One could seek a life coach to help solve their problems, but not everyone has that luxury. If you're reading this, you already know life is rough. It can seem like you're struggling to stay above water or catch your breath.
We deal with people letting us down, plans getting changed, and failure in pursuing our dreams. But you don't have to be a victim of your circumstances. You can create a life filled with peace and happiness.
Your bad feelings don’t have to be reality. Thoughts can guide us where we want, and actions can change emotions.
You just have to try. Believe you can persevere through the challenges you're in right now.
Change doesn’t come overnight, but it does build over time. If 2021 was your worst year, make 2022 your best year. Here’s 45 ideas that can help you get your life back together.
We all got problems, and it's acceptable to talk them out sometimes. But if you're not looking for solutions and just venting all the time, you'll get nowhere.
You'll just stay in a consistent negative mindset that only slows you down. Not to mention people won't want to talk to you as much, which means you won't have much of a support system.
Look at your own experiences. Have you ever found that you get a lot done when you’re venting all the time It would seem like for most people, they don't.
A psychological term sometimes associated with this consistent negative mindset is rumination. It's defined as focused attention on the symptoms, causes, and consequences of one's distress, rather than on solutions.
- Distracting yourself
- Thinking of actionable solutions
- Understanding your triggers
In a situation that’s bothering me, I either find a way to fix it, or just wait it out. I try to put my mind on the better moments ahead in my life.
We all get a little negative every now and then. The problem isn’t getting negative, the problem is staying negative.
If you’re going to complain, make it short. One or two lines of frustration, then either fix the problem, or focus on something else.
2. Live life proactively
Choose to act sooner rather than later. Procrastinating only leads to tasks building up and causing you more stress in life.
Think of your thoughts and actions like a car. Your thoughts are your steering wheel, and your actions are your acceleration.
When you know the direction to go in your thoughts, you move forward through your actions. I like what retired admiral William McRaven says about actions. In a speech, he said it was important to make your bed every day.
It can be the first success of your day and help set the tone for the rest of it. You could make your bed, do jumping jacks, or anything you feel that sets a positive tone for you.
There are people who let life happen to them, and there are people make the life they want happen. If you just do nothing, people and circumstances will eventually decide how your life is going to go.
But if you do something, you get a chance to decide how your life will be. Be the person that's proactive and not reactive. Be intentional about what you do in your day and what you try to accomplish.
3. Create more organization in your life
Using business as an analogy again, a good one operates in an organized manner. Inventory is put in a specific place for easy access. All their operations run on a schedule.
It usually results in the business being productive and successful. The same can be true in your life. Let’s start with putting things in their place.
Maybe you can take time decluttering your closet. It can make your morning easier to find something to wear quicker.
You can work to not only organize your room, but every other place in your house. Have your home set up to help you function like a well-oiled machine.
Scheduling is another big thing you can do to get things together. The great thing about schedules is they don’t have to be strict.
Where you can, choose to make your schedule flexible for things that may come up. The main thing is to have a general idea of what you want to accomplish in your day. Organization gives your life structure, which gives you more of a solid foundation for success.
4. Have a system to reach long term goals
The more you do something, the more likely you’re going to get better at it. As an example, maybe you’re a songwriter.
You could try writing one song everyday to develop your craft. If you’re trying to learn a new skill, find a way to practice it every day.
You might not become an expert in a year, but you’re a lot better than you were before. You can break down your big goals into smaller goals that lead you to accomplishing them.
Think about where you'll need to start, what you'll need to do, what resources, you'll need to have and the potential pitfalls. Have a vision for how much you want to have accomplished within six months, a year, or even five years.
Related: 55 Good Monthly Goal Ideas For 2022
5. Have True Friends, Not Toxic People
True friends keep you motivated and encouraged as you work through your journey in life. Toxic people will constantly talk down to you and make you feel like your dreams are unattainable.
True friends will offer as much help as they can and be there to listen when you need it. Toxic people will mostly take from you and such all of your energy with their negativity.
Your success is as much to do with the people you surround yourself with, as it is with the work that you put in. While sometimes negative people need good friends to help them see a better way, at a certain point you need to protect your energy.
That may mean limiting your time with certain people or completely cutting them out. Whichever you decide, make sure the people that get most of your time and attention in life are those who build you up.
6. Settle on what you truly desire
What do you really want in life? When you close your eyes and think of what would make you happy, what do you see? You can’t fulfill your dreams if you don’t know what they are.
Freidrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.” When you know why you’re working hard in life, you push through adversity. You find the inner-strength to keeping walking your path.
Everyone has a future they dream about happening.
A life traveling on the road maybe, or perhaps a life in the mountains just listening to nature.
Look back at your childhood. Was there something there that’s still in your heart today?
Think about what you feel right now. After everything you’ve been through in life, has something stuck out as what really matters to you?
These reflections can help you realize what it is you truly desire. Once you realize it, settle on that desire being your pursuit. I like the way one author puts it. “Successful people don’t wish for success; they decide to pursue it.”
7. Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself helps you to be more productive. If you don’t sleep enough, eat right, and exercise, you have very low energy.
You're less productive and potentially more mentally and emotionally unwell. Your mind and body are not indestructible. Like an item in your home, if it’s not taken care of, it’ll eventually wear and tear down.
Our elders are a lesson to us. The one’s who’ve taken care of themselves are on no drugs and still able to move around.
The ones who haven’t have a real difficult time continuing to live. Beyond feeling good in our elderly years, you have an incentive that’s even more immediate.
Eating right can involve limiting sugar, caffeine, and eating more whole foods rather than process foods. Exercise can be as simple as just taking a 15 to 20 minute walk throughout the week.
The great thing about exercising is it can help you sleep better. With better sleep, you're more energized to be productive in your day.
8. Dive deeper into your passions
Sometimes we don’t make enough time for things that make us feel alive. Those things that excite should be a part of our life being together.
Our personal passions are a part of what makes us unique from others. I’ve mentioned many times my personal passion is my writing and music.
I’ve made more time for the writing in recent months, but not as much for the music. I’m hoping in 2022 maybe music can be a big part of my life.
What’s one of your passions you’ve neglected lately? Plan to get into it again. Who knows, you never know if starting up that passion again ends up becoming a career.
It's also good for your overall well-being because engaging in your passion can put you in a flow state.
Think about what you enjoy doing and how you can do more of it in your life.
9. Own who you are
We all feel a little down abut ourselves now and then. But it's important to primarily have acceptance for yourself and practice self-love.
It takes time to look within your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about yourself. Proper self-reflection is key.
Get to a point where you can own who you are. Be proud of who you're becoming and love the unique person that you know yourself to be.
Don't let negative experiences in life define you. Be defined by what you make of life in spite of your setbacks.
10. Be grateful
As you're pushing and striving to get what you want in life, don't forget to be grateful for what you already have.
As many studies on gratitude note, it helps lower our stress levels, improves our mental well-being, and makes us happy overall.
The better mood you're in, the more easy it is to stay focused on what you're trying to accomplish.
Consider having a gratitude journal to write down what you're thankful for everyday. Make it a habit to think about what makes you feel grateful when you wake up in the morning.
11. Practice delayed gratification
With the increasing speed of technology, it's influencing our culture to want more things now rather than later.
But sometimes you have to resist the temptation to indulge your desires in the moment.
It might mean not going out every night so you can put more time in on your goals and dreams.
It could mean not spending money on the latest new gadgets so you can save for a new house or car.
If you have a bigger future in mind for yourself, than you have to be willing to put aside temperoray pleasures for longer lasting joy.
12. Write up a plan
When we’re trying to get a good grade on a test, we usually study our notes. Getting our life together is a test in and of itself.
If we don’t have notes to follow, it’s harder to get the results we desire. Your written plan is your notes for success in life.
When I work out in my week, I write down the weight I plan to lift next. When it’s time to lift, I look at what I wrote down, and lift that amount for the week.
A checklist can also be a part of your plan. Write down what you’re going to need to do moving forward. Check it off whenever you’ve done it.
Without a plan, you’re just winging it, which is like the broken clock metaphor. You may get something right twice a day, but you might get a lot wrong in the end.
A plan gives you the best chance to get things together in your life.
13. Have a morning routine
Starting your day off right is an important of having success in life. Certain habits you might want to consider to begin your ddayinclude:
- Eating a full breakfast
- Meditating or praying
- Speaking affirmations
- Listening to uplifting music
- Speaking to a loved one
You can think of other ideas that you feel would be a productive use of your morning.
14. Have an evening routine
Ending your day right is also important. A proper plan for unwinding will help you be better able to get a good night's rest.
Some evening habits you can consider adding to your routine include:
- Drinking a non-caffeinated tea
- Practicing yoga
- Taking a bath
- Keeping your entertainment options light
- Planning for tomorrow
When choosing your evening habits, think of activities that can help make going to sleep a little easier.
15. Research how to start
When you have to travel to a new destination, what do you do?
Right, you look at directions on a map. Similarly, in life, we need directions to our desires. Doing research helps us find the best path to take.
My partner is a very determined individual. When she wants to figure something out, she looks everywhere she can for the best answer.
It’s one of the things I admire most about her.
Believe it or not, much of the information we need in life is right at our fingertips. It just takes a little digging around.
You don’t need all the answers figured out. You just need to keep finding new information every day.
Every day, try learning one new thing that can help you move towards your desires.
You might find the path to your future won’t take as long as you think.
16. Be a critical thinker
While making decisions in life, it's important to critically think about them.
Try to consstently evaluate the pros and cons of a choice you're making in life.
Give yourself time to consider all your options before determining the best route forward.
Once you've taken a significant amount of time to think, confidently make your decision and move forward.
17. Monitor your progress
Your life is your business. In running a business, owners have to evaluate how much progress they’re making in sales.
If they’re suffering losses, they adjust their strategies to improve those numbers. In your life, you have to keep knowing if you’re strategies are making you progress.
If they’re not, then you have to adjust them. If I’ve been stuck on the same weight, I’ve been trying to lift for a few weeks, I lower it.
I build up my strength again on the lower weight, and work back up to the heavier weight. As someone once said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
On the flip side, if you are making progress, you can use that as motivation to work even harder.
18. Push yourself
Often we underestimate how hard we can work in life. Put in the extra hours to see what you're made of.
You might realize you have more mental and physical energy than you thought.
You don't have to overdo it by becoming a workaholic. Just try to do a little extra every now and then.
You'll see how resilient you are and get closer to accomplishing your goals
19. Work to overcome fears
Sometimes fear gets in the way of people getting their life together.
Maybe you're afraid to take action in life cause you might mess up or fail.
You can learn to manage your fears in life through using relaxation techniques.
It might also be helpful to consider cognitive behavioral therapy for developing a better perspective about life.
You can learn to do things in life even when you feel fear inside of you.
20. Celebrate your success
Not everyone is going to root for you in life. Sometimes you have to do it all by yourself.
Anytime you accomplish something that took a lot of work or overcome a fear, give yourself a reward.
Be proud of yourself for getting closer to the better life you desire to have.
21. Evaluate your positives and negatives
What’s working and what’s not working in your life? The idea of personal development is to improve yourself and improve your life.
First, you can list your positives about yourself right now. These are some of your best traits you’ve displayed this year.
Maybe you’re more positive, patient, or persistent than most people. You can commend yourself for that. List what’s been going well lately too.
Perhaps you’ve gotten a new job, a new partner, or some other form of personal success. These are all things you can be grateful for.
Even when certain things about yourself are good, you can still look for ways to make them better. As an example, you could learn new techniques to help you be more persistent.
Of course, if you’re happy with how things are in an area of your life, that’s fine too. With the positive evaluated, look at your negatives.
Be honest with yourself. What were your negatives? I know I wasn’t as diligent as I could have been at times. I also wasn’t as patient and understanding occasionally.
Your negatives are what you can work to change moving forward. Make it your mission to be a better person than you were yesterday.
22. Listen to others for guidance
There are people who’ve been where you’re trying to get. Just like medical residents learn from doctors, you can learn from someone too.
Is there somewhere you want to move? There are videos of people who’ve moved to those places and have advice.
Look for people who’ve specifically achieved what you want and learn from them. Learn from successful people in general as well.
I’ve learned interesting ideas about succeeding in life from listening to different motivational speakers. Some of them might really resonate with you. Here’s one which I particularly enjoyed.
23. Speak positively of yourself
We’re often our own worst critics. But there are enough critics in the world to do the job for us.
Our job is to do the opposite. Be your own biggest supporter. It’s not an accident that the people who are most high on themselves, tend to be the most successful.
Yet too often, high self-esteem is avoided out of fear of being seen as egotistical or arrogant. You have to know there’s nothing wrong with thinking you’re great.
You are great in your own way, as we all are. As Marianne Williamson once said, “Your playing small does not serve the world”.
Imagine a world without people who didn’t think highly of themselves. There wouldn’t be inspirational leaders. There wouldn’t be powerful speakers.
There’d perhaps be no one in this world that would inspire us to be better.
When I see a person who displays high confidence in who they are, that inspires me. Maybe it inspires you too.
Speaking positively of yourself can make you feel good enough to achieve great things. And when you do, you inspire others to achieve great things too.
24. Speak positively of your future
When you believe a good future is possible for you, you’re more likely to make it happen. And that’s not just a thought, there’s science to back that up too.
I can’t count how many times I’ve mentioned this study. It may be my favorite one I’ve ever learned. Researchers had people look through a newspaper for a word.
One group of people who believed they were lucky, and another group who didn’t. The group that believed they were lucky found the word much faster than those who didn’t.
It could have been luck, but researchers had another theory. They concluded people who believe they’re lucky make themselves more aware of opportunities to succeed.
Stop worrying about your future and start believing in it through affirmations. Writing affirmations down can help raise your awareness of opportunities that can potentially make them come true.
Related: 30 Ways to Be More Positive in 2022
25. Accept you’re responsible for your happiness
Getting happiness in our life means accepting it’s our responsibility to do that. That’s not always an easy thing to do.
It’s easier to blame everything around you for your unhappiness. It takes all the responsibility off of you to do anything to change your life.
The truth is, while some circumstances can make happiness harder, it doesn’t mean it’s not in your control.
We all can do actions that help increase our happiness. That’s an amazing thing to think about. You have the power to make yourself happy.
You have the freedom to give yourself joy. I don’t know about you, but I want to do everything within my power to be as happy as possible.
26. Have a power circle
I like the quote about surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. I don’t know who originally said it, but I believe they were a wise person.
Your inner circle should be your power circle. Many of the great people in history had one.
Abraham Lincoln had a team of rivals in his cabinet. Steve Jobs partnered with Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft, when he came back to run Apple.
Whoever is really smart, strong, or people-oriented, they should be in your power circle. You can learn from them and become a much better person.
The people around me know a lot of things and inspire me. I do more than I’ve ever done with my life because of that.
The same can be true for you too with your inner circle.
27. Find more happiness within
Happiness isn’t all about what you have in your life around you. It’s also about how you choose to feel on the inside.
You can find happiness within by reminding yourself of how are you've come.
Reflect on how much you’ve grown as a person. Focus more on your gains that you’ve made in life. Cultivate more inner-peace through mediation and relaxation.
We can certainly be happy with what we own and who we have in our life. But having inner happiness helps you to have joy and peace regardless of outer circumstances.
28. Become a saver
If any year in our lives have taught us to save it’s definitely this one. We know even more now just how unpredictable the future can be.
A lot of what you want to get together in life may require money. You might have a debt to pay off or a place you want to move to.
You need money to make those things happen. The more you’re able to save, the faster you’ll be able to get those things.
Establish a minimalist budget for yourself. Track all of your expenses and see where you can cut them down. You might have to make some tough decisions you’ve never made before.
It’s all a part of growing up and being a responsible adult. Short-term pain can equal long-term gain. You can put up a vision board as a reminder of what you’re saving for.
We live in an instant gratification world. It’s tempting to jump on a discount deal or buy something out of convenience.
If you’ve been happy where you are living like that, by all means, keep doing it. But if you want something more, then maybe it’s time to stop buying stuff you don't need and start saving.
29. Move out
Many millennials are still living with their parents in these hard times. Some older people are even still living with family.
It’s a big step, but maybe the events of 2020 should inspire us to take bigger steps than ever before. Start thinking about where you want to live someday.
Do you want to live in another city, state or country? Look into how much it might cost to make that move.
Knowing now will help you understand how much you need to be saving. It may be a little stressful, but it can also be very exciting to start a new life somewhere.
30. Get lost in the present
Be present to better manage your life. Being stuck in the past or the future usually brings us down. The past tends to make us feel regretful. The future tends to make us feel stressed.
Remember that you’re never going to change the past. All you can do is learn from it and be better. The future may have unknowns but being present helps you control some of it.
Focus on your now right now and take things one step at a time.
31. Make your relationships better
You might have relationships that aren’t the best right now. A Harvard study found that relationships are a key component to having a long life.
Find ways to make peace with relatives you hold resentment towards. If your relationship with your partner has been hard lately, maybe you can seek therapy.
Relationships in our lives can have a positive or negative affect on us. They can make us more proactive and motivated, or less. Taking time to improve your relationships will help you be more happy and productive in life.
32. Put in the work
Action is so important, it’s worth emphasizing again with a different phrase. Put in the work. There’s no way around it.
Unless you hit the lottery, you have to work hard to get the life you want together. As that old saying goes, “Nothing to it, but to do it.”
When you see the results of your actions, you’ll be very proud of yourself.
33. Establish a sleep schedule
I once watched a motivational video that said you’ll have to give up sleep to succeed. Let’s just say, I don’t believe that.
I’m more on the work smarter side of things. A regular sleep schedule can help you exercise your fullest potential in getting daily tasks done
It’s hard to feel like doing much when you feel tired. You’re sluggish to start the day, and you have to struggle to push yourself through.
Why should we make it so hard when it can be much easier?
Start getting in the habit of going to bed at a regular time. If staying up late has been a long pattern, start small.
Go to bed one hour earlier than you do on average. Once you get used to that, try an earlier time. Keep at it until you get to a time you feel good with.
Practice waking up at a regular time as well. If you’re constantly up earlier, it’ll make it easier to sleep earlier too.
34. Work out your issues
We all have some kind of issues. Leaving them unresolved can make getting life together challenging. I’ve sought professional help before in my own life.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you feel you need to talk to someone. Mental well-being is a necessary for overall well-being.
Get your mental life together, and it’ll be easier to get your whole life together.
35. Learn from your failure
Failure can be your greatest teacher. There are a lot of things you can learn from things going wrong in your life. Failure doesn't have to be something that just makes you feel bad.
If you didn't do well on a homework assignment, learn where you made mistakes. If you figure out how to do things right, it can help you be prepared to do well when it's time to take the test.
The same can be the case in with failures in business, relationships, and other areas in life. You can learn what you did wrong so you don't do it again next time. You can get closer to discovering the best way to do something and hopefully eventually succeed.
36. Let go of hate
It can be hard to let go of hate. There may be anger and resentment towards someone who caused you harm. But that emotion needs to go so it doesn't slow your progress to a better life.
You can choose to forgive the person who hurt you. If necessary, seek out a therapist to learn techniques and strategies that might help you.
37. Accept what you cannot change
Similar to letting go of hate, in general, it's important to accept what you cannot change. We all have moments in life we wish had turned out differently. But while may not be able to change the past, we can do things to make the future better.
Put your focus on what you can do now to improve your life. Do things that your future self will be proud of you for doing.
38. Practice keeping your mind calm
The mind can be really busy at times. Learn ways you can calm your busy mind to be less overwhelmed and more focused in your work.
39. Journal your emotions
Research has shown that journaling can reduce stress. It provides us an emotional release from all the negative thoughts and feelings we have.
I recently started journaling more and it's helped to make me feel less weighed down by life's challenges. If you're not sure where to start, here are two articles you might find helpful:
40. Manage your time better
The better you manage your time, the more you can get done. Learn more about time management to help yourself be more productive in life.
While social media is great for keeping people connected, it's largely one big distraction. We can get caught up scrolling through the latest negative headlines and start getting down about life.
We also get caught up in what other people are doing in life, which can potentially cause us not to feel good about ourselves. Limiting your time on social media can open up more time for you to work on yourself.
You can focus your attention more on things that help you feel good and move you forward in life. If you're ready to cut back on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and all the other social websites, this article can help you: How to Spend Less Time on Social Media in 2022.
42. Make a vision board
Seeing the dream life you're working for can be something that motivates you everyday. Staying motivated will help you to stay focused on what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Vision boards aren't that hard to make. You can snip some words and pictures you find online, and then just put it all together in a Word document. Make sure the words and pictures you use really reflect what you hope to make happen.
43. Challenge yourself
An old quote expresses that if we want something we've never had, we have to be willing to do something we've never done. Don't be afraid to try something new that you think might help you be a better person.
You could take a class on something you're interested in or do an activity that you haven't done before. If you're stuck on what to do, I put together some ideas that you might find useful in the article below.
44. Don't settle for less
If there's something specific that you really want for yourself, work until you get that specific thing. Sometimes we can feel like that if we've gotten close enough to what we wanted, then we can be satisfied.
While that might be fine in some cases, in other cases, you shouldn't settle for less. You should believe you can get what you really want, and keep working hard until you get it. In doing that, you might be surprised to see that you actually achieve what you hoped for.
45. Be consistent
One of the main components of success in almost anything in life is consistency. When I wanted to be more muscular, it required me to consistently work out three to four times a week for months.
The same was the case with me graduating school, getting in relationships, and many other things I wanted. Get rich quick schemes and lucky breaks are rarely the way you end up finding success.
In my experience, in most cases, you have to keep working on a consistent basis. You have to keep searching for opportunities until you find one that works out for you. Try doing that and see how much closer you get to creating the life that you desire.
Your life can completely change
We all know how rough life can be. If you believe you deserve a reward for it, then make it happen. Work hard and smart to get your stuff together, and watch how great your life becomes.
Here are some other articles that can help you in your journey:
- What Priorities in Life Should We Have? (11 Examples)
- 10 Tips for Making a Fresh Start in 2022
- How To Reinvent Yourself At Any Age in Every Way
- Making Every Day Count – How To Make Each Day Matter
- Focus on What You Can Control in Your Life
- 5 Steps That Will Help You Make Transformational Change