Estimated Reading Time: 8 MinutesSetting Goals: The Simple 3-Step Process To Reach Your Dreams

“Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.”

Table of Contents

At the heart of every remarkable journey and every extraordinary achievement lies the simple yet profound act of setting goals. Goals are the spark that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary and transforms your dreams into reality.


It’s a compass that unfailingly directs you, keeping your sights on the horizon. With each goal etched, a profound transformation takes place—new habits bloom and dormant potential awakens.


However, amid this magnificent tapestry of aspirations, a caveat looms—a single obstacle that stands in the path to realizing your goals:

The dilemma of having too many options.

In the realm of goal-setting, abundance can sometimes breed confusion and apathy. When you have many goals and too many ways to achieve them, you can get stuck in a situation called “choice paralysis.”


The Jam Study: Why Less Is More

Imagine having numerous goals, each pulling you in its own direction. But as the options grow, you become overwhelmed by indecision. It’s like being in an ice cream shop with 35 delicious flavors but not being able to choose.


In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper conducted a jam-tasting experiment in a California gourmet market.


They alternated between offering 24 jams and just six jams for customers to sample. Surprisingly, even though more people were attracted to the larger assortment, those who had fewer choices were more likely to make a purchase.


This study challenged the notion that more choices are always better, suggesting that an abundance of options can overwhelm and discourage decision-making.


Making decisions, which used to be thrilling, now stirs up a whirlwind of feelings, leading to decision fatigue and delaying your commitment. Setting goals, once an exciting adventure, can start to feel like a heavy burden.


The Paradox of Choice



According to Barry Schwartz, psychologist and author of The Paradox of Choice, infinite choice is debilitating and taxing for the human psyche.


It plunges you into a realm where you create impossible expectations, persistently doubt yourself, and shoulder all the blame when things don’t go as expected.


Schwartz, echoing the wisdom of the ages, underscores the paradox that less can indeed be more. His revelation is profound: an abundance of choices often leads to disastrous decisions.


It’s a dance with ‘choice paralysis,’’ a relentless force that shackles your ability to decide, rendering you immobile.


In the intricate labyrinth of the human psyche, we find ourselves haunted by the specters of unchosen options. We mourn for the paths not taken, craving the myriad possibilities we perceive as slipping away.


It’s a curious quirk of our nature: we dwell on what could have been rather than basking in the brilliance of our chosen pursuits.


Setting Goals, The Warren Buffett Way

Choice paralysis, like an unseen specter, saps your vigor, leaving you bereft of the energy required to embark on the journey of action.


And then there’s Warren Buffett, the illustrious oracle of investment, who wields a disarmingly simple yet astonishingly effective strategy to navigate the labyrinth of choices and priorities.


Behold ‘Warren Buffett’s 25/5 Rule,’ a beacon of clarity that can illuminate your path to remarkable achievements in life.


Now, let’s uncover the origins of this intriguing 25/5 rule—a rule that can transform your life.


Buffett’s 3-Step Process for Setting Goals

This rule finds its roots in a conversation between Warren Buffett and the pilot of his private jet, Michael Flint.


Intrigued by Flint’s aspiration for more effective goal achievement, Buffett generously shared his wisdom, unveiling a 3-step process for setting goals—a process that has since become legendary.




Step #1 – Unveiling Your Top 25 Goals

Flint embarked on a reflective journey, contemplating the 25 aspirations that burned brightly within him.


With clarity, he inscribed each one on the canvas of his ambition.


Step #2 – Distillation: Review and Choose Your Top 5

In the next chapter of this journey, Flint combed through his list, each goal a glimmering star in the constellation of his dreams.


From this celestial array, he meticulously selected his top 5, encircling them with purpose.


Step #3: The Duality of Lists

At this juncture, two lists materialized before Flint, bearing the weight of his aspirations.


List A, adorned with the sacred circle, housed his chosen quintet. List B cradled the remaining 20, like treasures waiting to be unearthed.


Buffett’s question pierced the air:

“How will you navigate these two lists, Michael?”


Flint, resolute in his newfound clarity, affirmed his intent. With unwavering focus, he would embark on List A, for these were his foremost goals—the North Stars guiding his purposeful journey.


The ‘Avoid-At-All-Cost’ List

As Flint pondered the uncharted territory of List B, the repository of 20 unchosen aspirations, Buffett probed deeper. Flint’s strategy was clear:

List A, his chosen quintet, would claim his immediate attention, while List B would be intermittently explored, for its urgency paled in comparison.


Buffett, the sage of prioritization, unveiled his time-tested approach to safeguarding focus:

“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.”


In the realm of setting goals, Buffett’s formula for triumphant living crystallizes into a single, luminous truth—embrace the ONE list.


The list that promises to unleash colossal results in your life. This is List A—the five goals that have captured your heart and mind.


Shower them with your undivided devotion and unwavering focus.


Life, you see, is an act of selection, a symphony of choices harmonizing with your deepest desires. This rings especially true in the realm of setting goals.


While List B may tug at your heartstrings, it yields to the inexorable 25/5 Rule, a decree that demands ruthless elimination—a choice compelled by the greater good.


In a revealing interview with Investment News, Buffett unveiled his secret to perennial profit growth:

“I’ve said ‘No’ more than any other time in my career.”


The Truth About Buffett’s Brilliant 25/5 Rule



Now that you have learned how Buffett’s insightful principle can help you redefine your objectives, let me introduce you to a different tale that will reveal the secret of this guideline.


In a narrative shared with CNBC, the curiosity surrounding the 25/5 Rule led to a probing question for Buffett himself. A question that echoed:

“Mr. Buffett, I’ve heard that one of your ways of focusing your energy is that you write down the 25 things you want to achieve, choose the top five and then avoid the bottom 20. I’m really curious how you came up with this and what other methods you use for prioritizing your desires?”


Buffett, in his characteristically sly manner, countered with a question of his own:

“Well, I’m actually more curious about how you came up with it.”


That respond by Buffett brought with it a few moments of awkwardness followed by a bout of unrestrained laughter. But here’s the essence: even if the 25/5 Rule didn’t spring from Buffett’s mind, its value remains undiminished.


The 25/5 Rule puts your top goals in perspective. It also makes you aware of where your focus should be when setting goals.


But the rule in itself is just a guide; therefore, keep in mind that it will only be effective if you maintain your commitment, discipline, and dedication.


The 25/5 Rule In Your Daily Life

Buffett’s 25/5 Rule transcends the realm of mere goal-setting; it’s a potent tool for decluttering your life and channeling your time and focus toward what truly matters.


This versatile strategy can find its application in various facets of your life.


Imagine wielding it to sculpt a healthier lifestyle where your top 5 habits—regular exercise, balanced meals, early sleep and rise, and meditation—take center stage, banishing unhealthy distractions.


For those navigating the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship, envision charting your course by identifying your top 25 business goals and then, for the moment, selecting the quintessential five. These chosen endeavors become your beacon, absorbing your undivided attention.


But don’t limit the power of this approach to the boardroom. Employ it to enrich your relationships, fuel your personal pursuits, and streamline your daily and weekly to-do lists.


By championing your top 5 goals, you slice through the noise, sidestep needless diversions, and prevent spreading yourself too thin. Recognize that time and energy are finite resources.


Through this method, you gift yourself precious extra reserves, allowing you to savor life’s endeavors more fully.


A New Paradigm for Setting Goals

As we conclude our exploration of Buffett’s 25/5 Rule, one thing becomes abundantly clear: it’s not just another strategy for setting goals.


It’s a game-changer, a paradigm shift that can revolutionize your entire approach to the goal-setting process.


While traditional goal-setting has its merits, this rule equips you with a powerful toolkit. It simplifies your priorities and sharpens your focus like never before.


Through this rule, you’ll master focusing on your top five goals, freeing yourself from energy-draining chaos. It’s not just a strategy; it’s a profound philosophy that impacts your personal growth, work, habits, and relationships.


So, when you set goals next time, consider the 25/5 Rule. It might be the missing piece that elevates your success, fulfillment, and purpose in life.

Bonus Section

Hypnosis Script For Concentration and Focus

In closing, here is a simple relaxation exercise to help you in concentration and focus. You can utilize this to give your subconscious mind a deeper purpose and to focus more intensely on your efforts at setting goals.


Use this script anywhere as long as you can find yourself a comfortable, quiet and secure spot.




Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath…with each breath you are feeling more and more comfortable and more and more relaxed…where ever you are now…you are feeling relaxed and because you are feeling so calm and at peace…


You can begin to realize…just how focused you are. Think about the lesson here today…this moment… about the list…when you are setting goals…this list will bring amazing results in your life…the one that will bring amazing results in your life…and you will bring the intensity you need…to fulfill your goals…you are now the embodiment of a very focused person. . .


And whatever idea…project…goal…dream… that you take on…you are able to focus and concentrate easily…so easily that…no matter what distractions come your way…you are able to say ‘no’ to it…


You can start on any idea… project…goal…dream… you choose…and you will be able to put a 100 percent focus on it…you are able to block out other things and distractions…and just focus on that project… focus on that idea…


Focus on that dream or that goal…when you are setting goals…you are able to focus on anything you want to focus on.


As the days go by… your powers of concentration and focus grows…increasing each day…more and more… and you know that…you are a self-confident person…a winner… who accomplishes your goals…


You are very clear about…what you want out of life… and… you get what you want out of life…. your only limitation is your imagination…and…now… you now let your imagination go free…


Now…with each breath…


You are becoming very focused…and you have this switch within you…that you can activate…whenever you need to be intensely focused…whenever you need to concentrate on…


And as you relax…you will allow only positive and winning thoughts to flow through your mind….and those positive and winning thoughts…will block out any distractions…anything that is unnecessary…such as…unnecessary situations…unnecessary ideas…


Your subconscious mind will block out anything that is not aligned with your goals…so that you can… just focus and concentrate on what you are doing… it can be anything at all…


That’s right… you can now imagine something you want to focus on…somthing like setting goals…see yourself in the moment…in a very focused…relaxed mode… and in the midst of it all…you can see how calm and confident you are… and you are so filled with optimism… enthusiasm….and intense in the pursuit of your goals…


You can see yourself in your mind…and tell yourself that…you are a goal-oriented winner…see yourself having the self-discipline to stick with your goals until they are accomplished…


That calm confident person that you are…


That relaxed…determined person that you are…. This…is how you will be from now on… and your life is a series of successes…


In order for you to get focused…all you need to do is…simply just say the word focus…your whole being in its entirety…will immediately become focused…


You will be able to focus on what you choose to be focus on…and concentrate for long periods of time…you have the ability to block out all unnecessary distractions… noise…people…things that don’t matter…So just relax now and realize just how powerful your ability to focus is…


From now on…you will feel an intense inner drive to reach your goals…to accomplish and to achieve… you will accomplish all of your goals…. you can literally accomplish anything…


Now…before you open your eyes…you know that with each passing day…you will become more and more confident…


And will be able to achieve your goals with ease…you will enjoy a greater feeling of wellbeing…greater self-control over your destiny…and greater control over your goals and achievements…


With all that feeling of confidence embedded within your subconscious mind…you are now ready to open your eye…so…when you are ready…you can slowly move out from this relaxation phase…and when you do…


You wake up and open your eyes…feeling safe…comfortable and secure…and full of optimism towards the future…

DISCLOSURE: In my article, I've mentioned a few products and services in an effort to help you lead a better life. Some of them are affiliate links. This means that every time you click and make a purchase, I’ll be compensated at no extra cost to you. This will help me to continue to provide you with useful (and free) articles in the future.

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