Sometimes life can feel off balance and off-kilter. When my husband and I separated, I didn’t know what to do next. I was living in a city that I hated, I had no friends around me, and my job was paying me way less than what I deserved. I wallowed then I decided I needed to get my shit together. Then I wallowed some more. This went on for a while. For two months, I sat in my sadness. When my lease was up, I knew I had to come up with a plan. I didn’t want to add homeless to my list. Fortunately, I had an aunt who didn’t live too far away from where I lived and where my job was in D.C. She let me stay until I got my stuff together.
Even in a new environment, I couldn’t shake my sadness. I read dozens of self-help books and tons of articles on love, divorce, and heartache. I watched every Ted Talk I could find on relationships. I could not shake it. I tried to find everything I could to help me find meaning in my heartbreak or to find out why I could not get out of this funk. No matter what I did, there was no real explanation for why my life felt out of wack. My depression was eating away at me and I knew that If I didn’t break the cycle I would be stuck on sad. It was then where I decided things had to change. I just didn’t know how to start.
It didn’t all come to me at one moment. I spent a good amount of time trying to find myself and figure out what needed to change in my life to make me feel happy again. The scariest part is putting my whole life on the table and figuring out that what needed to change was me. I was the issue in my life that needed to change. I was stuck on sad, no one else. At this point, my ex and I decided to get a divorce and he had already moved on. Why couldn’t I do the same?
So I decided to get to work. There are certain steps that I needed to take to get my shit in order. The steps include:
Analyze Every Facet Of Your Life
It’s simple. First, I needed to analyze all parts of my life. I grabbed a pen and a notebook and broke my life up into categories. Each category was a different part of my life. The categories were home, career, relationships, and self. Not every part of myself needed to change for me to get my stuff together but it’s helpful to analyze the good parts and bad parts of my life. I had to ask myself hard questions.
Where Do I Stand In Life? Am I Successful? Am I Happy? No? Okay. Why Not? Where Do I Want to Be?
Everyone’s ideals of success are different. How do you measure and calculate success? There’s no real measure. To some, success is having a lot of money. Or having their own car or house. Or living on their own. Or even making it through school. As you grow, your measures of success should change. So, how do we get to our individualized level of success?
First things, first, what part of your life are you proud of? It could be any part or several parts of your life. For me, I am proud of my career. Besides being a blogger, I am a digital content specialist for a marketing firm. I excel at my job and the pay is decent. Of course, I would like to go farther but right now I’m pretty okay. My finances is another part of my life that I am currently proud of. I finally have a savings account with money in it. All of my bills are mostly paid off and I don’t really have that much debt with the exception of my student loans. But one thing at a time.
Since I looked at the parts of my life that were successful, I have to do this with the parts of my life that I believe could use some work. I definitely need to take care of my body more, work on my emotional health, and personal relationships could use some work.
The next part to analyze is why are these areas on your life successful and is there a way to bring those same habits to the areas of my life that is lacking?
How will you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been? Make it easy on yourself. Write it down and prioritize by importance. Organize your list from most important to least important.
Be a Freaking Goal Digger.
Understanding what you want can help you get your sh*t together. With your list, break it down even further. What do you want to change in each category? This part takes time and requires you to dig deep. You should write down at least 10 for each category. If there were no limits and nothing to stop you, what would you accomplish? Be brutally honest with yourself.
These goals need to be for you. Not what your mom or dad, brother, friend, or coworkers want for you. What do you want?
Write it down. You don’t only have to write down things you want to change personally. You should also write down things you want to accomplish and the material things you want to own.
For example, here’s some of mine.
- I want to try to stop freaking out about the future.
- I want to try to live in the moment
- Self-care. Make more time for myself
- Get out of my pajamas
- Meditate for at least 10 mins a day
- Workout for at least 30 mins a day
- Have at least $1,000 in savings for a rainy day
- Pay off student loans
- Make sure everything has a place
- Save for new couch
- Learn a new skill
- Update resume and apply to jobs that I actually want
- Travel to Costa Rica
- Visit Spain
Make a To-Do List
Now that you figured out what you want, now you have to figure out how to get it. Is there something you need to add or remove from your routine? What is missing? Sometimes its simple. It can be as easy as organizing your day and making more time for yourself. It could be simple as saving a few dollars for each paycheck to get a new sofa.
Another thing to figure out is if there are people who can help you during your journey. Find a mentor. Go on youtube. Go on Pinterest. Network. Find new ways to get what you want.
Get To Work
Time for action. The only thing stopping you, is you. Get started. Put in the work. Don’t just get started but keep going. Don’t let this become like your New Years’ resolutions. You know what I’m talking about. Every December 31, you say you’re going to work out every day and you do. But after February, that resolution disappears. Post your list somewhere you can see everyday. Make a vision board and put it in your bedroom. Finish your goals, then make new ones.
If you are unhappy with your life, you have to power to change it. No one else can do it for you. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. You got this.
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