We are in tough times! If we could have predicted 2020. Well, I am sure we all would have been a bit more prepared in some way. Even if just financially. I know personally for me, 2020 has been a catalyst for me to get my life together. The repercussions of 2020 alone will be enough to predict tougher times ahead. So what better time in 2021, than to get your life together with specific 2021 goals. This post will look at different areas of your life that you should focus on in 2021. These areas are; finances, environment, your emotional self, career, relationships and health.
Now I am not saying you have to sort all of these areas out in 2021. But, you should at least be looking to improve some of these areas. Especially, if you feel your life has little or no direction, things are a bit of a mess. Or you want a full overhaul of your current life. Then these are the areas you really should make progress with in 2021. You don’t have to get to where you want to be, because the key word is progress.
5 Areas of Focus to Get Your Life Together:
- Emotional Self
First start with each area, write down where you are now. For example in your finances, you may have debts, a large mortgage, be overspending, or have high expenses. Write down the 5 things within your finances that bother you the most. It doesn’t have to be 5, it could be 3 or even 1. Which of these cause you the most concern or stress? Identify them in order, with number 1 being the most concerning. This will determine your priorities.
Now you can do this several ways, you can tackle each of these bit by bit each week or month. Or you can split them up over the year. For example, January to March you will focus on paying as much debt off as you can. You can continue over the rest of the year to pay your debt off, just not at the same level. Then April to June choose another priority to absolutely batter, whether its savings or overpaying your mortgage.
Use whatever method will work for you. But first consider your preferred methodology. Are you a methodical slow and steady kind of person? or someone who goes all out with extreme focus and determination? Whichever you are will determine what method you prefer. If you feel there is just too much for you to tackle. Just pick one thing from each area you would like to achieve or establish in your life. You can always review them monthly, quarterly or half way through the year and be so astounded by your progress you add another challenge to tackle before the end of 2021.
1. Take Steps Towards Financial Freedom
We live in a world that relies on finances; for shelter, food, water, healthcare, education and overall quality of life. So it makes sense to include improving your finances in order to get your life together.
These are some suggested priorities (they may not be yours, so choose what’s important to you):
- create a budget (Clever Fox Budget Planner)
- start keeping a log of your net worth
- save £1000 emergency money
- start a pension or ensure you are paying enough in to it
- pay off your store cards / credit card / debts / loans
- save a deposit for a home or overpay your mortgage (if you have one)
- have sub-accounts for clothes / socialising / holidays / Christmas and Birthdays / a car or anything else you want to save for (ensure you budget for these)
- start investing (do your research on this)
- educate yourself on personal finances; read blogs, buy books, watch YouTube videos, do free personal finance courses.
Other things you may want to do research and focus on:-
- how to increase your income
- creating passive incomes
- limiting beliefs around money
- investing and compound interest
- how people get rich, or anything else that takes your interest.
See my previous posts Financial Freedom Goals update: July 2020 or 8 Financial Regrets to Avoid for Financial Freedom
If you want financial independence or financial freedom you have actually got to take steps towards it. So, make 2021 the year you start to turn your finances around. But, don’t be overwhelmed, pick your priorities for 2021, you can pick another priority in 2022 and beyond. You may have buried your head in the proverbial sand up to this point, take it out, flick your hair back and make positive changes to your finances.
2. Get Your House in Order
You should also look at your environment if you want to get your life together. Environments, particularly where we live are important and can impact on our wellbeing. Now you may live with your parents, rent or own your own home. Are there outstanding jobs that niggle you? But you either don’t get around to them or can’t afford to do them. Try to aim to do at least 1 significant repair / maintenance job on your home in 2021. Learn DIY, stop getting workmen in for jobs you can do yourself. Unless you have plenty of money and would rather pay someone. If you don’t have much money and things aren’t getting done, learn to do them.
Be aware of any limiting beliefs you have around this. I’ve always shyed away from DIY, but gave it a go in 2020. I have lots to learn, but I am having a go. You can watch YouTube for almost every job / task for home repairs, DIY or improvements. I even fixed my hoover in 2020 by watching a YouTube video. I nearly went out and purchase another one, I saved myself at least a good few hundred pounds.
Consider doing yourself
In the past I would use a decorator to do my painting, now I do it myself. In 2020 I had 2 windows replaced, grouted and painted tiles, and decorated 3 rooms. Decluttered and reorganised my shed so everything is much easier to find. You do feel a sense of achievement when you do things yourself, as well as saving yourself some money. I have a Home Improvements folder on my computer with a list of jobs that need doing. Yes some of these jobs need an expert to do. I’m saving to get those jobs done, whilst doing the easier jobs myself.
In 2021, I plan to replace 2 windows, get a new door, and new fascia boards. There are a few jobs I am planning to do myself; two broken door handles, more decorating including painting a tiled bathroom and floor. Home maintenance is ongoing, if you do nothing for 5-10 years then you may have a bigger job on your hands or risk more expensive repairs.
3. Heal Your Inner Wounds
Few of us are perfect healthy balanced happy people. There are things you can do to heal your inner wounds, most of us have some. Are you 100% confident, happy, secure, emotionally balanced? then skip to number 4, if not, stay right here.
What would you like to change about yourself (not physically), do you have addictions? do you have a temper? have you a history of failed, abusive or traumatic relationships? are you lazy? do you procrastinate? are you unproductive? If you are any of these things, then it may not be your fault. You may have inner wounds that need healing. The best of it is you can heal, whether you have childhood trauma, PTSD, mental health issues or just a negative outlook. You can work on whatever is at the root of your problems to heal your self, your life, your job, your relationships. I strongly recommend finding a therapist that can help you work through your issues.
Inner wounds can affect every area of your life. Depending on how deep those wounds are, they can have devastating consequences. Not just on your life but the people around you. So the importance of healing yourself cannot be underestimated. If you have inner wounds, these may be holding you back from having the life you want.
You are not broken!
Remember, if you have childhood trauma, you may feel broken, unfixable, or damaged. Feeling this way is a symptom, it is not reality. You are not broken, you have inner wounds. You are not unfixable because you weren’t broken in the first place and you are certainly not ‘damaged’. There is no switch to instantly heal your wounds. But, there are things you can do to start to heal. Make 2021 your most courageous year, the year you started tending to your inner wounds to bring about healing. Seek professional help for these. This will make things easier, give your healing focus and ensure you are moving in the right direction.
4. Create a Pathway to Your Dream Job
Happy in your career? Great, then move on to number 5. Not happy in your career? Then read on.
First, you need to do some soul searching on what you enjoy, what skills and talents you have or would like to have. Do you have your ideal job in mind? Perfect, that’s half the battle. Now, you just need to breakdown the steps you need to get that job.
If you have no clue, then this will take a little bit of work, some self awareness and possibly a reality check. If your ideal job is a professional footballer and your 35 and never even played football semi-professionally. Then you may want to reconsider, the majority of professional footballers have retired at 35. Maybe you could be a football coach. There are many many roles linked to particular interests. So even if your dream job is not practical or not at this point in your life, you can still do the next best thing.
The next best thing
You can still move towards the next best thing, you never know where that may lead. Your dream job may be working with animals. There are so many jobs you could take, courses you could do, volunteer opportunities to gain experience. You may even want to be self-employed. If you love dogs you could become a self-employed dog walker or a dog sitter, the opportunities are endless. The first step is to draw up a plan, a pathway to your dream job, what are you waiting for?
5. Get your relationships in order
Although I have tried to get my life together for a few years now, 2020 made me start to take real action. I had a review of the people in my life in 2020, it wasn’t intended. I think as I started to heal, I started to easily identify unhealthy people in my life. Some may even say toxic, but I find that hard to attribute to people I care about. These are people with their own inner wounds. But unfortunately their behaviours were impacting negatively on my life. Once my healing started and I started doing Core Belief and Boundary work. I realised I had a very manipulative friend who repeatedly ignored my boundaries, played mind games and repeatedly lied to me. I cared deeply for this person, so this was extremely difficult. But I had to cut them out of my life.
They caused me stress and anxiety and somehow didn’t make me feel good about myself. So, most of my interactions with them consisted of mind games which left me feeling confused, anxious and sometimes worthless.
It took time to realise the connection between my anxiety and this person. But, if I challenged them on anything, they would twist it around to blame me. They never said sorry or took any responsibility for their behaviours. I think this person has very deep childhood wounds, so I do feel sorry for them. But, at the same time, they are an adult and they have not yet faced up to their own issues. In fact they think they are perfect and everyone else is ‘below’ them. So, as hard as it was, I had to protect myself. I had to do what was right for me and not allow this person take take up any more of my time or energy.
If you identify a manipulative or abusive person in your life, I urge you to seriously consider walking away from them, if you can. They cause untold damage to your emotional self. No-one is worth risking your emotional, mental or physical health for, protect yourself at all costs. Assess your relationships, I am not saying relationships have to be perfect or conflict free. But, if there are red flags you need to consider the harmful impact one person can have on you.
I highly recommend the short but valuable book ‘Boundaries after a Pathological Relationship‘ Don’t let the title put you off, you don’t have to have been in a pathological relationship to get enormous benefit from this book.
Also, see my post ‘How Healthy Personal Boundaries Support Inner Child Healing’ for developing healthy boundaries to protect yourself against unhealthy or toxic people.
Take responsibility for your own happiness
I know someone who relies on men to make her feel happy. She has done nothing with her life, she is intentionally unemployed, lives with her parents, and drinks too much. Her only goal in life was and is to get married. She is in her late 40s and that hasn’t happened. Because of this, she is deeply unhappy and admits to crying most days. She simply cannot see the connection between her unhappiness and relying on others to make her happy. In fact she has a history of having relationships with emotionally unavailable men, which inevitably end. She ruminates over her ex, she does nothing to help herself and I believe the root cause of her problems is a lack of self love. However, she is relying on her ex coming back for her happiness, she refuses to accept responsibility for her own happiness.
If you want to get your life together, you need to look inside yourself first. Do you have relationship patterns? Do you want to end this pattern and find real love? Then look inside and take responsibility for your own life and love yourself first!
6. Get your health in order
Getting your life together really should start with the basics; Health. Not looking after your health, can be an indicator that you have inner wounds (see number 3). But, I know how difficult this can be, but look after your health anyway, despite how you feel. If you look after your health, it can improve your mental health. Key basic areas in your health are:-
You need to be drinking between 2-3 litres of water per day. I know a lot of people can struggle to drink this amount of water. Not only is it essential for life, it has both health and beauty benefits. It will keep you skin clear, younger, it will keep your eyes clear and sparkling. I found I wasn’t drinking nowhere near enough water. So I purchased a large water bottle, which I fill each night for the next day.
You don’t have to deny yourself treats or junk food altogether. Try to gradually improve your diet so you eat healthy 80% of the time. If you never eat fruit, start with introducing one a day for one week, then gradually increase. If you don’t like vegetables, think of ways you can incorporate into your diet by spiralising or juicing or adding to smoothies.
Ensure you are getting enough sleep for you. If you have problems sleeping, try to get to the bottom of it. Do you have stress in your life? what can you do to eliminate or reduce that stress? Have you tried meditation, reducing alcohol or caffeine? Are you too sedentary during the day, maybe a daily walk will help you sleep. Delve deep in to the causes of your insomnia, because good quality sleep can help you have a good quality of life, lack of sleep can be a cause or add to your daily stress levels.
You don’t have to be a gym bunny, but some form of daily exercise will provide you will benefits to your health and wellbeing. So set a goal to incorporate some form of daily exercise into your life. If you have a dog, even better, vow to take your dog on at least one daily walk in 2021. You will not only be improving your health but your dog’s too.
Other Things You Need to Know To Get Your Life Together
Priorities to Get Your Life Together
Whilst making sure you cover the basics (see 6). You need to consider which area of your life needs your focus the most. Make 2021 the year you start to get your life together by making progress in this priority area more than the others. At the end of 2021 where do you want to be? Be realistic, a small amount of progress is better than none.
Plan Your Life
If you want to get your life together, don’t just drift through life, have goals and have a plan to achieve them. If you don’t know how to achieve your goals, brainstorm, keep brainstorming. Imagine how you would achieve them if there were no obstacles in your way. Break them down into itsy bitsy tasks, the smaller the better. Then identify obstacles for each task, rather than the goal. Brainstorm again, how can you overcome these obstacles? If the obstacles truly cannot be overcome, accept that and find another way if you can. If not, then make another plan, keep at it, persistence and consistence nearly always pays off!
Be more goal orientated
Almost every day, I do something no matter how small that takes me closer to at least one of my goals. I am aware this is essential if I want to get my life together. Otherwise it simply won’t happen. Whilst it’s good to plan, there is a danger you can plan too much. Which can result in taking ineffective or no actions towards your goals. Even if you think you have no goals, make some up. By doing this you will learn and discover the things you do want in life, it beats doing nothing.
Review your goals and progress
At least once a month, review your goals and progress. You may even decide to remove a goal or add a new one, this is fine. Review your goal progression, are you on track? If not, can you catch up? Is there anything you need to drop from your life that takes you further away or distracts from your goal tasks? Remember, the main thing holding most of us back, is a lack of self-belief. But, you can work on improving your own self-belief, meanwhile work towards your goals as if they are a given!