Life’s four walls: Practical, effective and essential

We wake up every morning into a new world. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, we run across something else. The fact is, we live in crazy times that aren’t going to continually evolve through early 2021 at least.

In response, we should learn to live with intention and purpose. Anything short of that will leave us vulnerable and susceptible to outside forces. Recently, I wrote about your financial four walls and how to prepare and protect yourself and your finances. It’s applicable whether you have a million dollars or $1,000 in the bank.

But your finances are only one measure of your life. It’s also true in life. In fact, don’t wait until those tough times arrive because they are inevitable. They may arrive in the form of a job loss, economic downturn, unexpected illness or death in the family, but they will come.

There are other checkpoints and checkups. Consider these Life’s 4 Walls, the essentials for survival, endurance and perseverance.

  • Health.
  • Finances.
  • Family.
  • Faith.

Four fundamental areas will reduce stress, maximize priorities and build confidence as you face uncertainty and upheaval. Moreover, it’s good practice for any significant event you may encounter.

Health.

You’ve heard much in recent months about “underlying conditions” that can make you vulnerable to COVID-19. But it also raises awareness that we can improve our general health by applying common sense and a little effort. We can also work to better manage situations that are hereditary or genetic.

Leading underlying conditions include:

  • Obesity or overweight.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart or lung disease. (Cardiovascular or breathing conditions).
  • Kidney or liver disease.
  • Age (older than 65).

According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have two or more. The four lifestyle risks for Americans, especially those with underlying conditions?

  • Tobacco use.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Excessive alcohol use.

Sure, you may have inherited your condition, but you can do something about it. If you don’t have these underlying conditions, you can still improve your health.

You can lose weight, you can eat better, you can drink your water, you can exercise. Do what you can!

Finances.

We covered this recently in a few posts, but it’s time to get your financial house in order. Some experts and advisers are predicting even more dire circumstances just ahead, so take the opportunity to prepare. Job security is down, savings are down, unemployment is up, countless loan and credit card payments have been missed, and confidence in the economy is mixed at best.

An election year doesn’t help matters either.

It’s time to get in shape financially. The obvious starting points are establishing an emergency fund and chipping away at debt. It’s important to have a game plan.

Read about the Financial Pandemic: The Coming Storm.

Family.

How are your family and friends? Can you help them? It’s time to circle the wagons and take care of mom and dad as well as kids. Kids, check on your parents. Parents, communicate with your kids and grand kids. Share your wisdom, your experiences and things you’ve learned.

If you’re the jam in the sandwich generation, double down, but don’t wear out. Take care of yourself first, and be quick to offer help and consolation.

Your family is a key part of your life’s four walls! Protect, preserve, prepare.

Faith.

Ah yes, how things have changed. Since we can’t — or don’t — go to church as often as we did a few months ago, many people have become lost and amble through without an anchor. Today, calls to mental health hotlines have skyrocketed, business closures are up, personal finances are in turmoil and domestic abuse has escalated.

Crisis — whether it’s COVID-19, a job loss, death in the family, economic downturn or something else — has a way of revealing a gaping void.

There are guidelines that are smart to adhere to but know this: There are no social distancing restrictions for you and God. Plan your time well. Here are some suggestions:

  • Embrace your faith. This is a time to get closer to God, not question and turn away.
  • Be personal with your faith. Read and strengthen your foundation (Bible, devotionals, other books) and ensure that you’re spending quality time with God daily. Set a specific time each day for this.
  • Reach out with your faith. This is a great time to check on and help others. Even if you can’t get out to physically be part of their lives, a phone call, text, IM, or card can make the difference. You may never know unless you ask.
  • Get involved in your faith. Ask your church or local non-profit how you can help. Most will have a way you can get involved from home.

Billy Graham may have said it best: “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.

Health, family, finances and faith. These are the important four walls of everyone’s lives. Can you find room for improvement anywhere?


Have questions about your finances? Chip Bailey is a Master Financial Coach and a Dave Ramsey Preferred Coach and helps people live stress-free and debt-free. Email us with your question, or schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

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