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How to Start a Great Year, January Newsletter

Happy New Year! Hopefully you've taken some time to relax, reflect, and rest up over these last couple weeks. If not, I encourage you to schedule an extra day off for yourself, no further out than two months from today. You might be surprised at what that does for your creativity and productivity. In fact, even if you did have a nice holiday season, schedule some more time off anyway. It's good for you.


The other way you can upgrade your life, is reading The 80/20 Principle, by Richard Koch (no relation to the Koch Brothers). Perhaps like you, I was already familiar with the 80/20 concept before reading this book. Which is why I initially ignored it, until a friend insisted I pick it up. I'm glad he did.

So, does this concept merit an entire book? Absolutely. At least in the hands of this particular author. It is one thing to understand that 80% of results tend to come from 20% of inputs, but Richard Koch makes it far more interesting and applicable to your life. As evidence of that, I found myself pausing every half-chapter or so to scribble down some notes for myself. I hope you find it just as engaging.

Oh, and the audiobook version is particularly pleasant.


Finally, in wrapping up 2020 and setting up a good year ahead, I offer you the following exercise. Feel free to send me the results if you'd like to discuss them.

1. List your accomplishments for 2020. No fewer than 3, but as many as 30.

2. Next, describe where you would like to be in 10 years. Be as descriptive and imaginative as possible. 10 years is a long time, after all, and almost anything can happen. You could even find yourself performing open-heart surgery if that's your bent (4 years med school, 3 years residency, 3 years premed and application).

3. Describe what you would like to accomplish over the coming year, and what you are willing to do to make that happen. This is your action plan.

4. Keep these notes somewhere you will see them every day.


Feel free to reach out if you have questions on any part of this exercise. I'd love to hear what's on your mind and be of use to you.


Again, Happy New Year! I hope this is a great year for you.


Nicholas Pihl, CFP®

Pihl Financial Planning

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