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6 Steps to Get Your Life Together and Take Control (With Examples)

by Ashley

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“One day I’ll get my life together.” I said that phrase on repeat for most of my early twenties hoping that if I just said it enough it would actually happen.

But it turns out, one day never shows up unless you take action. And as I am continuing to learn, getting your life together isn’t just one decisive moment.

Continually working on getting your life together will help ease your anxious mind and make sure you’re headed in a direction that leads you where you want to go. And figuring out how to organize your life makes it more enjoyable because you don’t live in a state where you always feel like you’re just one step away from a total meltdown.

This article will teach you how to start pulling it all together no matter what your age, so you can live your life on your terms.

Why you should get your life together

It’s a daunting task to get your life together. And it is far easier to binge-watch the newest Netflix hit than it is to do the grueling work of figuring out what you want out of life.

But if you procrastinate getting your life organized, research shows you will experience higher levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue. The same study also found that you are less likely to be satisfied with your work and income if you continue to indulge in procrastination.

As someone who has avoided getting her life together far too many times, I can attest that the stress that comes from a disorganized life is far greater than the effort and stress involved in actually figuring out how to get your act together.

What happens when you take steps to improving your life

When I start taking steps towards getting my life together, my outlook on life changes.

I shift from being the princess of doom and gloom to the happy-go-lucky girl who is excited about the future because I can start to see how to get to where I want to be. The act of just starting to put the pieces of my life together is enough to make me feel happy again.

And a study in 2005 found that when you are feeling happier, you are more likely to be successful and achieve the outcomes you desire in life.

By initiating the whole process of getting your life together, you are setting into motion a chain of positive reactions that helps propel you closer to the life of your dreams.

6 ways to get your life together

If you’re ready to clean up the mess in your life, here are 6 steps that are sure to leave your life feeling sparkly and new.

1. Put your dream into words

I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I know who can’t tell me what their dream is. They have some vague sense of what they might like, but they can’t say it clearly or succinctly.  

The vast majority of us never take the time to actually define what it is that we want out of life and yet we’re confused as to why we can’t get our life together.

Trust me, I’m guilty of this on so many levels.

But once I finally took out a pen and paper and wrote out exactly what it was that I wanted out of life, it became a million times easier to start working towards that dream.

You have to know what your dream is first in order to start getting your life together in a way that can make that dream become a reality. 

2. Set up or organize your retirement accounts

I can see your eyes rolling from here. But really, figuring out retirement is a big piece of getting your life together.

Unless you plan on working for the entirety of your life, you want to plan for your future.

As someone who used to gag when hearing the words IRA and 401K, I get that this point isn’t sexy. But when you take the time to set up and organize your finances in a way that positively impacts your future, you find a sense of peace that helps you feel like you can anticipate at least one part of your life’s trajectory.

And once you have the account set up, make sure you actually check in on it. Don’t just ignore the annual reports that get sent to you in the mail.

Because you may want or need to make adjustments in your investments as you go along to ensure that you have enough money to be drinking that margarita in Mexico stress-free when you turn 65.

3. Clean your space

As I’m writing this article, I realize I probably sound like your mother. And you know, I’m okay with that. Because who better to go to than your mom when you need advice for getting your life together?

Whenever I feel like my life is spiraling out of control, cleaning my space for 20 minutes is like pressing the reset button for me.

When your physical space is clean, your mind can breathe again.

And on days when all else seems to be failing, making my bed reminds me that I do have control of at least a few things in life.

4. Prioritize your sleep

The mom advice just keeps coming, doesn’t it? But do you know that sensation when you can tell you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown?

I can guarantee you that if you take a nap or actually get a solid 8 hours of sleep, you can avoid a total meltdown.

We need our sleep. Without sleep, we become little monsters that go crazy after just the slightest inconvenience.

My husband has learned that if I feel like my life is falling apart, he needs to tell me to take a nap. And when I wake up from my nap, I feel like a whole new woman who can accomplish the task or take on all of life’s challenges again.

After catching your z’s, you may find that your life was already together, but your tired brain just couldn’t see it that way.

5. Stop complaining

As a master of the art of complaining, this one hit home for me. It’s easy to complain about your life thinking that somehow this is going to make it better.

I remember when I was in grad school my identity started to revolve around being poor, sleep-deprived and stressed. It wasn’t until my best friend gave me a harsh reality check about my attitude that I was able to flip the script.

Once I stopped complaining, life wasn’t as hard. Now I’m not going to pretend grad school became a walk in the park because that would be a lie.

But all that time and energy that I was wasting complaining, I was able to put towards actually doing things to get my life together and create experiences that were enjoyable to help improve my mental well-being.

6. Set up a weekly reset routine

This tip is a total game-changer for me. Sometimes when our life feels like it’s not together, it’s because we’re not taking the time to put it together.

Every Sunday, I have a routine that sets me up for success and includes the following:

  • Journaling (reflecting on the week’s successes and failures).
  • House cleaning.
  • Food preparation.
  • Taking 1 hour of intentional self-care.

If I’ve had a chaotic week or feel like I’m spinning out of control, this weekly reset routine helps me to start fresh and organize my mind in a way that lets me tackle the next week with a greater sense of joy.

If you want to learn more, we also wrote about mental health habits that will make your life better.

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

Cheat Sheet Download Thumbnail Clean

This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Be Happier and More Productive

Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 unique tips for your mental health.

Wrapping up

You have to stop saying, “One day I’ll get my life together.” That day is today. If you use these 6 steps, you can avert a total breakdown and instead handcraft a life that leaves you happy to be in your own shoes. And if for some reason your life does fall apart again, it’s never too late to glue the pieces back together.

Do you have your life together? What was your favorite tip? Do you want to share your own experience about getting your life together? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Ashley Kaiser AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Physical therapist, writer, and outdoor enthusiast from Arizona. Self-proclaimed dark chocolate addict and full-time adrenaline junkie. Obsessed with my dog and depending on the day my husband, too.

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