Warren Buffett’s 25/5 Goal-Setting Strategy

It’s always about this time of the year I start thinking about the next year.

What do I want to accomplish?

What’s most important to me? To my family?

How do I prioritize everything I want to do?

What’s the best way to accomplish these things?

It can be overwhelming. I mean, let’s be honest…it’s a lot easier to just sit and flip through what’s new on Netflix.

So after a couple deep breaths, I always come back to something I learned a few years back from billionaire/investor Warren Buffett.

It’s called the 25/5 rule. Note: there’s a full backstory about this rule here.

Let’s do a step-by-step for 2020.

Start with the 25

First, list 25 things you want to accomplish in 2020.

This should take a week or two. Look at all areas of your life. Ask yourself:

What do I want to accomplish in my career?

What financial goals do I want to tackle?

How’s my health? What can I do better? How do I stay in size 32 pants (uh, that’s mine)?

How about my family? How do I find more quality time?

What about charitable goals? Is there a cause I should align with?

Don’t stop until you get to at least 25.

Narrow It Down to Five

Take the entire list and select the MOST IMPORTANT five goals.

This is extremely hard to do. I mean, they’re all important, right?

I try to select one from each category that’s the most important. For example, I’ll have one career goal (like finishing my new book) and one health goal (like running three times per week).

Once you have selected the five, circle each one. Remember, circle five. No more, no less.

Detail a Plan for the Five and Forget the Rest

Of course, you’ll want to come up with a plan to accomplish your top five. Critical to success here is how you are going to measure each one.

If it’s the completion of a project, like a book, how will you get there? When I set the goal to write and complete The Will to Die, I wrote at least 500 words per day and kept track of each day I did and did not complete that task. Same thing for running. I counted all the days I did and did not run (I use an app called HabitBull to keep track of these things).

And…the best part…once you complete that step, YOU FORGET ABOUT THE OTHER 20 GOALS.

That’s right…you vow to never work on them. You need to avoid these at all cost. Why? If you even have an inkling that you can accomplish more than five, you are kidding yourself. If you plan to accomplish everything, you’ll end up accomplishing nothing.

Folks…this works. If you actually put this into practice you’ll have a 2020 that’s beyond your wildest imagination.


The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.

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