Most of us see the New Year as a time to make resolutions, whether it be it quitting sugar, exercising more or taking the next step in our career. However, to have the best possible chance at achieving those goals, we need to look at the life admin side of things too. You know ― those administrative chores that we always intend to get to, but never really get around to doing (like cleaning out the gutters or going to the dentist).
To help you get them out of the way, we’ve put together an annual life admin checklist of the 10 must do tasks to keep atop of the annual lug. Print it out, stick it to your fridge and make sure your year gets off to a strong start!
The Annual Life Admin Checklist:
1. Have a health check
A quick checkup with your GP can save you from preventable illnesses further down the track. If you have a family history of illnesses such as diabetes or cancer, your doctor can monitor your risk and provide preventative strategies that you can take now, to avoid developing problems in the future.
Your annual health check should also include a trip to the optometrist and any specialists that may be associated with monitoring a chronic health condition. Even if you don’t wear glasses, our vision deteriorates as we get older. Be sure not to forget everybody’s favourite — the dentist!
2. Examine your financial position
If you’re planning a holiday in 2016 or want to save up some money for a big purchase such as a new car, start preparing your budget for it now. This will also help you to keep track of your finances throughout the year, so. By the time tax season rolls around, the life admin you do now will pay off and you’ll be off to a head start.
It's also a great time to review any updates to your Superannuation you want to make, as changes to the Australian Aged Pension come into affect shortly. Even if you're not on the pension for a while yet - or ever - it's good to know what's changed.
3. Manage your memberships
Are you signed up for memberships and subscriptions that you no longer use? Perhaps there’s a magazine delivery, gym membership or wine club that you signed up to and pay for via direct debit... only to forget about it several months later. Inspect your bank accounts to see if there’s any debit payments being taken out for services you no longer need.
4. Prioritise Self Care
Like your body, your mind will benefit from its own annual health check. You can easily become overwhelmed with the bigger picture and forget to do something for yourself. Some self care goes a long way in providing a happy and productive environment and a fulfilling life. Whether you like to do Yoga, spend a day getting creative in the kitchen, read a book or get your nails done, pop reminders in your calendar now as a prompt to book in time for yourself.
5. Assess your insurance
As we move through different stages in life, our insurance needs change. Despite this, many people stick with the same policy out of habit and forget to think about the extras they’re paying for but don’t really need, or new things they might not have added to the policy.
For instance, if your policy contains a high level of cover for maternity services but you don’t plan on having more children, or are nearing retirement, it might be worth switching to a policy that covers more of what you use. This life admin task could be saving you a pretty penny!
Also, be sure to use up any remaining claims balance for extras, such as lenses or massages, before the next financial year rolls around.
6. Get organised
A new year can mean a new start, so empty out those drawers full of old receipts, file away any important documents and get back on track. Being organised isn’t limited to the office either. Check your kitchen cupboards and throw away anything that is out of date. Invest time for sorting through your wardrobe to cull the clothes you never wear. You can also try eBay or Gumtree to recycle clothing and household goods that you no longer use.
7. Do a big cleanup
Set aside a weekend to tackle all that tedious household maintenance items you’ve been putting off all year. Here are some examples:
- Cleaning the oven
- Cleaning out the gutters
- Polishing and treating wooden flooring and furniture
- Cleaning the outside of windows
- Flipping mattresses
- Checking the batteries in your smoke detectors
8. Update your CV
Updating your resume can seem like a hassle and many of us put off doing it until we’re on the hunt for a new job. Use the new year as an opportunity to reflect on your career achievements over 2015, and incorporate them into your CV now... before you forget.
9. Make sure your will is up to date
Probably the most important and least regarded life admin task is updating your Will. No matter who you are - life changes everyday. Even if you think your circumstances haven’t changed one iota, you should take a quick review of your will to ensure it’s all up to date and that your Will’s instructions and beneficiaries reflect your wishes.
10. Check that your contact details are still correct
If you’ve moved house in the last 12 months, your old mailing address may still be listed with organisations you receive important information from.
In today’s digital age we also need to keep track of a myriad of personal email and social networking accounts. Don’t forget to check that your details are still current for your current online accounts and subscriptions too.
By getting these life admin tasks out of the way early, you’ll minimise the potential for stress throughout the rest of the year. Most importantly, you’ll be able to better focus on achieving your goals, leaving behind old habits, and starting fresh. For tips on how you can create realistic New Year’s resolutions, have a look at our goal setting guide.