25/5 rule

For someone who reportedly spends no more than $3.17 on a McDonald’s breakfast on his way to the office, you may be surprised Warren Buffet has made his way into the DIEMlife Nutrition Program. Well, besides being a prolific investor who has built a fortune of wealth from scratch, he demonstrates remarkable emotional intelligence in his simple yet brilliant strategies.

Let’s review his 25/5 rule then apply a minimized version of it to our nutrition and fitness goals.

Here’s the story behind the rule–and how it can benefit you.

The 25/5 rule: Simple yet brilliant

According to the story, before an airplane takeoff, Warren Buffett walked up to the pilot of his private jet, Mike Flint and jokingly said to him, “The fact that you’re still working for me, tells me I’m not doing my job. You should be out, going after more of your goals and dreams.”

Buffett then walked Flint through a simple process to help focus and prioritize his goals.

Follow along, focusing only on nutrition and fitness related goals.


First, Flint was asked to list 25 goals related to career and life in general. Our goals should relate to nutrition and fitness (i.e. to lose 20 pounds, sleep early and wake up early, feel more energized, run a faster 5k, stop eating fast food, etc.). This is a brainstorming exercise of sorts. Aim for 25 but getting at least 10 in our case will help you dig deep.


Next, Buffett asked Flint to put his list in order of importance.Do the same for your list. Take your time. This is a lengthy process. But, it’s revealing, too.Then, Buffett said to draw a circle around his top five goals. In our case, I want you to circle only your top two.

Then, Buffett asked, “Are you sure these are the absolute highest priority for you.” Flint replied, “Yes.”


Flint then reportedly said to Buffet “These are the most important things in my life right now. I’m going to work on them right away. I’ll start tomorrow. Actually, no I’ll start tonight.”

Sound familiar? With marketing gurus keeping us worried and chasing after the next diet or fitness fad, we are left revising our goals and (re)starting our plans to achieve them. For some people, this can repeat their entire lives without success.

Buffett replied, “But what about the other 20 things on your list that you didn’t circle? What is your plan for completing those?” Flint replied, “The top five are my primary focus but the other twenty are still important so I’ll work on those as I’m getting through my top 5. They are not as urgent but I still plan to give them dedicated time and effort.”

Buffett looked straight into Flint’s eyes and said, “No. You’ve got it wrong. Everything you didn’t circle just became your avoid at all cost list”. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

Your takeaways:

1. Remain focused on accomplishing your top two fitness and nutrition goals ONLY

2. The rest of your goals just became your not-do-list of goals


It’s easy to come up with the top two things you really want to achieve. But it’s even easier to get distracted from actually making progress on those two, because you get caught up in the temporary pleasure of things that you have already determined are less important.

Choose a door

How to make the 25-5 rule work for your DIEMlife Nutrition Program Goals

In the story, Buffett was advising on how to reach your biggest career or life goals. But you can use this rule to help you with nutrition and fitness goals as well, and help guide your laser focus to achieve them.

For example, every morning, you might make a task list of fitness or nutrition related things you want to accomplish to support your top two goals.

Then, circle only the top task that is directly related to your chosen nutrition goal, and the top task directly related to your fitness goal. Don’t do any of the other tasks–no meetings, no calls, nothing, until you’ve either achieved them or fully prepared everything you need to achieve them (e.g. prepared your workout clothes and equipment, prepped your lunch to avoid needing fast food, etc.).