Many people enter the “real world” with no idea how to make themselves productive or successful. They keep looking for answers to better themselves. Others feel like getting their life together is too cumbersome and isn’t worth a try.
You will experience many challenges as an adult, both young and old. Maybe it involves the top things we value in life, such as money, self-improvement, having a meaningful career, and achieving all our personal goals.
Life is never easy, though, and it keeps testing you. You will face problems that make you feel like you cannot take it anymore. People you trust will let you down for no reason. And you may not be able to fulfill your dreams.
But you can learn how to get your life together despite tough times. Others have done it, and you can too.
Getting Your Financial Life Together
For most people, your financial life will start in your teens or twenties. You’ll get your first job and first car, move out of your parent’s house, and maybe go to college.
Soon enough, you’ll be looking to buy a house, start a family, or travel the world. (Or maybe all three!) All while paying back those student loans and living within your means.
Here are some tips that successful people use to get their financial life on track.
Have Clear Financial Goals
When you are starting out, you have no idea what exactly you are stepping into. It’s a good idea to set a financial goal that keeps you on track to where you want to be.
The best way to achieve your financial goals is to have a plan. It allows you to manage your money purposefully and track your progress easily.
Your goals can be broken down into other smaller steps, such as:
Short Term Financial Goals
These are goals you can realize within a short period, usually from 0-3 years. They should be manageable and easy to start with. Do not strain to make your short term goals too high to reach. You want something attainable.
Mid Term Financial Goals
These usually have a lifespan of about 3-7 years. They should be more complicated than short-term goals and help you reach a more sophisticated financial stage.
Long Term Financial Goals
Long term goals are how prepared you want to be for your future. These are the goals you want to achieve in the next seven years and beyond.
Organizing your goals this way will help ensure you complete them within the timeframe you have set.
Establish an Emergency Fund
You have to prepare for the unexpected and set some money aside. Some emergencies can be severe enough to ruin your finances if you don’t have emergency savings to turn to.
There are different emergencies in life, such as:
- Losing your job
- Medical expenses
- Home and auto repairs
- Other life-threatening situations
- Natural disasters
You can start your emergency fund by saving a percentage from your monthly income or choose a round number like $100.
The important thing is that the money in your emergency fund is out of bounds and only used in case of an emergency.
Treat it like any other bill, or better yet, automate it so that you don’t even miss the money coming out of your spending account.
Have A Budget or Spending Plan
After establishing your financial goals, prepare a monthly budget or spending plan for yourself. Your plan dictates where your money goes and how you use it on various expenses.
Having a plan helps you focus your money on the critical things and prevents overspending on things you may not need.
Your budget will also help you pay all your bills on time and be prepared for irregular expenses.
Bank On Your Future
Your future depends on your current banking habits. You need to start a savings account and retirement plan to protect your future from financial struggles.
To make the best future financial plans, choose the right bank and financial products. Avoid banks with crazy interests and unnecessary fees that will take your hard-earned money. Your bank should also be easy to use and have financial advisors who understand your needs.
Getting Your Professional Life Together
Although we are more than just our jobs, our careers are a big part of our lives. They shape who we are and how we live.
A great job gives us joy, a sense of accomplishment, and enough money and relaxation. A bad job, however, can consume everything and still leave us struggling to make ends meet.
Don’t underestimate your career when getting your life together. You can improve your professional life by using these tips.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
You have to be honest about what you can and cannot do. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is an eye-opener. It will help you engage in activities you know you can accomplish and avoid projects that will only give you problems.
To determine your talents, look at your completed projects and your work history. What jobs did you thrive in, and why? What tasks do people often look to you for help with?
You can also try identifying your talents by taking career personality tests.
Plan for a Change
The labor market is constantly changing. It’s easy to be left behind if you do not adapt to these changes.
For example, in marketing, online marketing has taken over the industry, and those businesses that have not embraced technology are suffering huge losses.
Change does not occur once. It happens gradually over time – and that’s a good thing. Doing the same thing over and over again for several years would be incredibly boring and unfulfilling.
Learn from Successful People
A mentor is far more important than people think. These are people who have achieved success in your career field. They have faced challenges but kept on pushing to become what they are.
You can learn almost everything through their struggles to become better. They will also give insight into ways to solve your challenges even before they reach you.
Never Change Your Goals, Change the Approach
When you have failed to accomplish a goal you have made, what is your next action?
Many life coaches advise that you not change your plan to something simpler just because you have failed to reach it on your first try. You made the goal for a reason, and you must find a way to achieve it successfully. Instead, try changing the approach and system you used.
Getting Your Personal Life Together
We do most of our living outside of our work, yet often neglect our personal lives. Achieving your professional goals will help you succeed in life, but so will achieving personal goals and making ourselves a priority.
Better Yourself Through Self Care
It is essential to learn to take care of yourself. Many people wait until they are sick to start, not realizing how detrimental that is.
Taking care of yourself involves:
- Eating healthy
- Reducing stress and depression
- Exercising regularly
- Taking time off to refresh
- Washing your hands
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an inevitable activity that helps to relax your emotional and physical status. When you do not get enough sleep, you can have significant health issues that will affect your productivity and even cause health issues.
Get into a routine of giving your body the rest it needs. Avoid specific foods and drinks before bed and aim for 8 hours of sleep every night.
Exercise is a must to stay healthy. Whether you hit the gym, go for a morning jog, or join a sports team, exercising helps you to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You can also effectively shed unwanted weight through daily exercises.
Eat Healthy and Right
Our body depends on the intake of the food we eat. If you do not eat enough healthy food, your body may not function well and you may not have the energy you need to make it through your day.
Ensure you eat healthy foods that will not contribute to factors such as diabetes and obesity, and save those sugary treats for a special occasion.
Take a Break
It’s easy to work all the time, and there is a lot of pressure to do so. But your body needs a break to allow your brain cells to relax and muscles to get back to working effectively.
Not only do you need breaks throughout your day, but you should be taking days off from work, too. Don’t let your vacation days go to waste! Even if you’re not able to take a trip somewhere, not going into work for a week or two will help you reset.
Stop Complaining About Your Life and Act
Talking about your problems is fine and generally considered to be healthy, however, complaining all the time is not. Life is challenging for everyone, but complaining about it does nothing except make us more miserable.
Anytime you find yourself complaining about something, stop yourself and instead try to focus on what you can do about it to make the problem better.
Many people are not successful because of procrastination. It’s too easy to mindlessly scroll through your phone or watch another episode rather than getting to your work.
Always strive to finish what you have started. Once you get started on a task, it’s easy to keep going. So tell yourself you’ll do one specific thing or work for 5 minutes on something. It’s usually enough to trick yourself into keeping working.
Be Very Organized
Organization is a key to achieving success. It helps you spell out your goals clearly and helps you plan for every step you need to make it happen. Always organize yourself by breaking projects into small units to accomplish them easily.
Remove Every Toxic Person in Your Life
It may hurt to let go of some people in your life, but remember to put yourself first in every situation. Not everyone wants you to succeed, and anyone who keeps you away from your success is an enemy of your progress. Cut them off.
Get Your Life on Track with These Proven Strategies
In conclusion, getting your life together can be a challenging but rewarding journey. You can secure your financial stability by setting clear financial goals, establishing an emergency fund, following a budget or spending plan, and banking on your future.
Similarly, by knowing your strengths and weaknesses and planning for a change in your professional life, you can achieve career success. The key is to have a plan, be proactive, and take control of your life.
Remember, others have done it before you, and you can too. With persistence and hard work, you can get your life together and achieve all your personal and professional goals.
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Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.