Are you managing your life or are you going through life without too much thought? Having an ordered life means that you are taking care of each part of your life so that the integrated whole addressed and and you are mostly where you want to be in life. It can take a lot of work and energy to have a life you’re happy with, especially one that stands the test of time and growth. If you are also facing ongoing fatigue, pain or other health issues then sometimes having an ordered life take EXTRA work, time management skills and forced concentration. That’s where this post comes in.
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I know from personal experience how hard it can be to realize your energy ain’t what it used to be. I write about some of the repercussions of this in other posts, but there was a time in my life when my neat, tidy and organized young girl self became, well, a bit of a slob. Somewhere along the line I had missed the part in school where they talk about having balance in life. I was tired, burnt out, sick, and didn’t know how to take proper care of myself in the way that I needed. (Heck, it’s a journey)
Somewhere along the way, with the help of spiritual guides, coaches, mentors, tons of self-help books, an ongoing spiritual growth mindset and a lot of trial and error, I began to pick up on this Order of Life thing.
I realized that one of my top values was having order in my life. Sometimes people say that wanting to control everything is a bad thing and it can be, but so is abdicating your power and the direction of your life. When you abdicate, someone else will gladly take over that role for your or you alternatively you could just remain stuck forever. I needed to take more control of my life than I had been doing, and once I learned how, I felt a new found sense of peace and purpose.
Let’s jump into more about what a disordered life looks like.
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Signs of a Ongoing Stress
What are some clues that you may be living a disordered life? Lots of ongoing stress. The clue is in the severity of the issue. Everyone has areas of their life which may be undesired or unpleasant. Many of these things are due to causes outside of our control. But when we pretend things will get better and don’t address what we can address, disorder may begin to creep in.
Trigger Warning: there is no judgement here. Please also be kind to yourself if any of these mentions trigger you. We’re all bound from time to time to get triggered by things and not take care of things well. But we can learn how to improve things.
- One or more areas of your life aren’t satisfactory for you even if other areas are thriving.
- You may feel shame and try to hide an area of your life because of it. Some people are private but don’t necessarily have anything to hide. But if you feel tortured in an area it may mean you haven’t addressed your feelings about it.
- Perhaps others are starting to see that there is an area in your life that is struggling but you ignore feedback and any issue. If well-meaning family or close friends gently bring up this issue, are you seeing what they’re seeing or putting blinders on?
- Perhaps you send a huge amount of your time in one area and that is throwing disarray into the rest of your life?
- If you’re in close company with someone who has any sort of addiction, it may be throwing you off balance. Do some critical thinking about all of your closest relationships and see if life becomes easier when that person isn’t around you as much. Maybe some boundaries are in order.
- Do you lack confidence in yourself? Then maybe one or more areas of your life aren’t reflecting your true potential.
- Do you feel as though you are in the exact same place as you were years ago, but that frustrates you? Then you may be doing a great job maintaining the status quo and putting on a good face to the world, but your energies aren’t working towards your real vision for your life.
These are just a sampling of what could be going on behind the scenes. And trust me when I say, I get it. These are common tendencies in so many of us and they’re all a part of the life journey. But they don’t have to be a permanent fixture of your life, you can move into another phase of life that better suits you.
Signs of an Ordered Life
Does having a well-ordered life really matter?
Some would argue not to worry about it too much, but to just keep on living any way you want. But if it weren’t for those pesky happy people running around who are absolutely THRIVING with good spirits and counting their blessings, you might never know it was possible to have an ordered life and be happier because of it.
What does it mean to have an ordered life? Ordered life meaning: to have an account for your time spent while here on earth; with faithfulness you are able to account for how you spend you life ‘bank account.’
Many of us get help living an ordered life from the Bible, and Church tradition and believe that there is a path filled with treasures we can store up by doing our part here on earth. The scope of this isn’t going to fit in this post, but you can always do your own exploring. (Is the bible fiction? That’s a question for another post…)
Here are some signs of an ordered life:
- You have spent time thinking about each area of your life and have a general plan for meeting demands, solving problems and keeping the area in growth mode.
- You actively address issues as they arise and work to correct repeat issues by changing how you deal with them as necessary. The quote comes to mind: “I used to walk down the street and fall into a hole. Then, next time I walked down the street I walked around the hole. Finally, I started taking another street.”
- You have a general sense of peace about each area of your life, even if you aren’t exactly where you want to be. You have a plan to get there or an acceptance about your goalpost changing.
- Others come and ask you about how you got where you are, or for general life advice. You may be a mentor to many.
- While you don’t have a perfect life, and aren’t perfect, you aren’t afraid to admit your mistakes and keep learning with the help of God and others.
- Your spiritual life is a source of free communication between you and God.
- You generally know your blind spots, weaknesses and vices; so much so that you actively practice the opposite or they are a thing of the past.
If you are doing what you can do then you’re trying. There are so many things that can disrupt our lives that we can’t control, but we can keep learning how to handle things and better prepare for them. Eventually, we may even avoid them altogether because we can see them in the distance.
Nine Powerful Keys to a Well Ordered Life
What are some areas you can assess to help you better order your life? Examining these 9 areas will help you to focus on what is working, what’s not working and where to invest first. At the end of the day, it’s all about your values and living a value driven life
The first time I looked at my life like this I was working with a life coach during a turbulent situation in my life. I felt powerless, out of harmony with my life and trying to please everyone else. I was also at a crossroads that would forever change the direction of my life. The truth was, I didn’t know enough about my values at the time to even take a stand. Maybe you could relate.
After doing my own assessment, I began to get very clear on what was needed. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was really hard to get back to where I wanted to be after getting so off-track. But sometimes, it’s important just to avoid the hole in the street and begin to learn.
The Life Assessment Fly-Wheel
You can do your own assessment of your life by using this FREE PRINTABLE Wheel of Life Fly Wheel!
And don’t forget, you can try out this Five-Minute Journal and stay on track all year long with living your most orderly, productive and true-to-you life.
Steps Towards Improvement
Questions to ask yourself:
- On a 1-10 scale, where are you at in each area of the flywheel?
- What area do you want to see improved first?
- What do you need to do to get improvement?
- What would be the most fun to do next?
- Which area being better would be the most inspiring?
There is no right or wrong answer here. If you’re using a values based approach, then let your values guide you where you need to go. For me, focusing on my values brought me closer to my faith and deepened my zest for life again.
As with all reflection, keep in mind that you may face hurdles, setbacks, opposition and fatigue! Expect everything and just keeping making small incremental steps towards what you need to do.
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“Finding one important thing in your life doesn’t mean you have to give up all the other important things.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way.” ~Plato
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
Have you done an honest life assessment recently using your top values? If so, are you going to make any changes?