Lady Stella Reading, founder of Great Britain’s Royal Voluntary Service said, “The whole point about getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.” But sometimes the most important decisions get put aside because they take time. There are some things that are more important to your peace of mind than just cleaning out the garage.
I put together my personal “Top Ten Musts for Peace of Mind” to wrap up the year. These musts give me serenity so I can live my life unencumbered. The goal of my list is to help you jump start your own “peace of mind” list. Let’s break it down David Letterman style:
#10. Make a Will. Call your lawyer or go to RocketLawyer.com and put your final wishes in writing.
#9. Contribute to your Retirement. If you don’t have a financial planner you trust, keep searching until you do. If you are self-employed, it’s even more important to contribute to your retirement and possibly pay less taxes in the process.
#8. Take Vitamins. Regardless of eating habits, most of us don’t get the nutrients we need to live a healthy life. Daily vitamins and supplements are the fail safe. Ask your doctor for advice and find the easiest (not necessarily the cheapest) way to ensure that you take them daily.
#7. Monitor Your Credit Score. A good credit score is key to managing debt and making future large purchases. CreditKarma.com is totally free and monitors your credit scores. I check mine as often as I want from the Credit Karma app on my smartphone.
#6. Update Car, Life and Home Insurance. Make sure your policies are up-to-date and you are getting the best insurance for the least amount of money. Consolidating your insurances through a single company you trust can save you money and precious time.
#5. Donate to Charity. Charitable donations in the form of money or unneeded items from our homes are a win win. I set up monthly reoccurring donations for the causes I believe in so I know I’m making a difference. Charitable donations in the form of non-cash donations given to your favorite agencies are helping those who have needs beyond our understanding. Talk to your accountant about how your donations will be treated by the new tax laws.
#4. Know Your Financial Picture. This can be as simple as developing a spreadsheet that lists money coming in and bills going out each month. You could also keep track of interest rates, when loans will be paid off, and a list of your assets.
#3. Nurture Friendships. Go to lunch, send cards, make phone calls and text randomly. Take time to cherish the friends who support your goals in life and let go of those who don’t.
#2. Make End of Life Decisions. None of us wants to think that our lives are going to end any time soon, but it’s not always our choice. These decisions could include funeral arrangements, service details, DNR orders, organ/body donation, and personal wishes to family. Any forethought on your part is invaluable to the family members left behind.
And my #1 Must for Peace of Mind is to Give Love Freely. When the people you love know that you love them, that’s peace of mind.
Take the time to organize your Peace of Mind list and monitor it yearly so it will serve you well into the future. Developing this list may not be easy, but having peace of mind is priceless.