Getting A Head Start On 2016
366 And Counting
The year ahead now:
366 and counting.
Get a head start now.
Which path will you take, and for how long?
Lots of plans for 2016....
This brand new year will pass by one day at a time, just as last year did. What can make this year different? You can. Set your priorities and make the very first one Health. Don't wait on that one. If you wait, illness can make your health the overriding priority for as long as it takes to regain your health.
If you have health insurance (and more of us will have it this year) it may include an annual physical, even a free dental checkup and x-rays. Some programs include an annual vision checkup.
You can put off these benefits, but why do that? If it has been six months or so since your last checkups, do a self-inventory. How do you feel? What concerns do you have? Are there routine things you need to get evaluated, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, some tiredness or loss of energy and focus?
Jot down questions you have for your medical professionals. Get the annual "tune ups" and then dig into the other priorities for January and the months to come.
How organized are you? Are important papers, licenses, titles, and valuables safe? When was the last time you went through or added to the items in your safe deposit box? If you don't even have one, get one and use it. "Stuff happens" is more than just a catchy line from some movie.
Are there small things that bugged you last year that you can guard against happening this year? Computers are getting increasingly useful. You don't have to forget birthdays. anniversaries, and important events, let the computer's calendar alert you to each of those. Are you too often trying to find the remote for the TV, the right keys at the right time, an email or physical addresses? 30 minutes of organizing now can save hours of frustration and stress the rest of the year.
Are your finances in good shape? Do you have and respect a budget that also makes provision not only for a vacation, but also for unexpected repairs and other emergencies? If not, take a look (on paper) at what regular expenses you have (mortgage or rent, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, supplies, taxes, dependents, entertainment, etc.) and determine what you can afford to set aside in that "rainy day fund" for when you are sick or have to meet unexpected expenses.
With the budget drafted and in front of you, look through your canceled checks or duplicate copies and see what you have been spending your money for. Did you miss some items that need to be in this year's budget? Are there some things you have been spending for that no longer make sense, or can be handled more economically to add to that "rainy day fund"?
Some expenses that might otherwise have to come out of the "rainy day fund" might be anticipated in advance, like routine maintenance on appliances, a car, the dwelling, emergency travel. There are some things that can be guarded against by insurance, and it might be worth sitting down with a good adviser, as well as having some things checked to avoid the avoidables.
With health, organizing, and the budget provided for, what do you really want to accomplish this year? Let's add some items under the heading of "Happiness."
Is there a reunion coming up? Would you like to plan for one? Have you put off something that would be fun, and now you can plan ahead for it? Is there a major purchase that would add to your quality of life, if you started saving for it now? Is your present work satisfying? Would it make sense to keep your eyes open for something better. What would it take on your part, to allow for the changes in your daily life and career that could make you happier and more fulfilled?
This is the planet where it is a good idea to plan it.
Planning the best paths to arrive at your goal.
© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.