Preventative Life Maintenance For Personal and Financial Health

FT Contributor
A man practicing preventative life maintenance in the form of yoga.

The concept of “life maintenance” is simple. It focuses on organizing and maximizing the efficiency of repetitive actions in order to keep your life running like a well-oiled machine.

Life maintenance is similar to changing the oil in your car. If you do this on schedule it can lead to a more efficient vehicle, fewer repairs, and less need for replacement parts. Neglecting oil changes can lead to deterioration and eventually, the need to fully replace your engine.

When it comes to maintaining your life, there are several aspects to consider. Healthy eating habits, exercise, mental health, and even things like paying bills, cleaning, grocery shopping, and automobile maintenance all factor into the mix. Below are steps to help you set up a comprehensive preventative life maintenance schedule that will aim to maintain your physical, mental, emotional, and financial condition for the foreseeable future.

Table of Contents

Create Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating is a foundational part of maintaining your overall wellness. Over a third of American adults are obese, and even those who aren’t overweight regularly struggle with things such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer — all of which can be instigated by or, at the least, exacerbated by a poor diet.

If you want to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and weight concerns — and rein in your grocery budget in the process —  it’s important to establish healthy eating habits. 

Develop Healthy Meal Routines

Even if you spend a great deal of time researching and choosing your ideal dietary preferences, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to magically leave the junk food behind. If you want to seriously shift to a healthy diet, make an effort to simplify your culinary life through healthy meal routines such as:

  • Meal prepping: If you plan out your meals ahead of time, you’ll have an easier time sticking to the pre-planned, healthier options.
  • Creating grocery lists: Once you have your meals planned out, it’s much easier to create specific grocery lists. This will help you avoid foods that will go bad before you can use them or unhealthy items that you never intended to purchase.
  • Cooking in bulk: If you plan to cook your healthy meals in bulk, you can save leftovers in the fridge or even freeze them in order to provide quick and easy, yet healthy, meals when you’re in a hurry.

All of these options aren’t just good for your health. They’re also excellent ways to oversee and tighten up your budget.

Easy Healthy Snacks

Often the worst of the unhealthy eating comes in the form of snacking. That healthy shake you had for breakfast or the chicken and veggies you cooked for dinner can be completely undone by the bag of Doritos and can of Coke you wolfed down during your mid-afternoon break.

As you perform maintenance on your dietary routines, look for ways to stock your home with healthy snacks that you actually enjoy eating. Replace candy with alternatives like dates, swap out chips for Veggie Straws, and stock up on those fresh fruits and veggies.

Perform Body Maintenance

Exercise is often associated with maintaining one’s physical appearance, but when you’re considering life maintenance, it’s your body’s condition and overall health that should take center stage.

Body Maintenance Tips

You can maintain your physical health through a variety of different activities including:

  • Engaging in simple workouts like the seven-minute workout.
  • Stretching every day.
  • Signing up for yoga or pilates classes.

You can also maintain your health through simple yet effective daily routines such as:

  • Making sure you get enough sleep — roughly seven to nine hours per day.
  • Taking daily vitamins.
  • Washing your face and brushing your teeth regularly.
  • Drinking an adequate amount of water — just shy of one gallon per day.

All of these activities can help you stay healthy and can save you from preventable healthcare costs, such as visits to the doctor or dental procedures, in the future.

Schedule Regular Healthcare

Along with making an effort to maintain your health at home, it’s also important to schedule regular preventative healthcare activities in order to head off any potential concerns. This allows you to sidestep unnecessary health concerns and wasted time addressing them. Preventative care can save you untold quantities of money in avoidable procedures and emergencies — along with the expenses that they entail —  down the road.

Along with scheduling annual physicals with your doctor, it’s important to consider other preventative checkups and activities such as:

  • Prostate exams.
  • Breast exams.
  • Gynecological visits.
  • Monitoring your blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate.

In addition, make sure to take special care to address pre-existing issues like asthma or arthritis that have the potential to cause trouble down the road.

Build and Maintain Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are one of the key building blocks of strong mental and emotional health.

It’s important to take time to regularly cultivate existing relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. In addition, make efforts on a regular basis to create new friendships and look for connections with others around you.

The goal isn’t to become a shallow social butterfly so much as to establish and maintain meaningful, long-term relationships with a give and take that benefits the health of both parties involved. With that in mind, don’t use your relationships to abuse your spending habits. Look for inexpensive or even free things to do in order to focus on bonding together rather than simply experiencing things side by side.

Be Good to Yourself

An essential element of maintaining healthy, beneficial relationships with others is the ability to recognize when you need some time to be alone. Taking time to recharge in solitude can be immensely beneficial and can also give you a chance to quietly gather your thoughts.

Get Ahead of Home Maintenance

Your living space can have a huge effect on your overall health. Everything from the air you breathe to the cleanliness and messiness of your living spaces can impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. Even your finances can benefit simply from keeping your home in good repair.

Make a Cleaning and Maintenance Schedule

Start by creating two schedules: one for cleaning and the other for maintenance. The former will help you reduce the stress and strain of living in a home filled with clutter, germs, mold, and bacteria.

The latter will help you keep your home in good working order and will save you countless costs through avoiding repairs and prolonging the life of various appliances and elements around your home.

Asses Home Exterior Annually

It can also be helpful to assess both the outside and inside of your home on a regular basis. Once a year look for preventative maintenance activities outside your living space, such as:

  • Mowing the lawn on a regular basis to avoid a clogged mower and unkempt yard.
  • Power washing your home’s siding to keep it clean.
  • Emptying gutters to avoid damaging your home’s foundation.
  • Spraying moss on the roof to prevent damaged shingles and potential leaks.

Asses Home Interior Annually

On the inside of your home, assess things such as:

  • Caulking windows to prevent drafts.
  • Weatherstripping doors, once again to avoid drafts.
  • Clearing lint from the dryer and cleaning your washing machine to keep them operating smoothly.
  • De-icing your freezer and cleaning your fridge to prolong their usability.

Routine Car Maintenance

Finally, maintaining your vehicle can help your life run smoothly at all times. There’s nothing quite as debilitating as putting your life on hold because your vehicle is unexpectedly in the shop for an unavoidable reason. In addition, good vehicle care will extend the life of your car and lower your overall transportation costs.

Change Your Oil Regularly

As already mentioned in the intro, regular oil changes can prevent unnecessary repairs, increase the efficiency of the vehicle, and avoid the need to pay for replacement parts that shouldn’t have worn out.

Assess Vehicle Performance

Regularly check your vehicle’s performance to make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. This includes:

  • Checking the tire pressure.
  • Getting the tires rotated.
  • Checking your gas mileage.
  • Topping off your liquids regularly.
  • Cleaning your car to prevent damage from rust and salt.

If you take the time to maintain your car, your entire life will run smoother and you’ll save significant money over time.

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