Find your focus for the coming year. What do you want to accomplish in the next twelve months? What are your all of your goals?

Go ahead, write it down. Make a list.

Making your list should take 5-minutes or less. However, feel free to put some real thought and time behind your list of goals. In addition, you need to actually write your list because writing stimulates creativity, concentration, and conserves cognitive capacity. (Sorry. I couldn’t pass up the alliteration. I just mean that we have to use less brain energy if we don’t try to remember our lists. It’s like downloading information instead of trying to remember it all.)

Got your list of what you want to do next year? Great!

Now prioritize it. What do you want to accomplish most this year? Because whatever you want to accomplish most this year is your number one priority.

What’s next in importance on your list? Now, what’s next? And the next? And after that? Do you have your top 5 priorities? Terrific! Feel free continue prioritizing your other goals if you wish. But above all, what we need is our Top 5 Goals.

Your Focus Is Your Number One Goal

Now the rest of the items on your list are things you are not only going to ignore, but you are going to avoid. These items are distractions from your top 5 priorities. It’s the financier and all-around-good-guy Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Rule: Focus on your Top 5 Goals and avoid all those other things you’d like to do. Everything below your top 5 goals will sidetrack you and eat up time from your actual priorities.

For example, as much as I may want to play with pottery, but my primary goal this year is building a series of online classes and workshops for creative entrepreneurs wanting to balance their business and personal growth. So my clay studio sits idle and I throw that energy into my writing, course development, and online marketing. (And I’ll use the Priority Planning Process each day to make certain I accomplish something towards my primary goals every day.)

When you try to do too many things, you either don’t accomplish much or what you do is poorly done. Or both. Our best work, our highest sense of accomplishment, the most progress in our goals comes from concentrating on a job well done — that has meaning to us.

Don’t throw away your list of all the other things you’d like to accomplish because you may want to look at it to remember what you are actively avoiding and you want to review it after you complete your Top 5 Goals for this year. And you may want to pull your next Top 5 Goals from the list of things you are avoiding now.

In conclusion, if you want to succeed this year, resolve to find your focus and commit to it.

And for guaranteed success, make sure those Top 5 Goals are SMART.

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