What does it mean to have your life sorted?

Is your life sorted

Is your life sorted?

More to the point, what does it even mean to have your life sorted? According to research from Compare Cover, most people don’t feel like they have their life sorted until the age of 37. Well, I’m 38, so I should be all good by now shouldn’t I?

I suspect that I’m not your typical 38 year old though when it comes to life plans.

According to the Compare Cover research, a lot of people, when they think about having their life sorted, think about things like getting married and having a family. For the majority of people I imagine that these events normally come after stuff like building a satisfying career, feeling financially secure, finishing their A-levels… I’ve done life a bit backwards though, and it’s only now that my youngest child is on the brink of leaving home – (four years feels like a relative brink…) – that I’m almost in the position to do things like buy a house.


Compare Cover’s research, which included opinions from 2,000 people, found that top of the list in terms of feeling like your life is sorted, is having your finances in order. 78% of women picked this as their number one. 

For me, finances are a massive part of feeling like a grown up. I don’t just mean things like being able to afford a holiday, and staying out of my overdraft – it’s more than that. In the last few years I’ve ticked quite a few of the big financial boxes – I’ve written a will, taken out life insurance, and sorted out my pension situation. (I’m in the minority here as apparently only 35% of people in the south west of England have life insurance!)

Dull maybe, but those are the kind of things that leave me feeling like I’m in charge of my own life, rather than the other way around.

Getting my financial shizz in order gives me a real sense of accomplishment and is a massive confidence boost when I’m feeling vulnerable. I have been known, (don’t tell anyone), to check my bank account online multiple times in one day when I’m feeling under pressure, just as a way to reassure myself that I’m in control.

‘Come on Middleton,’ I’ll say to myself, ‘you’ve got this.’

If I’m feeling particularly fierce I might make a little ‘YEAH!’ noise or do a mini fist pump.

I’ve definitely not always felt this way though, and it has taken a long time to get to this point. I’m not alone in that.

The results of the Compare Cover survey have been made into an interactive infographic, so you can break down the answers by region, age, and gender. For example, you can see how sorted 18 years old feel compared to the over 55s. The good news seems to be that the older you get, the better you become at life. Even categories that you might think younger people would have sorted, like your friends and social group, get better with age.

Heading for retirement? Chances are you’re feeling pretty good about things:

how do I know if my life is sorted?

how do I know if my life is sorted?

I found the research interesting as it made me stop and have a little stock take of my life, relative to other people’s of a similar age. I always find too that splitting your life up by category like this is reassuring in times of crisis. Say something bad happens in one area, like your love life – it can be all too easy to think ‘ARGH! My life is ruined!’

When you look at your life in sections though, you can see that a relationship disaster is only one small aspect of what makes your life sorted and it helps to give you perspective.

I also liked the section of the infographic that looked at what people where doing to help give them that feeling of having their life sorted. (See the full infographic and change the age and gender settings here.)

If you’re my age for instance, and want to know what steps you can take to help you feel more in control, you could take inspiration from your peers:

How to take charge of your life

As you can see, finances are by far the most influential factor – over half of people my age said that sorting out their finances is something they have done to get their life sorted.

I’d love for you to go and have a look at the infographic and see how relatable it is for you. Do you feel that your life is sorted? What factors influence this? Is there anything you feel you’d like to change to help you feel more in control?

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!

life goals

Sponsored post. Header image – Dudarev Mikhail/shutterstock



  1. 13 February, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I realise now, as a thirty-something mother of two, it is tremendously difficult to balance everything and tick every box. There really is no ‘one-size fits all’ in life. What you lack in one area you often make up for elsewhere. That is the beauty of humanity, everyone is different & has their own view on what success means to them.

    Lisa @ Wonderling

    • Jo Middleton
      14 February, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      I think that’s a very good point, it is hard to be thriving in every category at once – we are only human!

  2. Emma
    14 February, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    I also had my children at a younger age, and spending years renting makes me feel completely out of control with financial stuff, but getting there slowly and ticking the boxes! But also feel more as I get older that I don’t NEED to fit in the boxes! (Sometimes) xx

  3. 14 February, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    That’s a really interesting question Jo, and one that’s pretty hard to answer!

    I love that the infographic includes cutting back on bad health habits …. that’s such an overlooked way to be “sorted” but so important for the bigger picture.

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