Have you ever come to the point where it seems like your life has reached a dead end? You think and ponder about what you can do to change your life. It could be a decision involving a relationship, a job, your health, or anything that has made you stop and wonder where you are headed. Does this resonate with your life?
If so, in this article, we will review guidelines to get your life together. I realize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to every situation in life. However, my goal is to provide a roadmap for how to take steps to change the course of your life and begin putting the pieces back together.
We will review the following guidelines to get you back on track:
- Take an Inventory of your life
- Establish a development plan
- Brainstorm to uncover opportunities for improvement
- Journal your progress
- Review your accomplishments
Let’s get started!
1. Take an Inventory of your Life
There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that states, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
From birth to the end of life, we live a life filled with uncertainty. But unfortunately, no one is given a preview of what is ahead or a roadmap for navigating the many challenges that confront us through life.
Life is seen through the lenses of what we see directly in front of us in real time. From that perspective, up close and in person, it is sometimes difficult to see the big picture of our life’s purpose and the designation we are heading to.
Taking an inventory of your life is essential to do from time to time. For example, at the beginning of the new year, many retail stores carry a list of the merchandise they have on hand to determine where they stand overall for the upcoming year.
If we did the same for our personal lives, it would give us a chance to take a deeper look at ourselves from a different perspective.
In doing an inventory of your life, ask yourself these questions. First, where have I been so far? And, secondly, where am I headed?
What can you remove from the life that is holding you back? Is it toxic relationships? Bad habits that are affecting your health? Procrastination or not getting started with following your goals?
Are you satisfied with your answers? Do you want to do more or accomplish more?
All these questions and a deeper review of your life can provide great insight into getting your life in order.
2. Establish a development Plan
During my years in management, there would always be a time to do an annual review. Have you ever experienced this? A yearly review would involve assessing what you accomplished over the year and creating a development plan on how you would make improvements to do better for the upcoming year.
This review, to many, is painful because it requires reflection and thoughtfulness in setting realistic goals. After all, this would be used to measure your pay raise and performance review for the following year.
Just like this performance review, sometimes it is good to look at our individual lives and do a review. How have you performed over the past year? What areas of your life did you do well in? Did you miss any growth opportunities that you could improve in?
For example, how have you performed in your relationships with family or friends? Have you done all you can to be a contributor to helping others beyond yourself?
Have you seen improvement in your career or business over the past year? If so, what can you do better to improve for the upcoming year?
If you did not hit your goals in your personal or work life, evaluate what areas need improvement and begin creating your development plan of action.
3. Brainstorm to uncover opportunities for improvement
Often we reach a roadblock. Just like writing a paper or a report, there are times when we get stuck. Let’s face it; we have all been there at some point. You are trying to make changes to improve or create something, and you don’t know where to begin.
A great solution to get the juice flowing with ideas is to brainstorm. This is simply writing down your thoughts on paper. Then, create a board to pin these ideas on and use this as a jump start to reviewing what is most critical to work on.
Once you have a list of ideas, start putting together a list of your top priorities. It does not have to be perfect.
For example, you may want to work on organizing your house and managing your finances. You may want to start a new career or business or learn a new skill.
Whatever your goal is, please write it down so that you can hold yourself accountable for your development.
4. Journal your progress
Do you remember taking an English class where you had to write in a journal each time you attended class? For some, this could be an easy task. But, for others, it can feel not easy because we don’t feel like doing it.
Whatever the case, writing in the journal was to help you become a better writer. Now I understand not everyone has the desire to be a writer. However, the point of journaling is to reveal your progress.
We can use the same strategy to journal our progress in life. Think of this as a progress checklist. Each day, week, or month, take time to periodically write a few notes to yourself on how things are progressing with your goals.
Be honest and use this to express what is going well and what needs more work. In addition, a journal serves as a way of letting go of the day’s stress and burdens that may be weighing heavily on your mind.
Each day when you have completed your journal entry, let it go. You are, essentially, dumping all data, all the stuff that tomorrow will become a part of your past. But, at the same time, you are revealing what areas you can continue to improve in the future.
5. Review your accomplishments
If life were a race, we would compete against someone to validate our accomplishments. The first, second, and third-place winners would be recognized, and everyone else behind them would appear to go unnoticed.
But imagine for a moment you are in a race against yourself. The result you aim for is not based on competition with someone else. Instead, the competition is with yourself and how to improve to be a better you.
Along the way, it helps to stop and celebrate our accomplishments. No matter how big or small they may seem, it is a great idea to pat yourself on the back from time to time when you have reached a goal or seen some measure of success.
We spend many years of our lives trying to impress others or live up to unrealistic expectations of ourselves.
The most significant measure of your progress in accomplishments for yourself is when you can learn to live life one day at a time, being the best person you can be during that moment.
Of course, we all experience setbacks and disappointments in our progress. We are human and are not perfect. But don’t beat yourself down when you experience a setback. Instead, let it be an inspiration to do better the next day. Each day strive to do better than the day before.
Keep reviewing your progress one day, one week, and one month at a time. Let your focus be on the future ahead of you, and do not allow distractions or disappointments to hold you back.
We have reviewed guidelines on getting your life back together. These included taking an inventory of your life, establishing a development plan, brainstorming to uncover opportunities for improvement, journaling your progress, and periodically reviewing your accomplishments.
The world we live in is changing daily, and the pace seems to go faster and faster each day. Please do not let the fast pace of life prevent you from slowing down to evaluate your progress.
After our lives, two dates will be recorded: the day we are born and the day we pass. In between those dates will be a dash. What you do during your life will be the sum of your accomplishments here.
Take action to do those essential things to get your life back on track to living a productive and meaningful life.
Please share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on how you have taken steps to get your life together. In addition, your time and attention in reviewing this article are appreciated.