When we were children, we couldn’t wait to grow up.
We so desperately wanted to make our own decisions, go to bed whenever we want and eat as much junk food as our bellies can hold. Being a grown-up meant we’ll be able to do everything we wanted.
Fast forward a couple of years later and you start feeling that this is not exactly what you’ve signed up for.
In fact, your idealized image of adulthood is not even close to what you’re experiencing now. Somehow, your life has become about all the bills you have to pay and the responsibilities you carry on your shoulders.
To make matters worse, social media magnifies everyone else’s life achievements in the form of thoughtfully-filtered Instagram posts.
With all of this, you end up feeling an immense amount of pressure to try to “catch up” to everyone else. It can make you feel like you’re failing in life.
But getting your life back together doesn’t have to be that monotonous, hard, or miserable. In fact, getting your life back together can be fun if you do it right.
You might have asked yourself a couple of times, “how do I get my life together?”
That can be answered simply:
The key to having your life together is having “balance.”
You can be the most responsible adult in the world – pay your bills on time, have a house and car by 30, and ample savings in your bank account but still feel miserable.
According to the famous World Happiness Report, having a good work-life balance is now one of the strongest predictors of happiness.
Unfortunately, with our current culture, more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their work. And you might feel the same. It’s not easy being constrained to a 9 to 5 job every single day of your life. The monotony might prove too much.
Which is why you need to find the perfect balance. Work gives us purpose. It makes us feel like we are doing something productive. But too much of it is unhealthy.
You also need a life outside of your work. You need to spend time with your loved ones and do the things that make you feel alive.
If you truly want to feel like you have your life together, then you need a good balance of work, passion, experiences, a sense of community, and love. All of these factors give you a feeling of purpose – a feeling of a life well lived.
And the best part?
When you have this constant joy, everything else becomes easier.
Yes, especially getting your life back together.
So now that you understand that important aspect, let’s get you started on how to get your life together. Read ahead for our 8 best life hacks to help you get your life back together.
1. Be with people who add value to your life.
Various studies suggest that the quality of people you surround yourself with can significantly affect the quality of your life.
Research from Michigan State University, for example, finds that relationships with family and friends are tied to higher self-rated levels of happiness and health.
But you don’t need scientific studies to realize that the company you keep affects your moods and attitude in life. Surround yourself with lazy and unmotivated people, and you become like them too.
On the other hand, when you’re constantly with inspiring, talented, and passionate people, you become more motivated to pursue your own goals. Their zest for life rubs off on you.
So which kind of people will you choose to be with?
Even this popular 75-year Harvard study proves that our closest relationships hugely impacts our overall happiness in life.
When you were younger, factors like popularity, wealth, or social status might have affected your choice of friends. But as you grow older, you will realize that you would rather keep a few good friends than a lot of bad ones.
2. Practice honesty.
Being honest is a good virtue to have. As a child, it was easy to lie about the small things. After all, we had our parents to take care of us and to assume responsibility for our actions.
But as an adult, honesty is essential.
It goes way beyond just telling the truth. It’s about practicing truth.
Often, when life gets tough, we tend to blame every one and everything. But being honest with yourself involves taking responsibility for your own actions, decisions, and the outcomes that come with them.
It’s crucial to be realistic with what’s happening in your life. Are you honest about your emotions? Does your work truly make you happy? Is this what you really want for yourself?
From time to time, reflect on your life and practice introspection. Are you living your life with honesty?
You will see a significant change in your attitude and the choices you make.
3. Learn the art of letting go.
It’s natural to want to control everything. In fact, we practice control every day. From the speed in which we drive to work every day, to what we want in our coffee. Control gives us a sense of security. If we have control, we know the outcome, we can’t be blindsided.
But in life, we can’t control everything, no matter how much we want to. Sh*t happens. And when they do, there’s really nothing we can do about it.
One of the mistakes we can make is to over-analyze everything. We go over all the things we could have done better. And we try to hold on to our expectations and our hopes that everything will get better somehow.
But in these moments, it’s important to learn how to let go. No matter how strongly we feel about certain things like love, our jobs, and our relationships – we just can’t fully control them. Sometimes you just have to be okay with that.
4. It’s okay to be a little selfish.
This is something we learn more by age. The younger versions of us wanted to prove ourselves to people – to our families, our colleagues, our bosses, our partners.
So much so that we tend to put so much importance in their expectations of us. So much so that we put their needs above us.
We thought that putting other people’s needs above our own made them love or value us more. And we’ve probably been burned because of it. What’s left from the ashes are damaged parts of us.
So one of the most important values you can have as an adult is to be a little selfish. Learn how to say no to anything that doesn’t serve you. When you are experiencing difficult things, learn how to put your needs and health first.
And when your relationships become too toxic, it’s okay to cut them off.
Being a little selfish means you will be able to have the time and energy to take care of yourself first, before you can care for others.
5. Maintain your overall health.
Health is wealth. And if you truly want to feel like you have your life together, then put some effort into creating a healthy lifestyle for your body.
But don’t focus on just that.
What you need to realize as an adult is that “feeling good” is a combination of different things. It means feeling healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Being fit isn’t enough if you’re mentally exhausted all the time. And the same goes for the vice versa.
It’s the same thing with work-life balance. You need to create a lifestyle that nurtures all areas of your life. You don’t need to be a gym freak or a counselor to fulfill these needs.
Simply practice awareness. Listen to what your body says. Nurture healthy relationships. Practice emotional intelligence.
Truthfully, all you need is a willingness to do everything and be able make the necessary sacrifices to be wholly healthy.
6. Be financially-conscious.
As much as you wish to win the lottery and be an instant millionaire, it’s likely never going to happen.
And while maintaining a good work-life balance means putting less focus on work, it doesn’t mean you should stop earning money entirely.
You don’t need to have a mansion and multiple cars to live a happy life, that’s true. But you do need comfort and security. You need a good home. You should have a comfortable income – enough that you don’t need to stress about paying the next set of bills.
However, also be realistic about it. You probably can’t afford to save half of your every paycheck. In fact, creating unrealistic financial goals can do you more harm than good.
“If you set unrealistic goals based on what you think you should be doing, you’re just going to feel disappointed in yourself and overwhelmed when you don’t keep up with them.”
Learn how to be financially literate. Prioritize what you need over what you want. Strive to be budget-savvy. And when you can, invest something for your future.
It can be something as simple as paying your bills on time, using coupons for good deals, and paying your minimum on your credit cards.
Taking steps now to secure your future financially will ease and unburden the majority of stress you currently have.
7. Practice gratitude.
In the process of pursuing our goals and achieving our dreams, we tend to forget to be grateful for the things that we do have. We constantly compare ourselves to others and we acquire outside attachments that aren’t really necessary.
Few people know how to practice gratitude. It’s the reason why many of us are discontented. We are frustrated by what we think others have, that we become blind to the good things in our lives.
Gratitude shouldn’t just be reserved for Thanksgiving meals. It should be practiced every day, so as to never forget the important things in our lives.
Have you taken stock of your life recently? How many things are you grateful for? Your life may not be your dream life yet, but chances are, you have amazing things around you.
In your effort to acquire the things you want, never forget to appreciate all the things you do have right now.
8. Just live.
Don’t think too much. Don’t try to control everything. And don’t try to have everything.
Just live your life. Experience everything you can. Learn from them – the good and especially the bad. Make memories you can look back on with a smile. Meet as many people. Be more open to opportunities.
As humans, it’s normal to feel fear and apprehension, to have insecurities, and even to want unreasonable things. These are all instincts necessary for our survival.
However, life shouldn’t be all about trying to survive. Getting your life back together shouldn’t be all about what you have to acquire and accomplish. It’s about living a life that makes you happy. It should also include doing things with purpose and having meaning.
Because at the end of your life, you will forget about all the bills you paid. You will not remember the material things you bought.
What you will remember are the small moments that made you happy, the victories you shared with important people, and the difference you made in the world.
So instead of asking, do I have my life together?, the more important question is, am I living a good life?