I recently came across an article that listed a bunch of things you can do to feel like you have your shit together. Things like declutter your wardrobe, polish your silverware, make your bed and nail your outfit.
That article pushed a button! It pushed it so hard that the button got jammed.
Making your bed and nailing your outfits will do nothing in terms of getting your life on track! Sure, it feels nice for a moment or two. But then the harsh truth sinks back in and once more you realise that you don’t have your act together. And this time it hurts even more.
If you keep patching the superficial wounds and only do the easy stuff you will never get it together. These cosmetic touch ups won’t fix the ugly truth. But they might cause the ugliness to spread until you eventually become so used to it it becomes comfortable.
How to get your shit together
If you want to get your shit together you need to get to the core issue. Address the source of the problem and stop wasting time on quick fixes that make you feel like you have it together but do nothing on the long run.
It takes a little bit of self reflection and a lot of hard work. But hey, that’s just part of getting your life in order. I’d argue it’s worth it.
5 brutally honest questions you need to answer in order to get it together
1. What does having your shit together even mean to you?
Trick question? Maybe. Everyone has a different idea of success and failure and you won’t be able to asses where you stand until you take the time to define both.
This is your chance to get brutally honest with yourself. What does success mean to you? What do you want in life? What don’t you? Are you living someone else’s dream? Are you working your ass off for someone else’s dream?
2. Do you have your shit together?
Take a look at your answer to the previous question. Now take a look at your life. Do you have your shit together in terms of your own version of success?
You might realise that although it looks like you have your life together, you’re really just living someone else’s dream. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps your house is a mess and you’re never on time because that shit just doesn’t matter to you.
Whatever it is, be honest with yourself.
3. What shit do you need to get together?
Make a list of all the shit you’re dealing with, everything that is not working out in life, all the stuff you want to clean up. Big or small, write it all down.
Ironically, that article I mentioned earlier also said something about making lists of tasks to do. But there’s a big catch here. A list by itself ain’t gonna do shit if you don’t do something about it. And we’ll get to it in a moment, but first I’d like you to compile another list …
4. Why don’t you have your shit together?
It’s time to make a list of all the reasons why you don’t have your shit together. Go over the list you just made in step 3 and think why are these things the way they are.
Did you get fired and ended up in debt? Did your knee injury prevent you from running so you’ve put on wight? Is your job so demanding that you don’t have time for your family and that’s why you’ve been handed divorce papers?
Think deep and hard. Write down and make a list of all the reasons why that shit happened in the first place.
Alright now let me get you in on a little secret. This list that you just made? Bullshit!
All these reasons are just shit excuses your mind makes up to stay in the comfortable bubble of familiarity. You see, want it or not, your brain is already invested in this shit and it will do whatever it takes to stay here.
5. What would it take to get your shit together?
Hopefully we both agree that the first thing it would take in order to put your life back together is for you to let go of all the excuses and accept responsibility for your own life.
If you can’t agree with that … well, you just wasted your time reading this far because you won’t be able to make change happen if you don’t own it. So thank you for your time and best of luck.
For those of you still with me, let’s make yet another list. Yep, I’m not kidding.
What would it take to get your shit together? What would you have to do and what would you have to give up? What would you have to sacrifice in order to turn your life around?
We already agreed you’d have let go of your excuses. You’ll also have to stretch that bubble and step out of your comfort zone. You’ll probably encounter fear, pain, failure and obstacles. You will have to do some uncomfortable stuff and now is time to list it all down.
5. Do you actually want to get your shit together?
Take a moment to let the feelings sink in. How do you feel about what you’ve discovered about yourself and the shit you’re dealing with?
Is the reward (your answer to question #1) worth the price (your answer to question #5)? Do you want to make peace with all this shit or do you want to tackle it head first?
Whichever you choose, commit to it 100%. There is no half assing it when it comes to turning your life around.
6. How will you get your shit together?
I hope you’ve chosen to deal with your list of shit, I really do. I know it was a tough choice and I’d love to tell you that the hard part is behind you but the truth is, it’s only gonna get harder before it gets better.
We’ve already identified the problem (#3), we know the solution you want (#1) and we also know the tradeoffs (#5). Now it’s time to figure out a way to bridge the gap and get you the life you deserve.
Think of all the ways you can clean up your messy life. What can you do to get your shit together? What needs to happen in order for you to get your dream life?
Write it all down, set goals around it, make an action plan. Then work that plan. Work it hard!
And remember, nothing changes if nothing changes. So if you want different results, you will have to do things differently.
7. Where will you start?
Since we’re all dealing with different shit in our lives there’s no one size fits all solution to magically get your life back on track. But we all need to start somewhere.
If it was me, I’d start by cleaning up the smallest turd on the shit pile.
This works because it gets the ball rolling. It gives you a quick win and only gently stretches your comfort zone. By slowly expanding your comfort zone you will be able to keep the bubble intact while it expands.
So where will you start?
Now go do it!