reached, then a mentor might be the perfect way to take your life to the next level. A mentor can help advise you on your career or business goals, introduce you to people in the industry, and work as a sounding board as you come up against career stressors.
Wondering how to find a mentor? Think of people in your network who have offered you advice in the past. Mentorship can be a formal arrangement — at times, even a paid one. But it can also be an informal friendship with a friend in your industry.
10. Create routines for getting your life together
Routines are the backbone of success. When you have routines in place, you no longer have to rely on willpower to stick to your positive habits and reach your goals.
Think about a habit that comes naturally to you, like getting dressed in the morning or brushing your teeth. You don’t have to remind yourself to do those things. They’re a part of your everyday routine.
You can use those same systems to create other healthy habits. Want to commit to going for a walk each day? Find the time where you can do it at the same time each day. It will become a part of your routine, and you’ll eventually find that it just comes naturally to you.
11. Identify bad habits
A key step on the get your life together checklist is identifying your bad habits. If we’re being honest, we can all admit that we have some bad habits in our lives that are holding us back.
Whether it’s staying up late at night watching television, overspending on things you don't need, or something else, it’s likely affecting other parts of your life.
As a first step, sit down and make a list of bad habits that might be holding you back in certain areas of your life. Then, you can come up with strategies to reduce or eliminate them.
12. Implement the one-minute rule
Do you ever have those tasks that are on your to-do list for days, weeks, or months, and yet you never seem to get to them? We’ve probably all experienced something similar in the past.
One simple strategy, coined by Gretchen Rubin, is called the one-minute rule. This rule states that if something can be done in one minute or less, you do it immediately.
Setting this rule for yourself helps clear up your to-do list from all of those small tasks that create a mental burden. This can be a great step to help you with getting your life together!
13. Change your mindset
You might be surprised to hear that if you aren’t reaching your goals, your mindset might be one of the most important things holding you back.
If you find yourself regularly talking down to yourself or telling yourself that you won’t reach your goals, then there’s a good chance that you won’t.
But if you adopt a positive mindset where you truly believe you can reach your goals, then you might find it easier to get there.
14. Create a gratitude journal
It’s easy to spend your time focusing on the things that are going wrong in your life. And when you’re working on getting your life together and making big changes, it’s natural to focus on the negative things.
Unfortunately, this can also drag you down emotionally and cause you to feel like everything is going wrong.
A gratitude journal is an excellent way to focus on the positive things in your life. Each day, sit down and write down three things in your life that you’re grateful for.
Aim to pick out three different things each day. They can be as big as your family and friends, or as specific as a delicious meal you enjoyed that day.
As you write down what you’re grateful for each day, you’ll find that you naturally become more optimistic and start looking for things to be positive about.
15. Take action towards getting your life together
It’s easy to say, "I'm getting my life together," set goals, and write down steps you can take to reach them; but it’s a totally different thing to take action and actually complete those steps.
Starting working toward a new goal is often the hardest step. When you want to save $1,000, those first few dollars are the hardest because you’re not in the habit of saving. When you decide to start working out, those first few workouts are the hardest because you’re not used to working out.
The sooner you take action after setting your goals, the quicker you can get past that first difficult step. Once you’ve started, you’ll find that your momentum helps you keep going. A great way to do this is to focus on getting 1% better.
16. Track your progress
Once you decide what changes you want to make in your life, it’s important that you track your progress. Otherwise, you might never realize whether you’re on the right track. As a result, you might find that you never get closer to your goals.
Tracking your progress helps to ensure that you’re on track with your goals. It also helps to motivate you as you see yourself progress. There are plenty of tools out there designed to help you track your progress and stick to your goals and habits.
Getting your life together is possible
Getting your life together feels impossible at times, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of steps you can take to make small changes and bring you a bit closer to your dream life.
You may not be able to control everything in life, but this get your life together checklist will help you focus on the things you can control.
Take action today by enrolling in our completely free financial courses to work towards your new goals!