By thinking ahead, you can help guide your own future. Be very honest about these types of questions:
Do I see potential health problems developing with loved ones? For instance, if your elderly mother is losing her balance, maybe it’s time to sell the two-story house she lives in.
Will my own family finances work well after retirement? Many people have retired only to find out they need a part-time or full-time job to supplement income. Take a good look at what is truly going to work for you.
How can I get some volunteer work within my own family? For example, do you have a niece or teenage grandchild who might stop by to check on certain relatives? Any of us can get into real trouble regarding our mental health by trying to manage everything alone.
Do I or my spouse have health problems we’re ignoring? No time for exercise and grabbing fast food too often can impact anyone’s health. Face up to what needs to be done to ensure you and your mate feel your best. Buying and cooking healthy food might be the starting point.
“While no one has a crystal ball,” says a manufacturing plant owner we’ll call Troy, “we all need to take a look at what’s working and what’s not.” Troy recently made the decision to sell his business because his wife’s health is not great. He wants to enjoy more leisure time with her while that’s possible.
It’s also a good idea to look ahead in your marriage issues, needed goals for your life, and what you have control over. Minor adjustments can make life flow much better.
For example, you might hire a little household help, cut your work hours just slightly, trade your older car for a slightly better one, join a weekend hiking club or downsize your home or apartment. Be proactive to push your decisions forward. Don’t just talk about needed changes.
Every family must have good leadership to thrive. Start by making several small decisions to see how your leadership is working. Then, take a look at bigger decisions you need to make.
“Our family finances improved when we obtained a home equity loan to pay off my old college debts,” says a father of three we’ll call Brian. “Jumping on problems to whittle them down to size will definitely lower your stress.”
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Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips.” She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org.