Chances are, you have one — the to-do list that never seems to get done. It consists of all those pesky “adulting” items you know you should do as a responsible member of the grownup tribe. However, you don’t need them daily, so they get shoved to the back of your mind.
This ostrich method doesn’t work once disaster strikes. Therefore, why not prioritize the list below as things to tackle before the new year? Here are nine things everyone should do but don’t always think about.
1. Make an Evacuation Plan
The raging wildfires in California create a sobering reminder that what’s here today can be gone tomorrow. What would you and your family do if authorities ordered an evacuation while you were separated at work or school?
Begin by evaluating which types of natural disasters are likely to strike your area. Then, prepare an escape route and ways to communicate with loved ones when apart.
Pack a go-bag that includes a fresh change of clothing, a first aid kit and any medications you take, supplies for infants and pets and backup chargers for electronic devices. Invest in a battery-operated or hand-crank radio, as storms can knock out other communication systems. Decide on a meeting place if evacuation orders occur while you are apart and how you will attempt to make contact.
2. Check Your Insurance Coverage
The United States stands alone in not protecting the health of its citizens between the ages of 19 and 64. While it might sound tempting to go without protection now that the shared responsibility penalty no longer applies, doing so could devastate your finances for years. Over two-thirds of all bankruptcies in this country occur due to medical bills.
Likewise, you should check in with your life insurance provider, especially if you have kids. You might be able to convert your term policy to a whole one if your financial picture improved over the past several months. Doing so lets you build a cash value you can borrow against when it comes time to send your kids to college.
3. Get a Physical
Going to the doctor is an expensive proposition in America. However, putting it off could cost you even more.
For example, an estimated 88 million adults live with prediabetes. You can reverse this condition with diet and exercise — if you know you are at risk. The only way to discover it is to have an annual physical complete with a blood draw. Letting it progress to full-blown diabetes could result in dependence on prescription medications or even costly organ failure.
4. And an Eye Exam
Your eyes are your windows to the world. Your insurer might not include them in your health plan, but they are vital to your well-being.
For example, more than 11 million Americans live with uncorrected visual impairments, often nearsightedness. The headaches caused by eyestrain might affect no one but themselves. However, they create a public health risk when they get behind the wheel.
5. Test Household Appliances
If you love a hot bath, you aren’t alone. However, your penchant could put your baby at risk. Children and the elderly have thinner skin than those of other ages — please keep your water heater set at no higher than 120 degrees if you have little ones.
Likewise, you should test appliances like natural gas stoves for leaks to prevent adverse health effects. You should test carbon monoxide and fire detectors monthly. Schedule this task to coordinate with your monthly rent or mortgage payment to make it easier to remember.
6. Inspect Your Vehicle
Your state might require an annual vehicle inspection as a matter of law. However, you should still take your ride to the mechanic if you live in a region without such a requirement.
A blown tire or rod can endanger your family’s life and health. Many shops offer a multi-point inspection as part of their routine oil and filter change packages — it’s worthwhile to accept this addition for your safety.
7. Review Your Budget
Where does your money go? If you can’t answer that question when moths fly out of your wallet, it’s time to review your budget.
Fortunately, many financial institutions make this task easier for you by categorizing your expenditures. Examine where you spend the most. Can you find ways to reduce it?
8. Search for Home Safety Hazards
When was the last time you looked at the world from a baby’s perspective? That stray button under your couch no longer appears harmless once you recognize the choking risk.
Go through your home and ensure your non-slip rug pads still adhere to your hardwood floors and cabinet locks work. Cover your kitchen burners and upgrade your outlets to make them childproof.
9. Check-in With Your Spirit
You are more than the machine that runs your household after bringing home the bacon. Please don’t neglect your self-care.
Take time each day to check in with your spirit. Perform a mindful body scan and free yourself from distractions while you explore your mental state. What signals are your emotions sending you, and how can you use that energy to bring about meaningful change in your life?
Don’t Delay. Do These 9 Things Everyone Should But Don’t Always Think About Today
It seems like every adult has a to-do list they never complete. Tackle these nine things that everyone should do but don’t think about before the year ends.
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