One thing I struggled with for a long time was feeling out of control in every aspect of my life. I never seemed to have time to do anything all the way and as a result, my life was full of half finished goals and lots of stress and unhappy feelings. Being home for the past six months has been a great chance for me to reset and figure out what my priorities are. I added and subtracted some key things and now am much happier and healthier and finally feel more organized and prepared. If you are in the same place I was and are trying to get organized, I compiled a list of some of the key things I did/am still doing. Here are 10 ways to get your life in order.
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10 Ways to Get Your Life in Order
Review Your Finances, Create a Budget and Stick To It!
Personal finances tend to ebb and flow for me. As a woman in my forties, I have always created budgets for myself but haven’t always been the best about sticking to them. Being home so much and therefore, spending less money has been a great way for me to actually stick to the budgets I create.
I use a couple of apps to help me out. Mint is one of them. Mint brings together all of your bank accounts and bills so you can manage all of your finances from one dashboard. I also use CreditKarma to monitor and check my credit score for free.
Move Your Body Regularly
Whether you go for a walk around you neighborhood, head to the gym or take your bike out for a spin, moving your body will have so many positive impact on your list. Exercising regularly strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your quality of sleep and mood and helps keep your thinking, learning and judgement skills sharp as you age.
I try to get 10,000 steps every day and have been meeting this goal regularly lately, which makes me very happy. I track my steps on a FitBit. An Apple Watch is another good option for monitoring physical activity. A good way to hold yourself accountable is to recruit a friend or family member to join in your physical activities.
Go to Bed at a Decent Hour
“Decent” is very subjective and is different for everyone. For me, a “decent hour” is 11pm.
We all know that sleep has many benefits. It reduces stress. Sleep can improve memory. It can lower blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight. Sleep also puts you in a better mood, one key to having a good day. Therefore, getting more sleep may be the most important in any list of ways to get your life in order.
The next step for this one is to get off my phone by 11pm as well so I don’t start scrolling and the next thing I know, it is 1am.
Log off of Social Media for Extended Periods of Time
Speaking of scrolling on social media cutting into sleep, this one will help with that. Not only does scrolling on social media prevent us from getting things done, it is also not great for our mental health at times. FOMO (fear of missing out) and feeling less than adequate after seeing other people’s best lives over and over can take its toll.
I am committing to logging off of all of my social media accounts – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – for 24 hours at a time, three times a month. It will be hard but it is necessary.
Create a Morning Routine
A good morning routine can be the difference between having a good day and a bad day. It sets the tone for the day, better allowing us to control our schedules rather than our schedule controlling us. Benefits of creating a morning routine include being less likely to forget something important you need to do during the day, reducing stress and eating healthier.
My morning routine includes making my bed, washing my face and applying skin care, SPF and make up to my face, getting dressed for the day, opening all of the blinds (and windows if it is nice outside) to let the natural light flow in, journaling for a bit and then making myself some green tea and a light breakfast. I also like to add a few puppy snuggles in if I can.
Journaling is a new habit for me but one that I really enjoy. Benefits of journaling include keeping your thoughts organized, improving writing skills and relieving stress. Journaling can also allow yourself to reflect, boost your memory and inspire creativity.
Journaling doesn’t have to be hard. I started by writing down threw things that I was grateful for each morning and then built my way up to more thought provoking prompts.
If you are looking for some inspiration to get started, you can check out a list of 25 journal prompts for women and beginners that I created when I started journaling here.
Declutter Your Living Space
I am notorious for having a cluttered home. I live alone and quite honestly, don’t care. However, now that I am working from home and have been spending almost 24 hours a day at home, I am realizing that I hate having so much stuff everywhere.
I am now tackling one room a week and my goal is to go through everything in each room and throw things away or donate items I no longer want/need/use. So far, I have gone through the bathroom, the bedrooms and the kitchen.
All of these spaces look so much better and make me happier when I am in them.
Organize the Apps and Photos on Your Phone
Anyone else have 20,000 photos on their phone, all in one, unorganized folder? Hopefully, it is only me.
In the past, organizing the photos on my phone was something I did a lot when I was sitting on airplanes. Strange, but true. It was the perfect way for me to pass the time without internet access. Unfortunately, since I haven’t traveled in almost a year, my photos folder has exploded and is now out of control. I have started to tackle it as I am watching TV was night. It is working but it is a very slow, tedious process.
Organizing the apps on my phone is an easier task. I try to delete the apps I no longer use often. I also check how much storage they are using and delete the data within the apps if they are taking up too much of my storage (Apple Podcasts app, I am looking at you!).
The good things is that I have a lot of storage on my phone so it isn’t like the old days when I would need to delete apps to take photos on my phone. However, it is still a good habit to get rid of the apps you are not using. Not only does it diminish clutter, it is also good for privacy since apps may track your activities and location too.
Reading books can be such a great escape from day to day life. A good book will take me to another place and make me wish it never has to end. I used to be a voracious reader! I’d start a book, finish it in a day or two and then be looking for my next one. Unfortunately, I am no longer this way and it is something I am not proud of. I will read a book or two here and there but nothing consistent. I like being well read and knowledgeable about a lot of things.
If you struggle with this too, set a daily or monthly reading goal. Start small and build up if you can. My current goal is to read two books a month – one fiction and one nonfiction or self help/inspiration.
Create a Vision Board
Creating a vision board is something I have wanted to do for a while but kept putting off over and over. If you don’t know what a vision board is, it is a collage of images and words that that you should display in a prominent place to remind you why you do what you do every day. It should include images and words that spark your motivation and remind you of your values, goals, or dreams. It could also be filled with things that inspire you or leave you feeling happy.
A vision board is the perfect visual reminder of why you get up each morning and what you are working towards. It can focus your energy and help prioritize the things most important to you.