Stop Worrying About Getting Your Act Together and Do This Instead

Stop worrying about getting your act together or meeting other people’s expectations. Try these techniques to accomplish your own goals instead.

“I really need to get my act together.”

There’s an excellent chance you’ve uttered these words to yourself. Or, worse, heard them said by someone else.

But, what does “getting your act together” actually mean?

In some cases, it means following advice from a well-intentioned parent or grandparent who thinks you should be doing what they did at your age. Even if its something they didn’t enjoy or something that led to a predictable future.

This well-intentioned advice may include:

  • Getting a “real job”
  • Quitting a passion project with no safety or security
  • Settling down in a relationship because you’re “getting to that age”

When other people try to make big life decisions for us, it can be really disempowering and frustrating.

But what if you don’t have to “get your act together” after all?

There’s a Better Way

Stop spending time and energy worrying about other people’s expectations for your life.

When you resist where you are in life, you create a rift. This rift is known as cognitive dissonance, a term used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result when your beliefs run counter to your reality.

If you’re constantly listening to other people’s opinions of what you should be doing, you’re more likely to experience this.

Instead of focusing on the rift that you feel when your reality doesn’t align with someone else’s idea of where you should be, take a moment to remember:

You’re always precisely where you need to be in life. You don’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations. 

Visualize and Write Down Your Goals

Pause and consider what you want for your life in all areas. Not the things your mom wants for you or your grandparents… the things you desire.

Write down everything you want on a physical piece of paper or in a journal. 

The physical act of writing unlocks a biological process known as “encoding.” Encoding helps your brain analyze which things get stored in your long-term memory and which items get discarded. The act of writing improves the encoding process, imprinting those visions even deeper into your mind.

Don’t worry if you start this process, and all you have is vague images of what you want the first time. Like a muscle, you’ll get better at this activity the more you practice.

Take It To The Next Level

Want to accelerate the process of achieving your goals? Combine two powerful tools to achieve your goals: visualization and feeling.

Numerous studies have looked at visualization and found that mental practices are almost as effective as physical practices. The brain patterns of weight lifters activated in the same manner whether the athletes imagined themselves lifting or actually lifted IRL.

Form a mental picture of your goals: the more detail you can create, the better.

Picture what it would be like if you were living your ideal life right now. What would your life look like, what are the details?

How will you feel once you’ve accomplished your goal?

Adding in the emotions to your visualization will make the experience even more “real” to your brain. Not sure how to start? Create a soundtrack to listen to you while you visualize: choose songs that transport you to the emotions you want to feel.

The best times to visualize are just after waking up or the moment before going to sleep, two times when your mind is readily receptive to new ideas and suggestions.

Don’t Get Your Act Together. Achieve Your Goals, Instead

The next time someone tells you to “get your act together,” know that you don’t have any obligations to meet outsider expectations.

Stop worrying about what other people think you should be doing with your life and start focusing on what you want for yourself, instead. Then make forward movement on your goals by writing them down and working toward them with the power of emotional visualization. 

Your life, your goals, your “act.” No getting it together required.