“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.Steve Jobs
Life can be challenging, and it’s natural to feel like you don’t have your life together, especially if you’ve grown up with social media and find yourself comparing yourself to others. But it’s important to understand that what you see on social media is just a highlight reel. You don’t see what a person’s life is really like by scrolling through their social media account. You see what they want you to see. Besides that, no benefit comes from comparing yourself to others, as it will only lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. As the Roman Emporer Marcus Aurelius wrote, “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” In other words, don’t spend time comparing yourself to others. Understand comparison for what it is: a waste of time. Your time is much better spent on improving your own life and helping others.
What does it mean to “get your life together”?
The first step toward getting your life together is defining what you mean by “get your life together.” Having a target in mind is crucial, as it helps to provide direction and focus. When we feel like we “need to get our life together,” it typically means we feel like we need to regain control of our life. What “getting your life together” looks like for you may be different than someone else. What does “getting your life together” look like for you? Do you want to be healthier? In shape physically? Are you seeking better mental or emotional health? Do you desperately desire clarity about where your life is heading? Is there a deeper issue that requires professional help? As the famous French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Defining your goal or target is the first step to getting your life together.
Understand What You Control and What You Don’t
To regain control of your life, it’s essential to understand what you control and what you don’t. We have control over our thoughts, emotions, and actions, but not over external circumstances, including the actions of others. Writing down your goals can help you focus on what you want out of life, and what success looks like for you. Break down your big goals into smaller, achievable goals and focus on building processes to help you reach them.
Compare Your Goals to Your Current Life – Reflect and Adjust Regularly
Next, evaluate your current life and compare it to your goals. Are you living a life in harmony with those goals? If not, what needs to change? It’s okay to make small changes instead of drastic ones. As James Clear, author of the fantastic book Atomic Habits says, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. A small habit—when repeated consistently—grows into something significant.” (Source) Small changes add up and compound in a way you would not believe. Re-evaluate and adjust as needed, finding a frequency that works for you. Whether weekly, monthly, or yearly, making time to reflect and adapt is important for continued progress.
I have goals for the year, quarters, and month. I keep these all in a notion document and evaluate them regularly, taking time to reflect on what is going well and adjust as needed. I reflect on my yearly and quarterly goals on the first Monday of each new month. Using those goals, I reflect on the month before and write down what went well and what needs improvement. I use these notes to devise new goals for the new month. Then I reflect on my monthly goals each Monday for the rest of the money and use these goals to plan my week. This may take some trial and error, but the time investment is absolutely worth it in the long run. Find what works for you.
Continue to Learn
Continuing to learn and grow is crucial in the journey of “getting your life together.” Whether it’s through reading, watching videos, or listening to audiobooks, make sure to keep an open mind and consider new perspectives. (If you are looking for some good books to read, this post can get you started 👉 The Best Books I Read in 2022) Realize that you are worth the effort and that getting your life together is a journey worth taking.
Getting your life together starts with understanding what it means for you, taking control of what you can, setting goals, evaluating and adjusting as needed, and continuing to learn and grow. Remember that you are worth the effort and that the journey is worth taking. Getting 1% better each day is far better than getting overwhelmed and burning out.
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