You’re overwhelmed. Anxious. Behind on everything. The sink is overflowing with dirty dishes, bills are on the table but somehow your money keeps disappearing from your bank account and you’ve been living off take out and coffee. Sounds familiar?
You, my friend, are in desperate need of getting your life together. Get back on track so you can proceed being awesome and living your amazing life. Focus your energy on the things you want and love, instead of worrying that that pile of dishes may fall over and break. But at least then you don’t have to wash them…?
I’ve been there, done that, and I’d like to not go back to it. But even when your situation isn’t quite what I described above, it’s probably still a good idea to take time and get your life together.
Often called a gyst day but can also do it in a week, or a month, however much time you can spare.
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What does ‘get your life together’ mean?
Getting your life together really has a different meaning for everyone, and it depends on a lot on your priorities and needs. But essentially, it means that you’re taking care of yourself and surroundings and are in control of your life.
Getting your life together is something you probably don’t notice when you have it, but you notice it when you don’t have it. Basically, when you are overwhelmed and feeling like you’re always behind. That stressed, anxious feeling? That’s what you’ll reduce when you spend some time getting your life together.
Where to start getting your life together?
You start with a list. A brain dump. Of all of the to do’s in your head. Take 15 minutes or so to get them all out so you can see what you’re tackling today.
When your list is complete, categorize your to do’s. This may sound like an unnecessary step, but it’ll help. Mark your simple, quick tasks, and mark your priorities. The priorities are the tasks that, no matter how big or small, will make the biggest difference in how you feel.
This depends on your own priorities. There are so many ways you can tackle this, so here are some suggestions. Find the one that feels most appealing to you. You can:
- Start with the most difficult thing, so you get that done first and don’t have to worry about it anymore.
- Start with the small things that you can do quickly, like making your dentist appointment. These small things are registered in our brains as quick wins, and quickly reduce your list. This is where I start.
- Start with the thing that bothers you the most. That isn’t necessarily the most difficult thing, it’s the one that will make the biggest difference when you get it done.
If you have a get your life together day, try to get through most of your list, and focus on your priorities. If you have less time, or a lot of your list left at the end of your day, schedule blocks in your calendar to take care of the rest. It doesn’t matter how much time you have, even an hour a week is helpful to get back on track.
Should you have your life together at … ?
Really there is no age you need to get your life together at. I know it always seems like everyone around you has their own lives perfectly together and you’re the only one struggling, but no one has it all perfect.
So no, you should not have your life together at 18, 21, 25, or even 45.
We all fall behind on things every now and again, and some of us struggle more than others and that is okay. Do the best you can in general, and plan one of these days every couple of weeks to take care of the areas you usually ignore.
So how do you really get your life together? An in depth guide
First of all, determine how much time you can spend to get your life together. Can you spare a couple of hours? A day? Can you spread it out over a week or a month?
How much time you have determines how much you can do, and that helps you prioritize. Here are some areas of your life you might want to get together, as well as tips on doing it.
As your house is your main living environment, you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable in it. A big step in taking care of your house and getting it together is to declutter. Get rid of anything that doesn’t have a purpose or is beautiful to look at. Divide into throw out and give away, and put the donate box in your car to take to a donation place later.
Then you can clean your home. You can deep-clean if you want or just do a simple wipe and vacuum, whatever suits you.
Finally maintenance. These are usually not things we can do the same day if you haven’t planned for them. They’re the little things that need to be fixed, a wall that you want to paint or something you want to hang on the wall. If you can’t do them this day, schedule when you’re going to do them so you won’t procrastinate again.
A great next place to get your life together is your car. Strangely, your car has the same steps as your house. Declutter first, to get rid of anything that shouldn’t be in your car. Make sure all your documents are in order and safe in your glovebox.
Then clean your car, or get it cleaned.
Finally, maintenance. Is your car due for a checkup anytime soon? If so, set that appointment now so you won’t forget to call. Is there anything you’re worried about? Get it checked out as well. Another thing we often forget is to check the air pressure and putting new air in our tyres when needed, so you might want to do that too.
Oh your closet, the place where things disappear in a corner, never to be seen again. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I find the best way to do your closet is like Marie Kondo: take all your clothes out and put them in a pile per category.
Then sort them out, only focussing on the things you want to keep. We usually sort our things thinking: ‘what do I want to get rid off’? But it’s much easier and effective to focus on the things you want to keep, and get rid of the rest.
Put the clothes you don’t want anymore in that donate box in your car, so you can make someone else happy with them!
Then it’s time to organize your closet, however you want. I have most of my closet folded, and it always amazes me how many americans have everything on hangers. It takes up so much more space! See if you want to fold it all, or if hanging, if you want to get matching hangers for your closet. It seems like a small change (although your bank account may disagree) but it will look so much better when they’re all matching.
Finally a step many forget: taking clothes to the tailor. If you have anything that’s missing a button, broken zipper or you would wear it so much more if only it would fit properly, take it to the tailor. Preferably immediately so you won’t put it off, but at least this week. IF it’s not important enough to bring to the tailor, put it in the donate box.
Finances are always a love it or hate it thing. My first tip, unrelated to getting your life together, is to start loving your finances. It’ll be so much easier.
If you have an app that categorizes spending for you, pull it up. Otherwise, pull up your bank account for the last 2 months or so. Categorize everything so you can see exactly how much you’re spending per category. I was shocked when I did mine, and immediately saw areas where I could improve drastically.
Then, create a budget. Start with your income, and reduce whatever you want to save straight away. You can program an automatic transfer in your app as well, so that your bank immediately takes away part of your paycheck to put in a savings or investment account.
Then, considering what you have left over, see if that works for your lifestyle and choices. Does it work for you? Can you cut down on any costs or reduce them? Think about this for a while and make sure your budget has a zero at the end, meaning there is no penny left unaccounted for.
If you have money left over at the end of your needs, increase your savings. If you really need more money, reduce your savings but think this through carefully.
Relationships can be an easy thing to forget, especially if we live with the ones closest to us. But in order to really get your life together, assessing your relationships is essential.
But for me, I know I always get stressed and feel guilty when I miss a birthday, which happens more often than I’d like to admit. So plan for upcoming birthdays. Think about gifts you may want to get people, and make sure you have a birthday card and stamps in your house. Or, if available, find an online card service that will send your card on a scheduled date. This way you can plan all your birthday cards in advance, and you’ll never miss another birthday.
Call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. A friend, a family member, anyone you care about but just haven’t really talked to. Give them a call or go for a coffee together to catch up!
If you’re in a relationship with a partner, make sure to plan a date night or a weekend away for some quality time together. Odds are, if your life hasn’t been together for a bit, you may have neglected your relationship so it’s time to rekindle that flame!
Take care of your body! If you can, add an hour or 2 of pampering to your get your life together day, or plan some time within the week.
This is perfect for your face mask, your hair mask and getting rid of any unwanted hairs. Pamper yourself to a bubble bath or a long shower and a nice stretch after. Your body will be so grateful.
On top of that, consider if there are any health appointments to be made. Do you need to see the doctor for anything? Is it time to schedule your dentist appointment or need to get bloodwork done? This is the day to call and set them up.
Also, maybe you need to get an appointment to get your hair done, or get a manicure.
It’s so important to take care of mental health as well. So take some time to sit with yourself and do something that makes you really happy. Could be dancing, could be painting, going for a walk or journaling. Whatever makes your brain feel calm and good, this is your moment.
And the final step to get your life together is to spend some time on yourself. I know few people who don’t want to improve themselves, even if it’s just a little bit, so this is where you can think about that.
This may even be your biggest priority! Maybe you want to become a person who does have it together all the time (or at least 95%).
There could be a course you want to start. A skill you want to learn. A project you want to work on. Write it down, and make a plan of how you are going to do it. Then start scheduling your plans, and take the first step today. We’re much more likely to follow through once we’ve set that first step.
What I do to get my life together
When I do a get your life together day, it generally looks a little like this:
First, I dump all my to do’s out on paper. I prefer to have things actually written out, so I put them all on paper so I can easily see and check things off.
I start with quick wins. The small things that take 10 minutes or less.
Usually my day involves laundry, so I’ll get that started as early as possible. I love these on my list because they’re background tasks: they don’t require much effort from me, but it’s great to get to tick them off.
Then I do the things that bother me the most. Things I’ve been procrastinating like hanging something on the wall, cleaning the fridge out,
I’ll do a quick tidy around my house to put things back where they belong, but I don’t clean anything yet.
Then I’ll go to the market or the store to pick up fresh fruits and veggies. When I come I prep what I need to prep, because I know I’ll actually eat it if I do.
When I clean my house, and finally I’ll sit down with a cup of something and I plan my last to do’s that I can’t fit into the day, as well as the next upcoming days.
I know, I know. It may look like a lot of things to do to get your life together. But the great thing is, you don’t have to do it all in one day. You probably don’t even have to do it all. Like I said, focus on the things that make the biggest difference to you and your life, and get those done first.
The goal to get your life together is so you can feel in control of your life again, and I am confident that this post will help you do that. Don’t forget to sign up for your free personal development journal prompts so you can be someone who actually does have their life together most of the time.
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