3 Goal-Crushing Tactics to Set 2021 for Success

Dr Ivan Joseph
January 4, 2021
I must admit, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made them time and time again but never seem to have much luck with them lasting. In fact, I’m trying to remember if I ever had a New Year’s resolution last past January 30th. I’m sure if I googled it, somewhere out there I would find a stat that says 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned in 20 days or less. I know some of you now have just stopped reading this blog and are headed to Google that stat. Stay with me, Folks 🙂 Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I often revisit my old favorite to start the New Year. I go back to my principles of goal setting and create S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Timeline. These have been key variables that have helped me stay committed to my goals.

When thinking about creating my goals for the New Year, I don’t just think about the future. I take a moment to reflect on the past to see where I want to improve. I look at what opportunities I missed because of my lack of preparation, and what things I want to hit out of the park this coming year. I want to make sure that my goals aren’t all outcome oriented but are a mixture of both outcome and process goals. I also want to make sure that I have taken a moment to recognize any accomplishments I have made towards my past goals.

Recently I’ve been starting to use Warren Buffet’s 5/25 strategy for setting goals.
It’s a simple three step process that will help you better focus and prioritize your time on the things that are really important to you. I have found it to be a really effective way of helping me get focussed and be more effective with spending my time.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Write down your top 25 goals. This can be a tough one to achieve. I struggled at first to find 25. Dig deep. Try hard to find 25 things that you want to accomplish this year.  Don’t stop until you have 25.

Step 2: Go through your top 25 goals, and circle the five goals that are most important to you. These represent your absolute, essential, must-accomplish goals this year (or else).  Do some real hard thinking on choosing these top 5.

Step 3: Focus on your top five goals, and say no to the rest. Not just a little no or a maybe, but a hard and fast, strong NO!

Here is the point I want you to think about now: You might be tempted to think about those remaining 20 goals that aren’t on your top 5 list as something that you want to work on when you have time. But Warren Buffet would tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. Buffet would put those remaining goals on his things to avoid at all costs list. He is adamant that one should not focus on those other 20 goals at all. No matter what.

We all have a limited amount of time and energy. We can become easily distracted and spend our time chasing too many goals at the same time by spreading ourselves thin. Something always falls off the table when we function in this way. Relationships become frayed. Good enough work seeps into areas of your life that were previously excellent. ‘You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul’ is a saying that is often heard in my house.

I’m a fan of Warren Buffet’s goal-setting strategy because it’s not only about what you do, it is just as important to determine what you don’t do that drives your productivity and performance. Buffett has coined the term ruthless elimination when it comes to narrowing down the goals that are not a part of your top 5.

I have often mixed Warren Buffet’s approach to choosing goals with my approach to creating  process goals in order to help me accomplish my top 5 goals.
Here is the pyramid approach to process goals I have found useful to achieving success.

For example, my goal this year is:

Lose 23 pounds that CoVid helped me acquire over 6 months.

A nice and clear SMART goal that is easy for me to articulate. This is an outcome goal that is at the top of my pyramid. I then follow this outcome goal with 3 to 5 process goals that will help me achieve this SMART goal. My sheet would look like this:

Lose 23 pounds that CoVid helped me acquire over 6 months.

  1. No eating after 8 pm each night.
  2. No eating before noon each morning.
  3. Walk an average of 5000 steps a day.
  4. 10 push ups, 10 squats, 10 lunges per day (Triple 10).
  5. Weigh in each and every morning, and write down the number.

The most important thing I want you to remember about goal-setting this year is to give yourself grace. What I mean by this is, as you think about your New Year’s resolutions (or your outcome goals or process goals), and you’re striving towards a better you; don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, or if you miss a step and stumble in the process to achieving your goals. Forgive yourself. Start again. Nobody has to be perfect in order to achieve their goals. They just have to be persistent.

Good luck, and best wishes for the year 2021!

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