Now, I’ve never doubted the efficacy of setting goals and implementing plans to achieve them. We have personal and corporate goals here at Hermit Haus. We set and review them at least twice a year. We track progress to those goals to some degree on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If fact, it sometimes feels like we spend more effort managing our goals than achieving them.
And I have personally had difficulty with setting goals and focusing on them. There are just so many methods of identifying, writing, and planning your goals. I mean, there are SMART goals, long-term goals, short-term goals, performance goals, outcome goals, process goals, enabling goals, sustaining goals, and the list could go on forever and ever, amen.
So it was with some hesitance that I followed a link in my Facebook feed last night. I found myself reading a blog post entitled, “What Warren Buffett Taught Me about Setting Goals.” I was surprised—I shouldn’t have been. After all, Buffett is one of the smartest, most successful men in the late 20th century—to find an approach to goals that made sense to me and seemed really workable. At the risk of oversimplification, here is my paraphrase of the process:
- Make a list of 25 things you most want to accomplish in your life.
- Circle the five things that are most important to you.
- Transfer these five things to a separate list of things to review and plan for and achieve.
- Transfer the remaining 20 items to a list of distractions to avoid at all costs.
I was able to simplify my list to only four, which I made my desktop wallpaper. Whenever, I’m asked to do something or feel obligated to do something, I can look at this list and ask, “Does this task support one of these goals?” If not, I can follow Buffett’s advice to avoid it at all costs. After all, time is a non-renewable resource, and I’ve already used a good share of my allotment. I don’t have any left to squander.Hermann says please like and share!