Let’s get one thing straight about how to get your life together, I’m no life coach or motivational speaker, but I can help teach you how to get your life together. How? I’ve been there!
I know the mere fact that you’re here and you’re reading this means that you’re already motivated enough to make a difference – which means we can figure out what you should do with your life! While there’s no standard answer for how to get your life together, the intention is crucial and is the one thing that will keep you going.
What do I mean by this? Well, motivational speakers can only do so much for you. If all you ever do is listen to TED Talks and watch Nick Vujicic all day, then you’re just fooling yourself. In fact, I can tell you now that doing all of that won’t actually change your situation, there won’t be a significant improvement in your life unless you get up and put in the effort.
Easier said than done, right? Hmm… It depends. If you’re able to get some momentum and have a clear plan in place, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. Everything comes down to goal-setting and implementation. Setting the goals and just daydreaming about them won’t do much for you either, I’m afraid. Setting goals + execution + tracking = success!
So how do I go about it? Great question, this is how:
1 – Be honest with yourself about your situation
At some point, you probably stopped dead in your tracks and realized that you actually don’t like where you are in your life. I’m assuming that was the life-changing moment that got you here. After that, you probably did a bit of a life audit and assessed the various elements, from your job, your spouse, your kids, your finances, right down to the color of your dog.
If you did all of that, then you’re on the right track. See, the only way to truly make substantial changes is to be brutally honest with yourself before anyone else about where you stand. When you’ve identified things that don’t make you happy or that you want to change in your life, that’s when the REAL journey begins.
2 – Get motivated
Before anything in your life can change, you need to make a commitment to making the change. It’s one thing to sit and daydream about what you want to achieve, but the minute you fully immerse yourself in the mission is when you’re bound to see results.
I’ve heard it being said countless times before that motivation is a bit like bathing, it doesn’t last very long and that’s why it’s recommended daily. And you know what, I FULLY agree! Motivation is what you need to get started, but it’s always what you need to keep going – especially when challenges start to pop up left, right and center. Yikes!
3 – Plan and execute
Without clear goals and a plan to get to where you’re headed, trust me, you won’t get very far. The emphasis here is on setting SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. If your goal is to be a millionaire, that’s great, but so do a lot of other people in the world. SMART goals paint a clearer picture of what you want to achieve.
A better goal to set would be saying something like, you want to have $X million in your bank account by the time you turn 40. In that way, you know what you’re working towards and you can quite clearly determine whether or not you achieved that goal when you turn 40. But also – be realistic.
After setting that goal, be clear and intentional about how you’re going to get there. Are you going to invest in stocks, real estate, start a pyramid scheme (just kidding), etc.?
4 – Celebrate small and big milestones
Some wins are bigger than others, but they should all be acknowledged and celebrated. A lot of people will agree that taking a big step to celebrate what they’ve achieved on the path to the ultimate goal, actually keeps them motivated. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the madness of pursuing the goal that you become completely ignorant of the journey.
Where’s the fun in that?
5 – Surround yourself with the right people
At your big age, you should know just how much your circle affects you and possibly your growth as well. Those closest to you can either make or break you; they can either keep you on track or make you lose focus of all your goals. The ideal situation is to have cheerleaders around you, people that want to see you win.
You could even take it a step further and surround yourself with people who have achieved what you aspire to achieve. Sit at the winners’ table and you could also become a winner. It’s a bit like having a mentor. Through your interactions and conversations with them, you start to pick up certain traits, things that worked for them and those that didn’t.
Sometimes, you can avoid so many challenges and pitfalls by simply learning and observing what other people did. Think about it, you don’t need to go out and put yourself forward as bait to know that a Great White Shark could attack and kill you, there’ve been reports of this so you know not to do it. Also, it’s common sense…
6 – Never stop learning
I don’t care who you are or how many years of experience you have in a particular field, there’s ALWAYS room to learn. Being intentional about learning is a sign of still being hungry for whatever it is that you want to achieve. The minute you stop pursuing knowledge and think you’re set for life, think again.
Never mind the fact that life in general is constantly evolving, upskilling yourself is so important in this competitive and rapidly changing world.
7 – Get an honest view of your finances
Ah, yes. Finances. Many people’s main point of frustration and the cause of A LOT of divorces. Being able to identify the gap between where you are financially and where you want to be will help you plan effectively. If I know that I only have $10 but the shoes that I want are $15, which means that there’s a $5 shortfall.
The next step is to come up with ways to raise that $5. Do you work extra hours, sell old clothes, offer consulting services, or sell one of your kids? Life and getting your finances in check is pretty much that. Regardless of whether you aspire to be a millionaire or property mogul, it’s basically the same concept but on an exaggerated scale and level.
8 – Get rid of bad debt
This is one thing that’s holding a lot of people back from thriving financially. Whether you want to save more or pursue different investment options, YOU NEED TO GET RID OF BAD DEBT first! Credit cards, clothing store accounts – those are just some of the things that need to be in check.
9 – Start investing in a simple way
A lot of people I come across think that investing is for super smart people with bucket loads of cash at their disposal. Wrong. In fact, a lot of people start with very little and generate their wealth from investments. So, start small and explore the easy stuff first – things that you actually understand or are at least willing to do research on to better understand.
I know right now there’s A HUGE interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – that seems to be the bandwagon that a lot of people are jumping. I will reserve my comments on that. What I will say, though, is it’s not a path I see myself following anytime soon. That’s that on that.
10 – Start an emergency fund
We always hear about saving for a rainy day… but as we’ve come to learn in the past two years, that rainy day can quickly become a rainy few months. You need to have funds that can be easily accessible when push comes to shove. If not, I’d say prioritize liquid assets.
11 – Save AGGRESSIVELY
Yeah, you may have already started saving, but have you tried saving aggressively?! And by that, I mean aim to save about 50% of your income. It’s a game-changer. I always say that a great starting point for effective saving is living frugally. Don’t splurge unnecessarily, be mindful of your lifestyle and spending habits, and rather put that money to good use.
Let’s get something straight first, living frugally doesn’t have to mean adopting a poor and cheap lifestyle – I know that’s what comes to mind for a lot of people who may be unfamiliar with this concept. There may be different approaches to it, but personally, I don’t see the point of switching from the best dishwashing liquid to a crappy one just to save a lousy $0.50.
Come on! That’s not really life-changing stuff and it sure as hell won’t make you a millionaire in the next three years. Be frugal, but at the same time, be calculated and strategic about it.
12 – Track progress
This goes hand-in-hand with setting SMART goals, this is pretty much the M (measurable) in SMART. What’s the point of trying to achieve something if you can’t track progress to identify areas of improvement or to see if you’re succeeding at what you’ve set out to do?
This will also help you identify milestones worth celebrating and ultimately keep you motivated to achieve more and more. The journey to achieving your goals and getting your life together may be long, but being able to celebrate the wins along the way makes it that much more fulfilling.
13 – Try out real estate
People love to overcomplicate things – like real estate. Sure, there are some things that you learn along the way, but the bottom line is just get started. You buy a place and earn rental income. That’s a relatively simple and hassle-free way of improving your financial standing.
That doesn’t mean that you should buy the first place you come across, at the end of the day, the numbers need to make sense. Also, remember that you’re not buying a place for YOU to live in, so get rid of that mental checklist you have! Sometimes, some people are just looking to rent a place close to work with no frills.
Real estate is no longer just for the extremely wealthy, or at least that was the popular narrative before. There are some options for you to consider if you are considering investing in real estate, such as crowdfunding.
14 – Take care of your mind and body
If you look at your wellbeing and health like you would a car, you’ll soon realize that in order to function optimally, all parts need to be well maintained and in good form. You absolutely can’t expect to get your life in order if one piece is falling apart. If spirituality is an important thing to you, it must work alongside a good diet and exercise, emotional stability, etc.
15 – Make time for the things that truly matter
This was one of my main motivations for making a change in my work life. Having more freedom and flexibility to do things that matter most to me and with my loved ones was all the motivation I needed. It’s difficult to get your life together when you’re stuck in a dead-end job where you’re practically glued to your desk for 5/7 days of the week.
Something as simple as taking time out to go fishing or vacationing with your loved ones can improve your mood. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it, but you should definitely try it. Achieving a good quality of life overall is the pinnacle of getting your life together.
How to get your life together at 21?
There is no clear-cut answer to this because, at 21, you’re probably still figuring a lot of things out. Setting realistic goals and a plan of action for various aspects of your life, though, will provide better guidance. For a lot of people, finances dictate all other parts of their life. So, having a budget that you stick to can make you feel a bit more in control of your life.
How to get your life back together?
I’ll be honest, this may take some time, depending on what “having your life together” means. If financial stability is a priority and you happen to have lost your way and fallen into debt, that could negatively impact other parts of your life. To bounce back, you need to track your income, spending, and savings, to see if you’re on track to pay off that debt and start living again.
How to get your life together in a week?
While you can’t change your life in a week, you can give yourself momentum with a pattern of small wins. Focus on one area (like finances, health, career, or relationships) and identify one habit you can add in or cut out to make an improvement. Then track your progress for the week. For example, cut out takeout food and put what you didn’t spend into savings.