100 Actionable Ways To Start The New Year Simpler, Wealthier, And Happier


  1. Set your desktop and your phone wallpaper to something serene.
  2. Meal plan for the entire week.
  3. Set alarm to wake up 15 mins early and put it across the room so you can’t snooze it.
  4. Set automatic coffee every morning.
  5. Eat well.
  6. Start your day by staring at your calendar for a few minutes and memorizing it.
  7. Exercise regularly.
  8. Do not get on social media during core working hours.
  9. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks.
  10. Use Google calendar and sync it with your DrSpouse’s.
  11. You can check email, but don’t answer any of them until noon.
  12. Make your To Do list with most important work on top…and tackle them first.
  13. Build a capsule wardrobe of neutral clothes.
  14. Have neutral home decor (natural fabrics and baskets, white bins, neutral walls, etc.) for calm appeal.
  15. Have a designated spot for essentials like keys, wallets, phone so you can’t lose them.
  16. If the above fails, use a Tile for your phone, wallet, and keys.
  17. Make a “home” for everything.
  18. Buy packing cubes for travel.
  19. Say “no” to taking on more commitments.
  20. Backup your computer hard drive and phone on the cloud regularly. (Those files are probably the most valuable possession you own.)
  21. Have “white space” built in your day for unplanned events.
  22. No screen time one hour before bedtime.
  23. Time block for most important tasks.
  24. Let go of perfectionism.
  25. Put kids in one activity at a time.
  26. Don’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.
  27. Curate like crazy so that you love everything in your home.
  28. Don’t keep anything that is broken or doesn’t fit.
  29. Build your “dream team” and create a list of emergency contacts: plumber, electrician, HVAC, pest control, babysitters, etc.
  30. Download Life360 app so you and your DrSpouse know where each other are at all times.
  31. Make your bed every day.
  32. Keep an emergency kit in your trunk.
  33. Keep a set of spare keys or get smart keypad so you can stay safe in case locked out.
  34. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb mode during sleeping hours. Then add important people on the list so their calls will still go through even in Do Not Disturb mode.
  35. Always keep a donation bin so you’re constantly decluttering as you go.
  36. Use a service like LastPass for your passwords to make your life more secure.
  37. Clean out contacts list on phone.
  38. Keep a list of takeout or stock on frozen pizzas for those crazy nights.
  39. Hire cleaning ladies or plan a morning to wake up extra early to clean.


  1. Get on the right student loan plan (note: it’s probably RePAYE or PAYE, but it could be IBR if dual income).
  2. Don’t give up on PSLF and fill out the paperwork annually.
  3. If you are 100% sure you’re not going to work for a 501(c)3 not-for-profit employer (i.e. contract in hand), refinance your student loans with a private company. Once you refinance, you cannot go back.
  4. Buy own-occupation disability insurance from one of the “Big Six” as an intern.
  5. Don’t buy whole life insurance, or its cousin, variable life.
  6. Save at least 20% of your gross paycheck before you spend.
  7. Contribute to IRA, 401k/403b, 457, and HSA even while in residency. It’s not too soon.
  8. Buy term life insurance on both of you (even if stay-at-home parent) as soon as you are expecting a baby. Make sure it is from a company with a COMDEX score of 90 or higher.
  9. Have an emergency savings of at least 3 months’ worth of expenses.
  10. Read one financial book per year. Start during residency and you will have 3-5 books under your belt as your foundation.
  11. Use Personal Capital to know your net worth at all times. It’s FREE.
  12. Have a written plan for the most important financial year of your life: the first year of attendinghood. Get that year right and you can pretty much screw up the rest of your financial life and still come out well.
  13. Unsubscribe from emails from your favorite stores (Shutterfly, Wayfair, etc.)
  14. Let go of the idea of “doctor house” and “doctor car” if you still have to catch up on retirement and have student loan debt to pay back.
  15. Get an awesome CPA and tax attorney.
  16. Learn to DIY your finances and pay a fair price to a fee-only (not fee-based) financial planner when you need the extra help.
  17. Use Mint and check it weekly. It’s FREE.
  18. Have monthly “money dates.” Use Personal Capital and Mint to present info to one another.
  19. Don’t open up store cards (points not lucrative, not worth it).
  20. If you do open up a credit card, choose one with points like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and always pay your balance in full.
  21. Follow FIRE groups like fatFIRE by Physician On FIRE and surround yourself with intelligent, like-minded people who don’t want to see this generation of doctors go broke.
  22. Find mentors. Be a mentor.
  23. Anticipate and save a ton of money those first very expensive six months of attendinghood: taxes, moving, new wardrobe, licensing, credentials, and boards.
  24. Start a side hustle.
  25. Use Rakuten and AmazonSmile to save while you shop.
  26. Stop trying to impress anyone with name brands and luxury.
  27. Check your credit score on Credit Karma (it’s FREE) as often as you want. Get your FREE credit report once a year.
  28. Negotiate your employment contract before it’s drafted. Once drafted, it’s much less flexible and the hospital has the upper hand.
  29. Stud your market value so you can negotiate your salary. Know your zone of possible agreement (ZOPA) and best alternative (BATNA).
  30. Learn to credit card hack so you can travel for FREE.
  31. Practice public speaking.
  32. After done with training, don’t inflate your lifestyle (too much) and live 2-5 years as a resident to get to $0 net worth #backtobroke
  33. Only after maxing out your retirement accounts should you save for kids’ 529 college accounts.
  34. Learn about real estate investing. (FWIW, flipping or landlording are not the only ways…)
  35. Dress for the job you want.
  36. Don’t furnish your entire house at once.
  37. If still in residency, enjoy life and remember this motto: “You’re rich now. Money will come later.” #itsgoodnow
  38. Treat credit card debt as toxic that’s going to bury you alive. Get rid of it as fast as you can.
  39. Don’t be comfortable with debt.
  40. Automate minimum payments on your bills in case you forget.


  1. Compliment strangers.
  2. Say “hi” to the woman who’s alone. Be the village to others.
  3. Ask for help when you need it, and accept it when it’s given.
  4. Participate in meal trains for those in need.
  5. Practice daily gratitude.
  6. Limit the number of friends you have on social media. Interact with the friends you DO have on their social media.
  7. Be positive.
  8. Kill ’em with kindness.
  9. It’s OK to block people on social media.
  10. Choose a charity you believe in, then support it ruthlessly.
  11. Don’t compare yourself to anything or anyone you want or are supposed to be.
  12. Choose the same day of the week to call or FaceTime your extended family.
  13. Stop trying to please everyone. Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
  14. Greet mail carrier by name.
  15. Support local business.
  16. Be friendly towards physical neighbors.
  17. Forgive (even if it’s really, really hard).
  18. Journal and meditate daily.
  19. Unfollow people who make you feel bad. You can always follow them again later.
  20. Join face-to-face communities and gather in small groups at least twice monthly.
  21. Spend more time in nature.
  22. Don’t compare your medical journey to anyone else’s. You are exactly where you’re meant to be.

I’m hugging and supporting you, friend ❤️

To your strong medical family,