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Sitting down and setting your life goals can be exciting and motivating. It gives us purpose, sets clear intention, makes us feel productive and creates the feeling of moving forward.
But have you ever started out making a mental or physical list of your goals only to end up with quite a few? Then when you start acting on them, they either end up cast aside or only half achieved? Having goals has been drummed into us from an early age but are having all these goals actually hindering us?
The 5/25 rule solves the problem of having so many goals. It is a tool that you can use to prioritize your goals so that you can realistically focus your efforts and succeed.
The 5/25 rule was previously linked to Warren Buffet, but the immensely successful American businessman and philanthropist recently denied coining this rule. Buffet may not have created this rule, but it is still useful as a tool for clarifying and refocusing your goals. 
The success of the 5/25 rule comes down to eliminating, sometimes important goals, in order to focus on the few that will truly bring the success we desire.
The 5/25 Rule can be broken down as follows:
Note for step 2 that these 5 goals will be the most urgent goals to focus on. Carefully choose the goals that are most directly linked to your overall success.
Carla works for a tutoring company that serves as an after school program for middle school kids. She’s been with the company for 4 years and has a Bachelor’s degree in English.
Carla has many ideas about what she wants to do for her success and for her community, but she wants to focus on moving up to a managerial position in the company for more financial and professional security.
She decides to use the 5/25 rule to help her organize her goals.
Carla considers how her company offers pay incentives for employees who attain higher education. She also observes that managers in higher positions tend to be chosen for their initiative in increasing recruitment and retention of middle school students.
With this in mind, she moves onto Step 2.
Carla now has two separate lists – the list of 5 goals and the list of 20 remaining goals.
Carla decides that she will focus primarily on her top 5 and work towards the other 20 when she could find the time.
But let’s stop right there. Remember, the success of the 5/25 rule is to eliminate goals that will not directly help us achieve overall success.
Carla should really focus solely on the top 5.
Why? Because that list of 20 is essentially a distraction.
The reason we often never succeed with our goals is that we don’t prioritize and focus. While everything may seem important at the time, the 5/25 rule helps us zone in and focus on what will truly help us excel and get us to where we want to be.
It’s human to get demotivated and distracted -–two feelings that can be the death of our goals. The bigger the list of goals we have, the more chance there is to give up and move on to the next one in the hope that this one will succeed.
According to research, people often tend to set unattainable goals. When setting these goals, we often times don’t set measurements in achieving our goal and tend to become overconfident when the goal is set to match our self-esteem.
It’s not to say that we can’t reach for big goals, but instead it’s about being strategic. The 5/25 rule is one method to help.
Minimizing has become a hot topic when it comes to living the best life we can, and this also applies to our life goals. Like our material possessions, it can be hard to make a decision to throw certain goals out of the window when they feel important to us. But the process itself allows us to work out our priorities and what’s truly important.
Instead of throwing the list of 20 away completely, label this your avoid-at-all-costs list to serve as a reminder of what not to focus on.
This is the list that will decrease your time and focus and, ultimately your success. In other words, if you start working on this list you are in danger of having 20 half-finished goals instead of 5 completed ones.
Sometimes letting go of goals leads to FOMO also known as the fear of missing out. When we hang onto goals because of FOMO, this itself can lead to procrastination, stress, and spreading ourselves too thin trying to accomplish everything without a honed in focus.
When we let certain goals go, our focus is more centered. Sometimes, it’s not the right time to pursue something whether it be moving to another country or starting a business. By using the 5/25 method, these five most important goals can take you to where you want to go.
Even focusing on the smaller list at hand, these goals may take a vast amount of time, commitment, and energy to accomplish. Learning a new language or getting a master’s degree are both challenging and rewarding goals that open up professional and personal growth.
Whatever your top 5 goals are, whether you want to learn a new language or skill, or work towards a particular career goal, make a conscious effort to stick to these. Keep motivated to achieve these goals, and don’t wander onto your second list. Remember, your time investment is key to success, and this time will be compromised the more goals you take on.
Get the success you want: prioritize efficiently, focus intently, and stick to it.
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