There are times when I feel like I have my shit completely together – when everything is falling into place. I’m killing it at my job, my room somehow manages to stay tidy and organized throughout the week, my personal life is poppin’ and I have weekend plans way in advance, and all throughout, my hair is sitting pretty at a solid 9-9.5. Life is good. I’m awesome at life.
And then, there are times when my life feels like it’s falling apart at the seams. Shit has hit the fan at ultimate velocity and the fan is on full speed. I don’t even know where to begin putting the pieces back together. Not of the shit – of my life.
The thing is that no matter how disorganized and dysfunctional things may seem, with a little TLC, things can and will get back in order. And once you get them there, with regular maintenance and upkeep, you can even keep them there.
Here are 9 easy steps you can take to get your shit together (and keep it there).
1. Find the Root of the Problem
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overall unsettled, there is likely an underlying cause. Perhaps you are in the midst of a big move, or find that your relationship is struggling. The easiest way to continue feeling stressed is to avoid the problem altogether. By doing so, you’ll just be pushing the stress to the back of your mind where it will likely linger and then come shooting forward at the most inopportune of times. Think and think hard, and ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?” By doing so, you will be taking the first step to getting your life back in order: taking control.
2. Analyze the Problem
Some problems are an easy fix. For example, if you are in the midst of a big move, feeling stressed is only normal. During a move or any major change, your mind and your body have to go through an adjustment period that naturally takes some time. Ask yourself: “Are there legitimate steps I can take to solve this problem?” Perhaps you’ve tried tackling this problem in the past without success, or you find that it’s a recurring problem. If this is the case, you may need to change your approach.
3. Make a List
Making a list of daily goals and planning out your week in advance can help motivate you and lead you in the direction of getting your life back on track. Talk to someone about what your goals are and what you are trying to accomplish. Have them check in on your progress regularly. Having someone accountable for you achieving your goals will increase your motivation and help keep you in check.
4. Put in the Work
You’ve found the root of your problem and figured out a list of steps that will help ease your stress, AKA, help you get your shit back in order. But then comes the hardest part: taking action. Don’t wait for someone to come solve the problem for you or for the problem to go away on it’s own, and don’t deny yourself of the problem. Take whatever steps are needed to de-clutter your life and get back on track.
5. Or Learn When to Walk Away
Although many of life’s challenges are inevitable and require solving, there are some difficulties that are unnecessarily toxic to your life. Learn to recognize when a situation is causing you more harm than good, and if solutions aren’t working, walk away. Walking away from a person or situation you are emotionally invested in is never easy. But ultimately, letting go of old, toxic habits and people is a sign of maturity and self-respect. And will lead you on the path to enlightenment and shit-togetherness.
6. Make time for the Things you Love
Getting your shit together requires time and devotion, but it’s important not to let organization get in the way of you pursuing your passions. While there are only a short 24 hours in the day, making a conscious effort to devote just a daily 30 minutes to an activity you truly enjoy can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. Whether that’s going on a quick jog, giving an old friend a phone call, or even blogging (hehe), if you devote time to things you enjoy, you will be a lot more productive at even your least favorite tasks.
7. Get Active
One word: endorphins. They’re real, and they make you happy. You get them from chocolate and from exercising, but for this point I’ll be focusing on the exercising part. Be conscious of how much time you spend sitting a day. If sitting is part of your job or your life as a student, buy a stand to put your laptop or notebook on and give your bottom a break. Even just walking your dog around the neighborhood will allow your body to release some endorphins, give you a moment to clear your head, and will allow you to tackle your daily stressors with an invigorated perspective.
8. Surround Yourself with Great People
Good company breeds good vibes, happiness and inspiration. If you’re feelin’ a little down in the dumps due to your shit not being together, call up a pal. Sometimes just having someone to brainstorm with and spend time with can cure your woes and help you get back on your feet.
9. Be Easy on Yourself
No one is perfect, and as much as we wish our lives would be in seamless order all the time, that is simply not reality. If you maintain a positive attitude and work every day at being a little better, you will get to the level of shit-togetherness you aspire and deserve to be at.