Volume 18, Issue 3
A Year of Living Well: Simplicity
“Living well” takes on a different meaning for every person. A satisfying, fulfilling, purposeful life is as unique as each individual. The path to achieving a life well lived is equally unique. But there is one universal component unique. But there is one universal component in any living well endeavor and that is simplicity.
Simplicity is the act of consciously choosing which pursuits align with our life goals an values, while letting go of those that don’t. Think of simplicity as “downsizing” the various aspects of your life in proportion to their contribution to your well-being. Downsizing is an ongoing process. Activities, possessions, time commitments, responsibilities, thought patterns, all have a way of accumulating in our lives without our conscious awareness. We need to periodically examine those things and decide what to keep and what to let go.
Here are some areas that you might do well to consider as you try to simplify your life:
Responsibilities. Are the responsibilities I have taken on consistent with my goals? Think in terms of community activities, children’s school and extracurricular activities, church/temple responsibilities, responsibilities to extended family, optional work-related responsibilities, and many others.
Time commitments. Sometimes people want simply make time commitments to social events, favors to friends or family, or even to busy themselves, with no real thought about how they contribute to their overall well-being. This is where saying “no” is important protect your own well-being.
Stuff. There are people who choose to live with a minimum number of possessions. Minimalists believe they are freer to live fully with fewer belongings. While you may not feel “called” to live a spartan life, are there things you don’t need and don’t use? Is the item you contemplating buying really going to concentrate to your well-being, support your values and enrich your life? Are your possessions requiring a lot of your attention to manage? Is clutter at home spilling into the rest of your life?
Housing. The average house size has doubled since the 1950’s.1 Do you have extra space that requires your attention, time to organize, clean and maintain, but doesn’t contribute to your well-being? Is a weighty mortgage payment preventing you from pursuing other financial goals?
History. Sometimes our past an prevent us from achieving balance, reaching our goals or living purposefully today. How much of your past is still defining your future, holding you back? What of your past should be resolved or discarded? Are there inaccurate beliefs you need to re-write (such as “I never did have any athletic ability”, or ”I’m no good at math so I can’t manage my finances well”)?
Future. Planning appropriately for the future is wise. However, future-vision to the exclusion of living mindfully in the present creates imbalance, dissatisfaction and unhappiness. What needs downsizing in how you think about your future?
Worry. Planning for the future, taking care of today’s business, problem-solving, are all necessary aspects of life. But when we attempt to control things that we don’t have control over, worry and fear set in. Worry will not change our future, but it does destroy today. Do you want to better manage worry? Refuse to focus on what is out of your control.
Perfection. There is a difference between excellence and perfection. And sometimes “good enough” really is good enough. The stress that comes from unrealistic expectations of ourselves affects every part of our well-being. What perfectionistic expectations can you downsize?
There are so many simple ways to simplify life that will improve your sense of well-being, satisfaction and happiness. Personal Assistance Services (PAS) offers many services that are well-being and achieve balance in your life. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story. php?storyId=5525283
Simplicity is the act of consciously choosing which pursuits align with our life goals an values, while letting go of those that don’t.
The ABC’s of Identity Theft Prevention
Identity theft has made big news recently and its prevalence continues to rise. Criminals have become increasingly bold, savvy and sophisticated. Overall, approximately 5% of all Americans experienced identity theft in 2013 alone. Identity fraud caused by a data breach has more than doubled since 2010, but some fraud still occurs in low-tech ways (such as purse snatching and dumpster diving) and by people we know– everyone from friends to family to contractors and neighbors.
”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” The best way to address identity theft is to take action to prevent it. The steps to preventing fraud with your personal information are much less time consuming than working to recover from fraud after it has happened. Don’t despair, be prepared In spite of the apparent increase in fraudulent activity, there are still some simple things you can do to help protect your identity:
- Keep your offline personal information secure. Remove mail promptly from your mailbox and take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes. Don’t have new blank checks delivered to your home mailbox unless it is locked. Limit the information you carry with you. Never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. Don’t share your health plan information with someone offering free services. Before sharing personal information, ask why they need it and what they are going to do with it.
2.Secure your personal information online. Be alert to impersonators and don’t respond to unsolicited emails, or click on links to internet sites from an email. Don’t give out personal information over the phone, via email or text unless you initiated the contact. Wipe personal information from your hard drive before disposing of the computer or hard drive. Remove personal information from a mobile device and SIM card before disposing of it. Keep passwords private and don’t over-share on social media sites. “Look for the Lock” on your web browser before transmitting personal information online.
3.Secure your Social Security number (SSN). Keep your SSN private and ask questions if someone says they need it: why they need it, how it will be used, how they will protect it, what happens if you don’t share your SSN. Sometimes you may have to share your SSN – for wage and tax reporting purposes, checking credit, getting a loan, or signing up for a utility.
4.Keep your devices secure. Use security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware) and a firewall. Don’t respond to phishing emails, or click on links or attachments in emails sent by strangers. Be wise about wi-fi, especially in public places. The information you transmit may not be secure. Lock up your laptop. Don’t allow automatic login, and always log off. Read online privacy policies, even if they are long and tedious – you may find out that your information will not be protected.
Taming your Computer
Is your computer ruling your life?
Here are some tips to tame your computer and simplify your electronic life:
- Eliminate unnecessary and spam email. Unsubscribe to any newsletters and promotional email that you don’t have time to read.
- Don’t feel obligated to answer all your email right away.
- Keep your inbox cleaned out.
- Limit time-wasting activities online such as games and social media.
- Take a regular computer sabbatical.
- Set boundaries with social media and who you connect with through social media services.
- Get enough rest; using the computer late into the night will affect your sleep ability.
Featured Service: Identity Theft Consultation
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. Responding to identity theft is expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining.
PAS’ Identity Theft Consultation includes:
- Access to ID Recovery Specialists who will advise you about preventing your identity from being stolen
- Assistance and direction in reporting ID theft or fraud to the police.
- Assistance in the notification of ID Theft to all “need to know” government agencies and businesses.
- All required forms needed for the restoration of your identity and assistance in completing them.
- Help replacing stolen documents
- Advice about how to deal with creditors and credit reporting bureaus to get fraudulent entries removed.
- Assistance with obtaining your federally mandated free credit reports.
A Service of Your EAP (800) 356-0845
PASWord Express © 2015 is published by Personal Assistance Services, 9735 Landmark Parkway, Suite 17, St. Louis, MO, 63127 -9968 (800) 356-0845. Material may not be reproduced without written permission.