Hello there, Welcome to April!
What progress did you make in the last 3 months as regards your 2018 goals?
Did you crush your goals?
Did you lose motivation and slip off in the course of the months?
We all know how it works: You’re all jazzed up in January only to find yourself derailed and demotivated within a few weeks. You beat yourself up for failing to achieve your full potential despite your best intentions and you resolve to start afresh.
Many of us only stick to our goals for a while. A quarter bomb in the first week. A third don’t make it past the first month. Fewer than half are still plugging away after six months. Fewer than 10 percent of us are actually successful at the end of the year.
I’m sure you have your own personal stories of starting the Year strong only to get busy, fall behind, and eventually lose motivation. It has happened to me. Several times. More times than I would like openly acknowledge.
Why do we fail to reach our goals?
How many goals/projects are you working on right now?
Be honest. Jot them down if you have to.
If your answer is anything like mine once was, it’s likely too many – way too many.
The process goes a bit like this: Something motivates us to make a change. We’re excited. We set all kinds of big goals. We create a plan to make it happen. We’re still excited. Then we look at the list. It’s ten pages long. We don’t know where to start. We get overwhelmed. We don’t do a damn thing.
This one of the reasons we fail to reach our goals. Our goals appear too many, too big, too difficult to achieve and most times we lack the skill to make it happen, and so we become overwhelmed by them, self-doubt kicks in, we start to procrastinate and then give up.
Also, we fail to reach our goals because we take on too much, focus on what we don’t actually want, and as such loose sight of our main goals.
We need a system that helps prioritize our goals and focus only on the most important. That’s how results happen. Thankfully Warren Buffett just taught me such a process.
I’ve been doing some readings lately about goals setting, my focus being on successful men and women in all spheres. Then I stumbled on this advice from Warren Buffet. And as a student of Warren Buffet,
I experimented with it for a month and it made a whole lot of difference in the pursuit of my goals. So, I thought, why not share it!
Warren Buffet’s Advice To Help You Crush Your Goals:
Dreams become reality as a result of three components:
- Knowing what you want.
- Learning the tools to get you there.
- Having the insane focus to combine the two.
Having clear priorities (that you stick to) might be the best ingredient to success. This means you figured out your goal, know what’s most important and you have the focused tools to make it a reality.
Warren Buffet’s approach to prioritizing is brilliant and simple.
4 Simple Ways To Crush Your Goals:
1. Know what you want – List your top 25.
One day a few years back Warren Buffet went up to his pilot, Mike Flint and jokingly said “The fact that you’re still working for me, tells me I’m not doing my job. You should be going out after your goals and dreams.”
Warren Buffet then asked Mike to list his top 25 career goals.
Just jot down anything that comes to mind as being important to you that isn’t currently a part of your life.
(Note: you could also complete this exercise with goals for a shorter timeline. For example, write down the top 25 things you want to accomplish this month or week.)
Now, that’s an exercise, before we continue, You should actually stop reading and write down your top 25 goals for this month.
Done? Alright, let’s proceed.
2. Pick your Top 5.
Warren Buffet then asked him to review each item and circle the top five that were most important to him. The ones he wanted more than anything. Mike was hesitant because to him they were all massively important. After all, that’s why he wrote them down.
But Warren Buffet insisted that he could only pick five. So Mike spent some time on his list and after some deliberation made five circles.
“Are you sure these are the absolute highest priority for you?” Warren asked. Mike confidently replied the affirmative.
Over to you: Go through your list and circle the top 5 most important goals.
3. Make your Top 5 your priorities.
At this point, Flint had two lists. The 5 items he had circled were List A and the 20 items he had not circled were List B.
Flint confirmed that he would start working on his top 5 goals right away. And that’s when Buffett asked him about the second list, “And what about the ones you didn’t circle?”
Flint replied, “Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort.”
To which Warren Buffett replied, “No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”
4. Know your ‘Avoid at all Cost List‘ and stick to it.
Did #3 surprise you? It certainly did me. Warren Buffet makes a powerful and somewhat unconventional point here. Most people would suggest ranking their second most important items just below their first. Makes sense at first, but as it turns out, this is the type of behavior that creates some of the most detrimental distractions in making big things happen.
You cannot be an expert if you focus on everything.
This is why Buffett’s strategy is particularly brilliant. Items 6 through 25 on your list are things you care about. They are important to you. It is very easy to justify spending your time on them. But when you compare them to your top 5 goals, these items are distractions. Spending time on secondary priorities is the reason you have 20 half-finished projects instead of 5 completed ones.
If Warren can stay true to his core with the laundry list of attractive distractions that come his way, we certainly can too.
Less is more!
Without priorities, nothing gets done.
The more you have to choose, the more time you spend deliberating over what you’ll do at this moment, which is more time spent not doing one of the things most important to you.
You are confronted with the paradox of choice: The more options you have, the less likely you are to choose any of them.
I know that there are so many great opportunities out there, but the truth is we can’t catch ’em all.
I mean, we only have a pair of hands, right?
Not to mention, we have 24 hours in a day but only about 9 to work with (and most of that time is spent at your job).
I recommend you to read this awesome article If You Commit to Nothing, You’ll Be Distracted By Everything, by James Clear. In this article, he brings up the “complete it or kill it” approach. Clear says if something is really important to you, then complete it. If not, kill it.
It’s better to have five goals accomplished than 25 that are a quarter to half completed. The truth is that nothing will ever get done in the latter. Again, less is always more – and I mean A LOT more!
It doesn’t matter how far behind you are in your 2018 goals. You can always start afresh or continue from where you stopped.
Use this goal setting advice from Warren Buffet to crush your goals.
Here’s Your Free Goal Setting Template as promised.
So, What are your Top 5 Goals for this month? Drop a comment, let’s chat up…
Know what you want. Then make it happen!