Reflections On A Past Year Like No Other; Looking Ahead To Possibilities In The New Year

Congratulations! You made it through one of the most challenging years the world has encountered in a very long time. We lost many in 2020, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of these families whose lives will never be the same again. For those of us who are still alive, there is a lot to be grateful for. I can tell you as a doctor that health is truly our greatest wealth. And I don’t just mean physical health. I mean all-around health – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. During 2020, all aspects of health were challenged.

COVID-19 first challenged physical health. As the effects wore on, it also resulted in a tremendous amount of stress on emotional and mental health, especially in the elderly, as social isolation became critical. As the year progressed and many people had to either work on the frontlines or remain sheltered-in-place away from friends, colleagues and loved ones, the toll on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health became even more challenging. Many people are discovering as a result of this pandemic, just how much we need each other. People really do need people!

In addition, 2020 also saw civic unrest erupt as human rights, social justice, and racial inequality issues were challenged. We also had an election year like no other here in the U.S. These events have challenged everyone in so many different ways. Thankfully, 2020 is behind us. It’s now time to set our sights on the year that lies ahead full of hope, promise, and possibilities. It’s time again to establish or re-establish priorities and goals for yourself, your family, friends, loved ones, working teams, and other areas of life. First and foremost is the goal of staying safe, and helping to keep others safe as well by our efforts and actions as we continue managing COVID-19. Also, it’s time again to establish or re-establish priorities and goals for yourself, your family, friends, loved ones, working teams, and other areas of life.

Juggling work and life can be challenging whether working remotely or onsite. The idea of work-life balance is somewhat of a myth. Balance requires equal weight on either side of a scale. This is not always the case. There are simply times when the demands on one side or the other will throw things off “balance” on the other side.  I prefer the concept of work-life integration. How do you successfully integrate the demands of your professional life with those of your personal life? There are numerous processes and systems that have been introduced throughout time. We each have to find or create a system that works for our individual circumstances. One such system that I find extremely helpful in my daily life is the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, which I write about in-depth in this month’s article. You will learn how I came to discover this principle during a very demanding surgical training, ways I continue to apply it, and how it can help you become more efficient in crucial aspects of your life. It is one of the tools that will better equip you as you learn how to most effectively integrate your professional and personal life. Check it out here. How The 80/20 Rule Can Help You Become More Efficient


Stay safe and be well.