What does Warren Buffet, your concrete goals, and your brain have in common?
We are constantly obsess over this concept called “Goals”. Whether you’ve been bombarded by T.V., the general public, Internet blogs, your work place, or even you loved ones, goals do matter, but the process to create them can terrifying for many and difficult to grasp.
There are tons of thoughts that run through our heads in doing so, since the permanency seems unbearable.
How long should I stay committed to a goal?
If I choose this goal can I go back on it?
Can I just choose another one?
What the heck is the difference between vision and goals?
That whole S.M.A.R.T. goal thing sounds great but if I choose a goal that is deemed realistic wouldn’t I be selling myself short?
This and other questions will be answered in this post, while I discuss my method to quickly create goals that stick.
Buffets Top 25
James Clear wrote an excellent article regarding the process Warren Buffet uses to determine what goals are critical not only for himself but also for his employees. He coins it the Warren Buffet’s “2 List” Strategy.
James mentions one of Warren Buffet’s employees that used this method. Mike Flint was Buffet’s personal pilot for roughly a decade and after discussing his career ambitions with Buffet, here was Buffet’s recommendation:
Step 1: Write down your top 25 career goals (this can be used with any goal)
Step 2: Circle your top 5 important goals
Step 3: 5 circled items is list A, while the other 20 are list B
Step 4: Concentrate daily only on list A
Step 5: List B becomes “Avoid at all cost” list.
It is all about focus. Warren Buffet does not recommend that you touch list B until you finish the top 5 goals from list A. This allows you to tap into the power of focus and the power of elimination, so that you accomplish important instead of trivial things.
It is not to say that the other goals are not important, but the fact is you cannot do it them all at the same time. Just like Warren Buffet you only have a limited amount of hours per day.
Being choosy about your Concrete Goals is a good thing. The top 2 list makes it easier to focus on building who that person is that you want to become.
It is a great place to start when attempting to create S.M.A.R.T. actionable goals.
Then we use Buffets “Two List” to narrow down what we want to accomplish. Then from there we work on just the top 5 Concrete goals, while avoiding the other 20 on the list. This is a great way to increase your concentration on what’s really important.
My caveat is instead of just ignoring the other 20, I decide which of those 20 could be a result from another goal in my top 5. In other words a side effect of a target goal.
For instance if your concrete goal is to become a data science expert a side-effect goal could be to get a new job or consulting opportunity because of it. I marked Side-effect with an S by them and record them for later.
Here is a copy of the very messy handwritten “Two List” where I came up first with 25 concrete goals and then narrowed it down to (circled) just 5.
According to Mark Murphy the author of “HARD Goals”
This stands for:
Heartfelt–Developing feeling and emotional attachment to the goal
Required–You must think that accomplishing this goal is a necessity
Difficult–Choose a goal that is challenging and not too easy. It should excite you.
This is useful so that you create goals that matter instead of just jotting words on a page Also pondering the impact of the goal using the 10/10/10 method, which will help indecision during tough decisions when you are on the fences:
How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
How about 10 months from now?
How about 10 years from now?
Sometimes we initially do not like our decisions in the short-term (10 minutes or 10 months), however if in the long-term you believe it is for the best and will bring massive value to your life perhaps this is the right decision to make.
Write down a narrative for all 4 parts of H.A.R.D. for each of the 5 goals you created during the “Two List” stage.
S.M.A.R.T. Actionable Goals (Systemic)
Now this might be something familiar to you. SMART goals are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely/Time Bound Please do not feel discouraged to go for big goals because of the realistic part of this acronym. Think of S.M.A.R.T. goals more as objectives instead of the big goal which is the H.A.R.D. ones.
SMART goals should be used as a guide to what specific tasks you will be doing instead of the actual vision (Huge goal) that you are looking to gravitate towards, that is what H.A.R.D. goals are for.
So the sum of all the S.M.A.R.T. goals equals the corresponding H.A.R.D. goal. S.M.A.R.T. Goal 1 + S.M.A.R.T. Goal 2 + S.M.A.R.T. Goal 3 + S.M.A.R.T. Goal 4 + S.M.A.R.T Goal 5 = H.A.R.D. Goal
It is used to hold yourself accountable to taking action on a daily basis with real deadlines. These are the actionable objectives and tasks that fall under H.A.R.D. goals. Why do we need them?
Ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? Parkinson’s Law
- the statement, expressed facetiously as if a law of physics, that workexpands to fill the time allotted for its completion.
This means that the time it takes to complete a task will be delayed just shy of the due date. Ever have a two weeks in the future and just start studying for it late night yesterday? Or even a paper due in two months, but starting it just 2 days prior?
How about papers? A paper is due 3 months from now, so why do we usually start on it just 2 days before, since we had so much time to work on it?
Does the size of our shopping carts determine how much we buy? Have you ever had a very large Walmart size cart and feel compelled to fill it up with stuff you do not even need? Just to fill the void? Then you probably have fell victim to Parkinson’s Law procrastination
Example: For instance if you wanted to rapidly expand your network then a good SMART goals would be…”I will attend 1 meetup per week” and schedule a reminder or deadline.
That is an actionable goal that you have full control over and it is trackable.
Next your mindset determines whether you will be able to follow through with a given concrete goal or plan.
Action (Napolean Hill)
Desire springs into action-Neville Goddard
According to Napolean Hill the well known author of “Think and Grow Rich”, Faith, Desire, and Action are mandatory to achieve great things.
Faith is the strong belief that a given outcome or even will happen. After all if you do not believe it, it most likely will not happen.
The magic happens when what we desire consciously matches what desire subconsciously. We know what we want consciously, but since our conscious and subconscious mind are separate, we can only guess what’s in there.
Instead of depending on random chance take control and instill the wants and desires into it through practicing affirmations. Affirmations are…
Which bring us to our next concept.
My method of creating concrete goals that stick is to use this process:
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