top of page
  • Writer's pictureTarah Cantrell

Is Warren Buffett's 5/25 Rule the True Secret to Success??

An old decade comes to a close, a new one begins, and I've started to list my goals once again.

That's right, it's time to reflect on and list our goals!

This time the process is a little different though. After a year of learning and growing, I've begun to realize that 19 goals was just too many. My last #19for2019 update was in May, and reading it over again made me realize just how difficult it was to maintain all nineteen goals, let alone achieve them at the same time!

I even abandoned a few before the year was half over!

What I find most fascinating about the process of setting and trying to follow through with last year's #19for2019 is that I began to whittle the list down both accidentally and naturally out of a mixture of necessity and interest. Especially after launching my YouTube channel (something I actually achieved from this year's list), my interests became hyper-focused to the extent that many things on my #19for2019 list got shoved aside in favor of creating new content.

I don't want to abandon setting and achieving goals, so rather than making one large list only to feel the shame of abandoning or half-arsing some goals in favor of others I've decided to change the system so that I alleviate those negative feelings before they happen. Which brings me to a certain over-told story about Warren Buffett and his long-time pilot, Michael Flint. If you'd like to find the story in full, simply google something like "Warren Buffett goal strategy" because it has been rehashed over and over again on various business and money focused websites for years now.

The thing is, I can't find any actual evidence to confirm that the story itself is actually true, but it sounds enough like something that may have happened that I've decided to put my faith in the process itself. My hope is that by taking his Buffett's strategy and putting my own little spin on it, this will enable me to dive deeper into a few really important things instead of only doing some of the things on my #20for2020 list and eschewing the rest.

blonde woman looking to the right
Where did the story of Buffett's goal development process ACTUALLY come from??

Warren Buffett's original 25/5 Rule is as follows:

1. Write down the 25 things that you would like most to achieve in your lifetime.

2. Circle the five most important.

3. Separate those five from the remaining 20.

4. Forget the 20 leftovers and discard them. Focus only on the top five goals until you've achieved them.

As mentioned in greater detail in a previous post, Gretchin Rubin's #19for2019 or #20for2020 list is basically just a list of 20 things to try to achieve in the next year.

My strategy combined these two concepts. I made a list of 20 things I'd like to achieve in my personal life and another list of 20 things I'd like to achieve with Old Fashioned AF in the next year. I then chose five from each. The result was the following list (in no particular order):

  • Follow a great morning routine most days.

  • Be more confident in my own abilities.

  • Build an emergency fund beyond $1,000 and keep it separate from other funds.

  • Make exercise a daily habit.

  • Eat only the recommended amount of sugar daily.

  • Release at least one YouTube video per week.

  • Earn at least $50,000 in the coming year.

  • Move to a bigger space.

  • Build a community of at least 50 patrons.

  • Make at least three strong, lasting connections at Costume College.

I suppose that by sharing this list with you, now you know: I've officially become a member of Costumer's Guild West, Inc. and have already registered for CoCo 2020!

But back to the topic at hand. This list is still too long so I've narrowed it down further, this time in order of importance:

1. Eat only the recommended amount of sugar daily. I've gone completely sugar free a couple times in my life, and during those few months I've felt better, stronger, happier, and healthier than during the rest of my adulthood. The problem is that going completely sugar free is next to impossible because life happens; that's why I never stick with it more than a couple months at a time. In the months since my heart surgery little time has been devoted to my own health, but that changes now. I am all about balance and moderation, and sugar should be no exception.

The USDA recommends that adult women take in no more than 25 grams or six teaspoons of added sugar per day. While I am not a huge fan of tracking calories, tracking my sugar will hopefully enable me to make smarter choices all around since the majority of processed foods in the United States already have sugar included. I should note that I am only tracking added sugars for the foreseeable future; natural sugars, like those found in fruits, vegetables, and juices are fine so long as I don't overdo it.

other names for sugar
There are too many names for sugar to count but here are a few.

So what am I counting as added sugars? Any amount of sugar, added or not, as indicated on the package label. (By the way, that "sugar-free" hot chocolate that Laurence and I drank recently? 11 grams of sugar per serving! Why? because it has maltodextrin and sucralose, which are basically sugars without the label.) Honey, maple syrup, molasses, sugars of any kind (obviously?) and any sweeteners also count. Why? Two reasons:

  • Sweeteners are honestly scary to think about for a number of reasons, including cancer.

  • This is meant to be a lifestyle change where I occasionally enjoy the sweet stuff, and I mean the actually sweet stuff but mostly go for great for me foods.

2. Release at least one YouTube video per week. Don't worry; the Sew Streams aren't going away! I just want to increase my other output as well. Soon we'll reach the goal of 25 patrons on Old Fashioned AF's Patreon page soon so that I can start doing a secret live stream just for those of you who support the channel every week. Help make that happen here!

3. Move to a bigger space. Our apartment is tiny. I love the flexibility to be able to work from home but the downside is that we just don't have the space to make content for you in the best way... yet. It's finally going to happen this coming year though since it's on this list, right?? Yes. Yes, it is. I truly believe that.

4. Follow a great morning routine most days. This goal is all about habit-building. When I had set work hours and had to leave by a certain time every single workday, it was simple to create a morning routine that set me up for success. Now that I mostly work from home, I've become a bit lazier and less likely to stick to a morning routine that works for me. Luckily, Laurence got me Amy Landino's new book Good Morning, Good Life and coordinating planner for Christmas. Expect a review and more content in the future about how I'm learning to embrace mornings like never before.

5. Make at least three strong, lasting connections at Costume College. Not only is attending CoCo an absolute dream come true, but it's one that I intend to capitalize on in the best of ways--through newfound friendship! As a younger version of my history-loving self, I was not in a great mental place to make connections. This made it hard to make friends in my field when I worked in museums. In fact, I often wonder if a lack of comradery was one of the primary reasons why I gravitated away from the scene in the first place. I refuse to let that happen ever again! Not to mention, now that I have a YouTube channel it only makes sense to find like-minded collaborators. Bernadette Banner, anyone??

Unlike setting yearly goals that come from resolutions or Gretchin Rubin's #20for2020 challenge, these are all goals that I want to focus on until they've become habits that I no longer think about doing. Achieving these things may take a year, or it may take a lifetime. I refuse to make myself feel bad. Growth is a process filled with mistakes and adjustments.

I sincerely hope it doesn't take a lifetime though because I have other things to do in the future besides developing a morning routine that works.

Happy new year, Crafters! Bring on the roaring '20s!


Use the hashtag #roaring20sgoals across social media to share your top five goals for a fabulous life! Follow me on Instagram or become a YouTube subscriber and let me know today. Let me help motivate you to succeed, no matter what you've got planned!

419 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page