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Do you ever feel like you’re trying so hard to juggle everything in your life that you barely have a chance to stay still and just take a breathe?
I had a friend describe it once as that dream where you’re trying to run and somehow your body just doesn’t work properly…you’re just stumbling around desperately trying to get up and move.
That’s what being an adult feels like sometimes, too.
That lack of control, of feeling secure and like you’ve really got it together.
It helps when you realize that a lot of people feel the same way. That most of us are just faking it until we make it – but that doesn’t make that anxiety-inducing feeling of being unable to take a breathe go away altogether.
In the past, I’ve had a lot of acquaintances tell me I seem to be ‘one of those people’ who just has their lives together (notice I say acquaintances – my friends and family know the pandemonium that lies beneath a smooth surface only too well!).
My life definitely isn’t perfect, and I don’t always feel like I’m doing this whole adult thing ‘right’, but looking back just a couple of years ago, I would definitely agree that my life is a whole lot less chaotic now.
Simple, small changes and building healthy habits has put in the groundwork to help me get my life together. Below, I’ve noted down some of those things that might help you get your life together if you’re feeling out of control, too.
12 Ways To Get Your Life Together & Take Back Control
1. Talk to others when you start feeling this way
I’m not the type of person who finds it easy to open up to others. However, whether you find picking up the phone as easy as brushing your teeth, or whether it fills you with dread, talking to other people does help.
Even just knowing that other people experience impostor syndrome, struggle to juggle all their responsibilities, still feel as terrified to navigate some parts of the world as they did when they were children…it shows you that you’re not alone. We’re all just figuring this whole life thing out, one step at a time.
2. Have a vision for your future
The people who really have their lives together are the ones who have clarity on where they want their life to go, and what steps they need to take to get there.
You can’t simply want to change your life – you need to know how you want to change it and, ideally, to know why.
Ask yourself: what do I want? Now ask yourself: what is missing in my life that is preventing me from getting there? Then, ask: what changes can I make to get closer to that vision?
Getting your life together is about making a plan that reflects what you want: not what you think you should be doing, or what society or your family thinks, but what you actually want to achieve.
3. CREATE Routines
A routine gives you structure, and structure can be a big help in feeling like you’ve got your life together.
Routines that have really helped my mental health and reduced stress in my life include:
- A weekly workout routine (planning what days I run, do a HIIT/weight workout, yoga, walk, climb, rest etc)
- A morning routine
- A clear, strict work routine with to-do lists
- A cleaning rota (this has been especially helpful because I live alone, but this could definitely benefit couples and families, too!)
- A night-time routine
- A skin-care routine (don’t neglect your face, people! Also a great form of self-care).
4. Write lists
Much like routines, writing out lists can be a great way of getting stress and that feeling of lack of control out of your head and on to paper.
It can also be a good way of showing you that what felt like a million and one responsibilities that needed to be ticked off are actually a fairly manageable handful.
You can write lists for literally everything and anything in your life, including:
- Grocery lists and meal planning
- Work to-do lists
- Birthdays and dates to remember
- Appointments you need to make
- Domestic admin
- Other life admin
- Affirmation lists
- Gratitude lists
- Goal setting
- General life to-do lists
5. Set goals for your future
Linking back to point 2: once you’ve got a vision for your future, setting goals for that future can be a big step toward in getting your life together.
Set goals that are:
Short term: For example, saving X amount by the end of the month, taking and completing a new course, creating a solid habit of meal prepping healthy meals, learning how to do X by X time.
Short term goals are more specific tasks that you should be able to measure clearly and achieve in a set timeframe. These are the smaller goals that add up to big changes.
Mid-term goals: These can be things like what you want your life to look like by the end of the year. Perhaps a rise, less clutter in your home, to be feeling healthier, working out more (or, a better measure, to have started doing a sport you love). Slightly bigger steps taking you in the direction of your vision for the future.
Long-term goals: This is what your ‘dream-life’ looks like. Making 6 figures, being self-sufficient on your own plot of land, travelling the world, having a core group of friends, re-connecting with family…it will be so different person to person.
Visualize your perfect life. Make it tangible – what do you have? What don’t you have, or rather, don’t really care if you have or not? What are the big cornerstones to aim for to make your vision of you with your life together a reality.
6. Simplify Your Life
Cultivating a minimalist mindset and moving towards a more intentional way of living can be one of the most transformational shifts in perspective you can have. These simple living quotes have always inspired me to be mindful of how I live, and remind me that I am in control of my own life.
It can be hard to take a step back and think about what you really want to get your life your life together when there’s simply…no room.
Sometimes, to let change happen, we need to create space for it, first.
That means simplifying. Not making life plain and boring but shedding the distractions, the mindless habits, the things that drain rather than fill, and ultimately acknowledging how close this new, simplified version of your existing life is to your vision for yourself.
Not really sure how to get started? This article will help you simplify your life.
7. Then, Get Organized
I know that for my minimalist journey, getting organized followed very organically from simplifying my lifestyle.
It feels good to be organized. Not just by creating routines and to-do lists and goals like listed above, but in your physical environment, too.
Sometimes, a messy home is just a messy home because you’re short on time and busy. Other times, however, a messy home can be an indication of suffering mental health and be a big contributor to that feeling of lack of control, of not being able to keep up.
Once you’ve got organized, it is a lot easier to keep things that way. You give everything a home, and then at the end of each day, just make sure everything gets home safe.
A few articles that might help with this step include:
- My 7-Step Declutter System For Around The Home
- These Creative Kitchen Organization Hacks
- 25 Clever Home Organization Tips
8. Be Proactive – make yourself the main character
Sometimes you’ve just got to stop thinking, and start doing. Start thinking of yourself as the main character in your life – the one who gets up early, who smashes their goals, who lives their dream life, and stop being someone who sits on the sidelines (or on their phone) watching others do exactly those things.
To make change happen, you need to move. You need to make decisions and start implementing changes. You’ve just got to act.
9. Stop seeking validation from external sources
All of us grow up with certain expectations of us. Whether that’s going to university, getting a high-paying job, getting married and settling down with three kids and a labrador…going against the expectations your family and your society puts on you can be extremely difficult.
It can make you feel like you’re failing. However, when you stop seeking validation from those outside sources and instead start finding happiness within (cheesy as that sounds), you can start to take back control of your life.
It can be difficult to feel like you’re disappointing the people around you – but you have one life and you should take control of your life exactly they way you want to live it.
10. Find people that add value and meaning to your life
You know the phrase, your vibe attracts your tribe? Well, your tribe can also effect your vibe.
Wow, cringing out that phrasing! But it’s true. If you’re surrounded by negative people who bring you down and don’t make you feel positive about life, you need to make some changes.
Your relationships with the people around you should up-lift you, make you feel safe and loved, optimistic and inspired.
If you don’t think you have people like that in your life right now – find them, they’re out there. And maybe, while you’re at it, take a close look at your current friendships and how they make you feel.
It’s difficult to get your life together if you’re surrounded by toxic people who won’t support the changes you’re making.
11. Start looking for the positives – and stop complaining
Getting your life together is a fine balance between making real, measurable changes overtime, while also learning to appreciate what you have.
Those two things may sound like a bit of a juxtaposition – but re-shaping your mindset to stop complaining and criticizing and instead, finding the positives in life, can be huge.
If you can find a way to be grateful for what you have – even if you’re stuck in a menial job or not anywhere close to where you want to be right now – you’ll be well on your way to getting your life together.
Multiple studies have found that the people who tend to count their blessings are happier and less depressed than those who don’t. Sometimes it’s not about making a huge change to your outside environment: sometimes it’s just about changing how you see the world around you.
12. Set morals that you want to live by
Those of you that are regular readers here will know that I’m an avid yoga practitioner and now also teach a few local classes.
In yoga, as well as the physical asana practice, there are 7 other limbs of yoga. Two of those are the yamas (social restraints) and the niyamas (self-disciplines). The yamas ask yogis to avoid violence, lying, stealing, possessiveness, and over-consumption/wasting energy.
Now, you might not be a yogi at all. Or you might practice yoga once a week and not know much about the yamas at all, and that’s perfectly fine. Personally, learning about the yamas and the niyamas simply reinforced morals that I had been trying to live by anyway.
Non-violence (to myself, to other people, and to other beings on the plant by eating vegan), not lying or stealing, practicing non-possessiveness in relationships, and directing energy into healthy habits rather than distractions (drinking, mindless spending, laziness, for example).
Of course, the morals you live by could be different. But having a few core principles that guide you is essential.
Getting my life together
I’m under no illusions that I have my life together completely. I’m still in my 20s, I still forget things and make mistakes all the time.
However, the past three years that I’ve been running The Wallet Moth, discovering minimalism and intentional living, and deepening my yoga practice, have definitely helped me find a sense of grounding and ‘togetherness’.
A lot of that comes from letting go. Letting go of what others think of me, of what I should be doing, and letting go of my own judgements on myself.
I absolutely love this. Any pointers on how to develop a vision of our dream life? I just feel so out at sea. I’m 30 now and could imagine myself doing a million different things but I don’t know how to decide what to pursue. I’d love to hear your take on how to clarify our vision.