15 {More} Ways To Get Your Life Together

In 2015, I wrote one of my most popular blog posts that I’ve posted here on The Swirl Blog, aside from this post: 100 Things to Know Before College. It was 15 ways to get —and keep— your life together. Now, as a post that originally started as a to-do list to use for myself, I was stunned to see how well this post did.

I don’t know about you, but I always get super pumped about the start of a new year. Of course, there is no switch that says its okay for you to be your best self now, but for me, it gives a kind of a structure to your goal setting. I’m super type A which means that structure and symmetry in goal setting are super important to me. I like to start things at the top of the year, month, week, day, etc.

The new year has started and I have set several goals for the year. I’ve also broken them down into small monthly goals to make them more attainable and to keep me accountable. I’ll be sure to revisit them each month to also keep y’all posted. They’ll be linked here once they go live on Friday. Today, I’m going to add 15 more things to the list. I know I’ll be doing a handful of these things to prep for the new semester as well.

Side note: we would love to have you fill out our yearly feedback survey! This survey will help us create the best content and maintain the best site in 2018. Thanks in advance loves.

Let’s get to it.


1. Have your bills and payments automated.

I’ve never actually forgotten to pay rent, but I imagine I’d be a wreck if I ever did. My goal this year is to have all of my bills and payments automated so that I don’t have to worry about jumping on my computer at 11:40 to submit a payment due at midnight. I have enough to keep track of behind traveling and school work.

I’m also going to start budgeting again so that I’m always aware of the money coming out of my account. I had a fit the other day when $50.00 just disappeared and then I realized my Amazon student service had renewed. You always want to be aware of where your money is headed and I think the best way for me to do that is by writing down my typical money expenses in the monthly summary area of my Erin Condren planner.

2. Get your oil changed, tire pressure checked, and take note of your inspection month.

Cars are an entirely different world. But, there are some basic things that you can keep track of and should keep track of in the winter months. Whenever the temperature drops or changes significantly, the pressure in your tires is probably going to act funny. I’d recommend that you keep an eye on it from time to time. Most of the east coast has probably already had this spike {the weather this week is insane}.

A lot of the times you can have air added to your tires for free at the dealership, but you can also DIY at basically any gas station. Also, check up on your oil levels and make sure you have your inspection month clearly noted on that monthly spread in your agenda, especially if you rely heavily on your car.

3. Set up your monthly views in your planner for the entire semester.

I like to jot down important dates into the monthly sections of my planner for the entire semester. That way I know way ahead of time when I can expect to be tested on three different subjects in 24 hours. I’ll make sure to add in appointments, midterms, final exams, and presentations. I also include any travel plans or vacations that I may have snuck in there.

I love using planner stickers to mark off important dates but also keep my spread cute and organized. My favorites are from Michaels, but Erin Condren also sells the cutest foil sticker sheets!

4. Compile all of your due dates into an assignment excel spreadsheet.

This post will show you how to create your very own and tell you all about why you should! This thing is seriously a lifesaver and stays on my bulletin board all semester long so that I know when bigger assignments are on deck and which ones I can put a little less effort into that week to stay sane.

5. Follow some new blogger and photographer Instagram accounts.

Twitter and Instagram is a great place to find new creatives. I’ve been able to find a ton of newer bloggers using hashtags and have also made quite a bit of new friends on social media by engaging with posts. Even if you aren’t an online creative, it can be super cool to connect with bloggers. Online friends are still real friends! I’ve even been able to meet up with a couple of my blogger friends!

6. Find a new DIY project on Pinterest.

I’ve been dying to create this woven wire mesh twinkle light frame, but have yet to get around to doing it. This is probably going to be something that I tackle once I’ve gotten settled into my new apartment so that I have something to do on the early weekends before I make friends. LOL.

You can also DIY fun little organizational tools for your kitchen or bathroom that are plentiful on Pinterest.

7. Start filling in an address book with important numbers.

What is an address book, you ask? Well, it’s a place where you can store important contact information for close friends and family so that you can do cool adult things like send out holiday cards around Christmas. Yeah, I’m still trying to grasp these concepts, too. But, until then, I’ll be making sure to get all my college friends to write down their new addresses so that I can send them fun snail mail and keep those bonds alive!

8. Find a new gym challenge or routine.

I love having a diverse workout plan. When I was the most in shape, I combined weight training with spin classes and hit up Zumba on my rest days. My main goal for the start of the new semester is figuring out exactly how I’m going to revamp my gym schedule and coordinate with some gym buddies to make sure that I actually break a sweat most of the week!

2018 is the year of a healthy and happy me. The gym is just one piece of the puzzle but can take some planning for busy gals with tons of priorities. Abigail and Caitlin are always posting gym updates with some fun tips on how to keep active, so stop by their blogs for more tips.

9. Clean out and organize purses, totes, and book bags.

Gum wrappers and old receipts can exit stage left. You’ll feel so much better when you don’t have wads of unnecessary garbage weighing you down. Don’t worry, I won’t ask why you have three receipts from Chick-fil-A in your purse from March 2017. I mostly like to clean my book bag to find leftover pens and pencils from the previous semester to make sure I don’t need to restock.

10. Find a new podcast to listen to.

A couple of days ago we were asked what our favorite podcasts were. Although tons of my friends have raved about podcasts, I still hadn’t actually popped down to listen to any. So, I went for a hunt on Pinterest and Bloglovin’ to find some lists of podcasts for millennial and bloggers. I think I’m going to start with this one in 2018.

11. Start journaling.

Writing is cathartic and can open you up emotionally. I’ve become much better at communicating and expressing myself on a deeper level ever since I started writing this blog. Keeping a handy journal for those day to day internal rants is a great place to start. Mental health is just as important as physical health after all. This is a super cute one from May Designs here.

12. Invest in a closet staple piece like this pencil skirt or this denim jacket.

I’ve had my Levi’s jean jacket since 8th grade. It still looks and feels brand new. You want to invest in high-quality items like these in your early 20s so that you can save money by replacing year-round items like this. I recommend this denim jacket and picking up this pencil skirt that can be dressed down or up for a cute Saturday outfit or important networking cocktail.

13. Organize your computer files and back them up on an external hard drive.

My G Drive External Hard Drive saved my butt when my other one gave out on me over the summer. It’s so important to keep important files backed up on an external hard drive. If you have a Mac, I highly recommend getting one that is specifically formatted for Macs. My first one could be configured to be used on Mac but I totally regret not investing a few more dollars to buy the one that I have now.

14. Ease yourself into drinking 64 oz of water a day.

Whenever I’m drinking the recommended amount of water, my skin looks better and my body feels more energized. It’s especially important for me because I also drink so much coffee which can be super dehydrating. I typically start with 1-2 standard water bottles a day and then build off of that over the course of a month until it’s just habit to carry around a water bottle with me every day. I want to write a comparison post, but that requires me to actually stick with it for 21 days. I’m going to do it in 2018 though, just watch me!

15. Unsubscribe from unnecessary brand emails.

A couple days before Christmas and after Christmas I was bombarded with a ton of brand emails announcing deals and what not. I’m trying to save more money in the new year and so online shopping has to be minimized. This means I don’t need an email update from Old Navy every 5 seconds. I’m going to be cleaning house on my email accounts to prep for the new year as well.

I figured that this post would be even better than the first one if I gave an in-depth look into how I plan to implement and each one and why I thought it was important in the first place. You can check out my first 15 suggestions in a brief format here.

I have an incredible feeling about 2018 and I know it’s going to be the year of a ton of changes, personal growth, and impeccable challenges. You can go into it ready to be your best self by getting all of your ducks in a row. Hopefully, this gave you a place to start. I know that I’ll be constantly revisiting these suggestions to start marking things off to prep for my last semester.

What are some of your yearly, monthly, daily rituals that make you feel like you are on top of things? Please share because I feel like I need all the help I can get. Share in the comments; I love connecting with y’all!

keep on keepin’ on,

  • thetrendychick

    Loved these tips! I tried to do a lot of these things over Christmas break so I would be on top of things going back to school, but there were a few new ideas here which were super helpful!
    xo, Scarlett

  • I’ve recently been cleaning out my inbox too! There’s so many places I get emails from but I only ever click on the same five so the rest had to go. Also, thanks for the little shout out! Good luck with all your goals!

  • So many great tips!! I’ve been unsubscribing from emails and it really makes a difference. I’m also planning/hoping to write more in 2018!


  • These are all excellent tips! I started taking bullet journaling more seriously this year and I have created trackers for a lot of the things you mention here like paying bills, due dates, etc.

  • mQs

    This list is great. Automating my bills has been huge for me. It’s forced me to save money.


  • Miss ALK

    These are such good tips, and you reminded me I need an oil change later this month!

    xoxo A

  • such great tips! I’m integrating my life on trello to help with all the big picture stuff and have a lot of small things on it that you list here (like bills and workouts) to keep me on track each day!

  • I love the idea of incorporating my blog views (and even social stats) into my monthly planner so I can track growth and whatnot…I’ve never thought about that but it’s such a good idea! I’m also hoping this will be the year of not being dehydrated, so far I’ve started with drinking a glass of water before my morning cup of coffee so at least I can counteract the dehydration of the coffee lol…baby steps!!

    paige / eyeliner wings & pretty things

  • Audrey Knizek

    Yes to so many of these tips! I really need to automate my student loan payment as that would be a horrible one to miss. I also hate being side tracked by payments you’re not expecting. Auto renewals are the worst! I started a new gym routine in December and it definitely made me feel more motivated to get to the gym.

  • I agree! I always feel pumped at the start of a new year and motivated to just do and be better. I love these tips that you shared. I’m always looking for new podcasts, and journaling once a week is one of my goals for the new year. Week 1 and going strong haha.

  • I really need to organize my computer and email. urghhh 2 things I despise. These are great tips though. I’m going through the Marie Kondo book, I think that’s a helpful way for people to start the new year!

  • TheBlondeLifestyle

    I for sure need to drink more water. I’m a barista so I’m always trying and sampling coffee and I do get really dehydrated. Something to certainly work towards!

  • These are really good tips– I totally agree with putting important assignments, appointments, dates, events, etc. into your planner ASAP so they don’t sneak up on you. Also, auto bill pay has been such a blessing!

  • I love this post, there are so many great ideas for getting your life together! I definitely need to try some of these out! I really want to start trying out more DIY projects this year, so I need to start searching for them on Pinterest and come up with some new ideas 🙂

  • Ash Neverson

    I love these tips! I love the idea of following new accounts for inspiration. Pinterest is my go to, all day everyday!

  • Logan Elizabeth Abbott

    Honestly, I’m bookmarking this post because I absolutely need to do all of these things. I always pay my bills as soon as my paychecks come in because I don’t want to hold on to money I don’t technically “have” but I also want to make sure I’m really looking at what I’m spending on utilities and my credit card each month. I really need to clean out all of my bags though! Old receipts and gum wrappers galore!

    Logan | signedlogan.com

  • I’m trying to get my nails done and get a car wash monthly.