Not gonna lie, I’m feeling very behind in life. Like, in ALL THE THINGS. Anyone else?
Adulting isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to feeling like you have your life together. Believe me, I’m literally the worst. But I have LOTS of hope, and I kind of love the mess too. And I love the constant challenge of pushing through and learning while IN the mess, you know?
One of my resolutions for this new year is to try to make some changes that will result in me feeling like I have more control over my life, like for real. I’ve realized that it’s possible to do this by making some pretty small changes. It’s more about consistency and actually FOLLOWING THROUGH. I’m getting better! Here are 15 ways to make you feel like you have your life in order:
- Use a paper planner: Even if you’re all about doing things digitally, I promise you there’s something about actually writing things down with a pen and paper that will make you feel more organized. I tried to do things “digitally” for 3 years and JUST started using a planner in the past year and it’s been a game-changer for me. There’s something about actually (physically!) writing stuff down that makes all the difference! I shared a little bit about my favorite planners on stories, but since they’ve disappeared. I’m currently using the Erin Condren planner, but I also love the one by Anchored Press and Graphic Image (love how there’s no spiral on this one). And speaking of being organized and scheduling how you spend your time, did you see our blog post on 9 Tips for Using Your Time Wisely.
- Set up recurring payments: No matter how responsible you think you are, there will always be that one-time thing that’ll make you miss a payment. To keep your credit in check, it’s better to be safe and set up recurring payments. Using one CC is even more #adultish because it’s streamlined – and when that card is lost or expired, you know you need to reset all payment. I really need to figure out my *ish in this department because I have way too many cards and way too many auto-payments at the moment. But one thing that does keep me in check is I always have a paper copy of my bills sent to my house, which reminds me to open and review them monthly.
- Give yourself a bedtime: Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a kid to have an actual bedtime. Although I sort of wish I had someone (other than myself) forcing me to go bed each night. By giving yourself a bedtime, you’re making it easier to get more sleep, which in turn will help make you more productive during the day. Working on this myself. WHY is this so freaking hard? I have to LITERALLY force myself to stop doing stuff around 10 PM each night so that I can start winding down – there’s just always more I want to do!
- Wake up earlier: You know how it goes, the early bird gets the worm – or at least a lot more done! Early risers always seem to be more productive than people who wake up later in the morning. Enter, an earlier bedtime and earlier wake-up time. We shared a blog post last year with 3 secrets to have a better morning if you’d like to read more on this! And then we talked more on morning routines last week too!
- Donate things you no longer need: As a rule of thumb, donate anything you haven’t used or worn in 6 months. If you’re a semi-hoarder (like me), you can make your life easier by placing all of your hangers backwards in the closet and donating whatever is still backwards after 6 months. Kiiinda genius right? I actually just purged a BUNCH of stuff from my closet and am in the process of trying to figure out what to do with it. I’m thinking I’ll donate some of it and sell the rest! But thinking about that stresses me out to be honest.
- Meet with a financial advisor: I’ve met with one here and there, but in order to really make sure I have it all together and am on track, I plan on meeting with a financial advisor at least once a year. Honestly, I’m waiting until after I figure out how how much I owe in taxes because I think that might really make a difference in what I can and cannot invest (ha!). Being self-employed and having to budget for taxes is such an interesting and difficult challenge each year! I’m still trying to figure it out and it’s been like 4 years!
- Keep an ongoing to-do list: Whether it’s on paper or on your phone, make an ongoing list of things you need to get done. I’ve learned from experience – don’t rely on your memory, even if it’s just for the small things!
- Hire a professional organizer (or set aside time to get it done yourself!): Even if it’s just to organize one room, hiring a professional organizer might be the best gift you can give to yourself. You’ll learn a ton of strategies to keep your stuff in order, which in turn will make you feel more in control. I did this for my closet at the beginning of next year and it was amazing! (I worked with ‘Neat Method‘ if you’re wondering). And then I also had some help when getting my pantry in order. I also did A TON of research – but that’s because I enjoy it. And honestly, I hope to create more blog content around it, so I was determined to learn! But you could also make it fun buy dedicating a Saturday, ordering some pizza, and blasting some fun music or your favorite podcast while you work!
- Back up your photos: It doesn’t matter which cloud storage service you use, just be sure to back them up! There’s nothing worse than losing all of your memories. I’m actually looking for an easy way to do this right. I was initially looking into using Google’s time capsule, but I’ve realized I need more of like a dump & store option (where I take my photos OFF my devices) rather than just a backup option. Anyone else have any helpful tips on this?
- Put things away after you use them: To avoid excess clutter, always put back whatever you use right after using it. Keeping things in their places will save you from having to clean up larger messes later on.
- Use a password manager: There’s nothing more annoying than having to try to remember a bunch of passwords. And it seems like the rules for creating them just keep getting more strict. Keep things simple by downloading a password manager to remember everything for you. I personally use Dashlane and love it.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail: When you have a bunch of junk mail in your inbox, it can be easy to skim by and miss important messages. Think of unsubscribing to junk mail as a form of digital decluttering. Unrollme is supposedly amazing! Read about more ways to get your life organized this year in this post about 18+ ways to get your life more organized in 2018!
- Quiet time daily: I’ve been working on this big time. I was hitting a point where my mind felt full from the moment I woke up until the minute I went to bed. Ugh, how to fix this? It was like a lingering “full” headache and it lasted all day. So, I started having quiet time in the morning – mainly with my bible and a journal, and just letting my mind settle (not be ON 24/7). (I talked more about morning routines last week!) To feel centered as an adult, think about doing something similar – and yoga and meditation are supposed to be great for this too. Do whatever works!
- Clean your fridge once per week: Similar to cleaning out your closet, go through your fridge to purge of anything you don’t use regularly. To make it easier, get rid of anything that’s expired (or close to it) first! Especially if you have roommates, ask everyone to do the same.
- Give yourself a drop zone: Give yourself one (small) area in your home where you can put miscellaneous things and not feel guilty about it. Then, once a week go through that pile and organize it. It’ll be much easier having it all in one place instead of scattered all over.
- Read: Try to read a few books this month – in different categories if possible. It’ll improve your vocabulary and like make you smarter. I’ve recently been reading A LOT. Did you see my post I wrote about all the things I learned from Tim Ferriss’ 5-hour Work Week?
- Stay informed: In that same vein, I always feel like I have my ish together more when I know what’s going on in the world (at least somewhat). It’s not my favorite thing, but I find that listening to a quick 20-min podcast like “The Daily” by The New York Times really helps here. (I also love Drudge Report for straightforward daily news!) That way, when I’m at dinner or whatever and topics come up, I can join in on the convo. Or at least semi know what’s going on.
- Clean your tech devices: When we think about how much we use our tech devices (daily) vs. when we clean them, it’s pretty gross. Since it’s such a big part of most of our days, clean your stuff 1x a week when tidying your desk up on Fridays.
- Pick 5 go-to outfits: Even as a fashion blogger, I have outfits that I go-to when I’m just in a hurry or feeling uninspired. Have a couple for work, one for fun, one for the weekend, and it’ll come in handy – promise. Dang, I should totally do a post on this!! I mean, my go-to outfits aren’t anything special, but I do have a few items I know I can easily throw on when I don’t feel like thinking.
- Have YOU-time: You honestly need it to feel complete. If you’re on the go go go, you’ll never feel like you have your life together. It’ll feel like a constant race and hot mess. Be sure to balance YOU time in so you can refocus on yourself and take a breath.But I feel you if you struggle with this. It’s SO hard to make myself do it!
Do you have any tips or tricks that make you feel like you have your life in order? I’d love to hear!