“Good but super busy”— It was the mantra of my early adult years anytime someone asked how I was. The truth is, my life was a mess, I was never well rested, always on the go… my life felt chaotic. To sum it up, my life felt out of control and I had no idea where to start or how to get my life together.
Can you relate at all?
I didn’t really do anything about it for a while because despite being stressful, it seemed to be the norm for everyone. Needless to say, I spent about a year in “survival” mode until one night I realized I desperately needed a change.
There were people out there who didn’t appear to be running around constantly stressed and never making any progress. I wanted to be one of them too— I just had to figure out what their “secret” was.
It’s been a few years since that turning point night and I can confidently say that my life looks much less chaotic these days. As it turns out, getting your life in order doesn’t require some magic potion, special resources, or even a winning lottery ticket. In fact, the “secret” on how to get your life together is as simple as putting a few practical things into action.
It took me a while to figure these things out. In some ways, they seem too simple, but I’ve learned that the things that work aren’t usually the complicated ones—it’s being consistent in the simple things.
The simple things on this list are things I wish I had known years ago. I think the important thing, however, is that I know them now and so I want to share them with you.
Note this is a guest post from my friend Allison. I really enjoyed her story and I found it SO relatable! I think you will too! — Jen from Simply + Fiercely
How To Get Your Life Together
1. Find clarity on what you want
“Unhappiness is not knowing what you want and then killing ourselves to get it.” – Don Herold
I think this quote from Don Herold is so powerful. Every week, I hear from people who want their lives to be different but when I ask them about it, they have no real clarity on what they want.
They hustle hard to feel good about their lives with no real goal or point of reference in mind. They tell me they don’t feel content in life, but don’t know what would bring them feelings of peace or calm.
Know the feeling at all? Don’t worry—the first step to figuring out how to get your life together and move away from feeling a little lost, is to get some clarity on what you want. I always say, “you can’t get where you want to go if you don’t even know where that is.”
The good news is that no one naturally has clarity in life. It’s not something you have, it’s something you create for yourself by asking the right questions. Grab a journal and start to answer questions such as:
- What matters most to you? What doesn’t?
- What lights your soul on fire?
- What brings you energy?
- What you’re doing when you feel at your best?”
Answering these kinds of questions will help you begin to find clarity on what you want in life.
2. Figure out where to start
Once you have some clarity on what you want your life to look like, you can more easily figure out how to start. I always suggest doing a life audit of sorts.
This will look a little different for everyone but the goal is to figure out what areas are causing the most problems and what changes will have the biggest positive impact.
When you can map out what your pain points are, fixing them is as simple as creating a game plan and taking action on it!
3. Start to simplify your life
Now that you have clarity on what you want your life to look and feel like, and you have your starting point, it’s time to simplify your life. I often hear people say they don’t have the time or space for making changes that would seemingly make their lives better.
I used to feel that way too. As if I needed to balance everything and make room to add more or else everything would fall apart. One thing I’ve learned, however, is that letting go of the things that aren’t a priority for you will make room for things that are.
Letting go can feel scary initially, but it’s often more freeing than anything.
Getting your life together isn’t just about your schedule but also about the state of mind and atmosphere you are present in. Simplifying my life in every area may be one of the biggest actions I took to get my life together. Here are some of the big points of pressure…
GET YOUR SPACE IN ORDER
A while back, my husband and I Marie Kondo’d our apartment (that’s seriously a verb now, right?). It may sound crazy but letting go of so much “stuff” we had accumulated but didn’t care about was incredibly freeing.
At first, I thought it was just me but the whole atmosphere of the house changed when we were done. It felt lighter, brighter—less chaotic. It felt good. Decluttering and getting your space in order creates a calmer space reducing the chaos in your life.
Since clearing our clutter, I’ve talked to many people who felt the same way after they decluttered. If your space feels chaotic, consider clearing out the clutter. This free and helpful guide will help you get started!
PLAN THE AREAS THAT FEEL THE MOST HECTIC…
Planning for anything will 100% reduce some of the stress of the situation. It’s the unknown that often causes frustration. If you know there’s an area that adds to the feeling of overwhelm, take the time to plan for it.
For example, our meals used to take up a lot of time and sometimes were a cause of frustration. So I started meal planning and it drastically simplified things for us.
DON’T LET THE LITTLE THINGS BOTHER YOU SO MUCH
When life feels out of control and hectic on its own, every little thing can feel like too much extra. And while the little details matter, they also keep us in a very narrow and small place of work. Learning to let go of the little things can make a major impact on your life as a whole.
I used to stress out over the littlest things… someone cut me off in traffic, a coworker said something rude, the drive-through line took forever— it would all push me into a place of mental and emotional chaos. Learning to not let the little things bother me so much was a total game-changer.
START YOUR DAY BY GETTING THINGS TOGETHER
One of the biggest factors that feed into how your day goes is how you start it. Tim Feriss says, “win the morning and you win the day.”
When you take time in the morning for yourself to get into a good frame of mind and energize yourself, it leaves you feeling more in control.
I used to be terrible about this. I would wake up after hitting snooze three times, rush out the door, and spend the rest of the day feeling frenzied to stay caught up on everything. These days I start every morning with a routine that prepares me and helps me feel more in control of my day.
Starting your day out strong is the difference between feeling out of control and feeling like you are prepared for the day ahead.
SLOW DOWN. BE PRESENT.
In the days when my life was a mess and everything felt chaotic, I remember that I felt afraid to slow down. As if I needed to maintain my hundred miles per hour lifestyle or else things would spiral out of control even more.
I was juggling a hundred things and living off coffee in hopes of not dropping the ball on anything. Life was like that for years. I lived my entire college time like that. When I graduated from college, I slept for three months. I wish I was kidding but I really did.
It was in this time frame that I found Simply + Fiercely and I truly wish I had found it sooner. How much of my college experience could I have enjoyed more if I had evaluated what was important and what was just creating chaos?
When I did finally allow myself to slow down and be more present in the moment, I found that not only did I enjoy life more but I was able to give more intention to what mattered.
Chances are if you’re feeling pressure to do all the things, it’s time to slow down. Be present and intentional. Something I have found to be super helpful when entering a situation that feels chaotic is asking intentional questions.
I have three that are super thought-provoking and intention setting:
- What is the intention for this day/event/moment?
- What does this make possible?
- What will I miss out on if I am not present physically, emotionally, and mentally?
You guys, I hope you’ve found these simple tips to be helpful! Or thought-provoking at the very least. It’s all the things I wish someone would have told me when my life was at its most chaotic low point.
These are the things that turned my life around. That took it from feeling out of control to some semblance of having my life together. Not every day is perfect. It’s not a cure-all to the stress that life brings at us but they are practices that I put into action on a daily basis. Even now, these five things are what helps me feel like I have gotten a handle on the chaos.
I want to say a huge thank you to Jen for allowing me to share these things with you and I hope they help you figure out how to get your life together too!
Allison Sue is the author of Compass My Life, a personal development blog that she started after her own personal growth journey helped her transform her life. Now she shares with her readers all the things she wishes someone had told her when she first started creating a life she feels good about.
5 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Get Your Life Together
“Stop waiting for Friday, for Summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.” Unknown
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life. You didn’t settle for it.” Mandy Hale
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandburg
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard
More Resources to Help You Get Your Life Together
If you want to learn more about getting your life together, here are a few resources I think you might enjoy:
- An Intro to Intentional Living: 7 Things You Need to Know
- 7 Things You Can Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed By Life
- How To Live Your Own Life + Be True To Yourself
- 7 Simple Days— A short course that will help you clarify what matters + start living the life you want
Have you ever felt like your life was out of control? What helped you get your life together? Let us know in the comments! x