12 Jan

80/20 Rule For Goal Setting

This is the time for deep reflection on what the year has in stock for you but unless you take charge, the end result may not be very favourable and you will have no-one else to blame but yourself.  There are many methods for goal setting and one such is using   Pareto’s principle of “80/20” as a goal setting method.

According to Pareto’s  principle: 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. Using this method can change the way you set goals forever. I have used the Pareto’s principle for most decisions I have had to make, and when I came across this article by Brian Tracy, I knew I have to share it with you on our goal setting trip for 2017.

What Is The 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule is also called the “Pareto Principle” named after it’s founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto from 1895. He noticed that people in society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few,” or the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many,” or the bottom 80 percent.

Later, he discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle, in that 80 percent of the wealth of Italy during that time was controlled by 20 percent of the population.

We can take Pareto’s 80/20 rule and apply it to almost any situation. In particular, we can apply it to goal setting and productivity. 

80/20 Rule In Action

If you have a list of ten items to accomplish, two of those items will turn out to be worth more than the other eight items put together.

The sad fact is that most people procrastinate on the top 10 or 20 percent of items that are the most valuable and important, the “vital few,” and busy themselves instead with the least important 80 percent, the “trivial many,” that contribute very little to their success.

How To Apply The 80/20 Rule

Here’s what you should do in order to effectively apply the 80/20 rule to goal setting and to your overall productivity.

Take a piece of paper and write down ten goals you would like to achieve this year. Then ask yourself: If you could only accomplish one of the goals on that list, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on your life?

Then pick the second most important goal. What you’ll find is, after you complete this exercise, you will have determined the most important 20 percent of your goals that will help you more than anything else.

You should continue to work at those goals that you’ve chosen as the most valuable all the time.  You can use this method for any area of your life – could be short term goals, also.

Eat The Biggest Frog First

You often see people who appear to be busy all day long but seem to accomplish very little. This is almost always because they are busy working on tasks that are of low value while they are procrastinating on the one or two activities that could make a real difference to their companies and to their careers.

The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex, but the payoff and rewards for completing them can be tremendous.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?”

The rule for this is: RESIST the temptation to clear up small things first.

If you choose to start your day working on low-value tasks, you will soon develop the habit of always starting and working on low-value tasks. The ‘low hanging fruit’ method in financial issues is not the same for work/task schedules.

Work Towards Your Main Goal, All The Time

Let me tell you about a study that has just been done about the attitudes of rich people versus poor people in regard to goal setting. What they found is that 85% of rich people have ONE BIG GOAL that they work on all the time.

So, if you want to be wealthy, do what wealthy people do. Pick ONE BIG GOAL and work on it all the time, and if you do, it will change your life.

Let me leave you with a thought from Brian Tracy:

“When your goals are clear, you will come up with exactly the right answer at exactly the right time” @BrianTracy

Those are Brian Tracy’s strategies  for applying the 80/20 Rule to goal setting – and I must tell you that it took me a while but I can say this strategy works.  It worked for me, it obviously works for Brian Tracy and it will work for you!

Pareto’s Rule of 80/20 is also an incredible tool for growing  businesses and in most areas of life and time management.

Do let me know about the outcome of your 80/20 Rule goal setting journey.  Share any changes you have noticed.  A step a time makes the journey shorter and effective


reference: Brian Tracy

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