In this episode, Ann talks about how to set goals based on your life vision and teaches the right mindset of goal setting to make sure there is no wasted time, focus or energy. She discusses the five freedoms in life namely time, location, financial, emotional and vitality freedom.

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As Ann always mentions in our previous episodes, the first step to success or freedom is to know your big “why” or your life vision. After you have identified that, then you can start setting goals and breaking those goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks so you will not feel overwhelmed or burned out in the process. You can use the priority matrix to categorize your tasks according to their importance. Listen now to learn more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Start with your “why.”
  • Ann’s ultimate goal is to achieve the five freedoms in life.
  • After determining your “why” set goals for the year that will help move the needle forward.
  • Focus on five goals a year.
  • Frequently examine those five goals.
  • Dial down those five goals to quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.
  • Ann explains the priority matrix or the Eisenhower Matrix.

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“Examine what five goals or major projects you would like to achieve. After you have the five goals down, everything you do that year should be to move the needle forward in any of those five goals. And you frequently examine those goals.” [00:05:24]

“If you don’t stop and think and look back on how much you’ve done and take time for yourself, then you’ll burn out.” [00:08:07]

“When you have the right mindset, everything that you do is really to achieve that ultimate life vision that you have for yourself. There’s really no waste of your time, no waste of your focus, and energy. And that is truly living a productive life, a healthy life with a healthy mindset. There’s no wasted time.” [00:12:23]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

It’s Not Rocket Science Show website

Ann Tsung on Facebook

Ann Tsung on LinkedIn

Ann Tsung on YouTube

Ann Tsung on Instagram

Ann Tsung on Twitter

About Ann Tsung, MD


Ann Tsung, MD, MPH is a physician who is triple board-certified in emergency, critical care, and preventive/aerospace medicine. She is the podcast show host of It’s Not Rocket Science Show, and a real estate investor. Her mission is to help people create time, vitality, and deep relationships so people can achieve peak performance and fulfillment in life. Her passions include mind-body medicine, functional nutrition, longevity, productivity, and human optimization. She firmly believes that everything we need is within us now.



Please note the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein belong solely to the speaker, and not necessarily those of the speaker’s employer, organization, government institution, or medical program. This show is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this show or materials linked from here is at the user’s own risk. The content of this show is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions. Please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that I will receive compensation from. I only mention products or services that I have used and believe would add value for you. Please note that I have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.

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Full Transcript

Episode 25



Ann Tsung (AT): When you have the right mindset, everything that you do is no longer busy at work. Everything that you do is really to achieve that ultimate life vision that you have for yourself. There’s really no waste of your time, no waste of your focus, and energy. And that is truly living a productive life, a healthy life with a healthy mindset. There’s no wasted time.



ANNOUNCER: If you’re struggling with your vitality, energy, mood, focus, or sleep, this podcast is for you. Your host, Dr. Ann Tsung, ER doctor, and aerospace flight surgeon, will help you reach for the stars and remove the barriers or blockades that have been holding you back from living your best life. If you’ve been challenged by your health, relationships, or productivity, then it’s time for a breakthrough. So, here’s your host, Dr. Ann Tsung.


AT: Hello, welcome to It’s not Rocket Science Show. I am your host, Dr. Ann Tsung. Today, I’d like to talk about goal setting and the mindset of goal setting as an overarching framework of how you can set goals for your life. And then moving on to quarterly goal setting, annual goal setting, and then you dial down to the month, and then the week, and then the day. And sometimes we get busy doing the little things, the busy things but you know, they don’t really move the needle. So, we want to zoom out first, to take a look at what is really driving us. So, let’s dive in. 

When you look at your goals in life, we had discussed in the prior episodes that start with your “why.” Why do you want to do this venture? Why do you want to do the career that you’re doing? What is your why? And my “why” is human optimization. And that’s the reason why I’m always looking for ways to hack productivity to improve the relationship, to improve the emotional state. And I want to help others to achieve those states. And my ultimate goal is really to achieve the five freedoms in life. And you can view it as you know, there’s financial freedom, of course, a lot of us are striving for that. But there are also four other freedoms that we often don’t think about. 


So those four other freedoms. This is coming from my coach who is very, very inspirational. The first one is time freedom. You want to be free of being told where to go at a certain time eventually. Currently, it’s a little bit hard if you have a job in the corporate world or in the government, but eventually, down the line, that’s probably what most people would like. And the other freedom is location freedom. Right now, during the pandemic, a lot of people have experiences that they’re able actually to work wherever they want. It’s liberating in a way. You don’t necessarily have to move for your job anymore, you can live where you’ve always wanted to live. So that’s location freedom. 


And then there is something called the vitality freedom. And what that means is optimal health in order to do the things that you wish to do to achieve the goals that you want to achieve. You want to have a healthy body, a healthy mind, right? So, if there’s some sort of ailment that you’re dealing with, that’s going to take away your focus on achieving this freedom. So, vitality freedom – your health, your mind – it’s super important as well. And the last thing, the most important probably is emotional freedom. So, you’re not trapped in your own head, that you’re not giving negative self-talk to yourself every day, to be able to deal with stress to be able to interact with others, without it affecting you. If somebody makes a negative comment to you, or somebody makes you feel dumb or stupid, that you have the emotional freedom and mindset to be able to cope with that and not let it affect you. And to just let it flow through you and take it as a lesson. 


So, those again are the five freedoms in life that I am achieving, and that you can examine your life right now and see if that resonate with you – the time freedom, financial freedom, location freedom, vitality freedom, and emotional freedom. And my way to achieve all that is to participate to help in human optimization in all aspects of life, especially in relationships, productivity and health. And now that you think about your “why” and later you examine closely, okay, so what are items or projects or goals I can set for the year that will help me move the needle forward in any of those freedoms. And again, they don’t have to be simultaneous because life goes in seasons. Sometimes you can focus on one freedom, sometimes, the next few months you focus on another freedom which is, you flow with life, you be flexible. 

So, my coach has told me that really in one year you can focus on five goals a year. If you have more than five major goals a year, then you’re taking your time and focus away from them too much. You’re spreading yourself too thin. And really, in the end, it’s difficult to progress on them. Because if you have like more than five major, you’re kind of dealing with one, putting out fire in the other, it just doesn’t move the needle for it as easily. 


So, you examine what five goals or major projects you would like to achieve. And again, they don’t necessarily have to be career or financial-oriented, they can be relationship-oriented. Say, I want for me, this year, I want to plan a magical wedding with my fiancé. And that’s my major goal of the year. And I’m going to put in my focus to achieve that. It doesn’t have to be just oh, I need to learn this. And I need to make however much money. 

And after you have the five goals down, that everything you do that year should be to move the needle forward in any of those goals. And you frequently examine those five goals, you have it written down somewhere, and then you’re always looking at, it always looking at it. Sometimes I have it posted notes on my mirror in the bathroom of those action items or goals, or you know what I would like to celebrate, what I would, you know for myself, for relaxation, always like, put it somewhere you can see so that you remember, you’re reminded of it. 


And now, after you set the five goals, you can take a look at it in the quarterly sense as well, some of the actions that you need to take some of the skills that you would like to learn, or I have a whiteboard in my office, and I split it up into months. And then each month, it’s better if you write instead of doing it digitally because sometimes when you’re writing, the thoughts just flow and you remember it better, and then it kind of sets your intention better, it’s definitely different from typing in the computer. So, I have in there spread out monthly. Again, this is a rough draft, don’t give yourself negative self-talk, if you don’t reach all of your milestones each month or quarterly, I have on the top the skills that I need to learn. 


So, for me currently, it’s like surgeon training, and also learning how to create a podcast, learning how to speak, perhaps learning how to speed read. And then there are actual task lists or goals that I would like to achieve that month. And at the very bottom of each month, I write down how I’m going to celebrate, how I’m going to rejuvenate myself, how I am going to relax, how I’m going to have me time, because it’s really important to relish in the joy and the happiness and your fruits of your endeavors for the month, not just monthly, but really daily. Or else you’re just go, go, go go, go, there’s always goals to achieve. 


There are always things to do. And if you don’t stop and think and look back on how much you’ve done and take time for yourself, then you’ll burn out like I have. So that’s the monthly goal setting, and then you dial it down even more and think about what is the one thing or the few goals I can do this month, or this week, in order to achieve what I need to achieve, which is going back to your five goals in the year and dialing back even further the five freedoms in life or whatever why or whatever life goals that you have envisioned for yourself. And after that, you will dial down even further to your daily goals. And the journaling that I do has helped me out tremendously to focus on quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. 

There is something called the priority matrix and could be called the Eisenhower matrix. It’s a matrix that President Eisenhower had actually used to prioritize his task lists. And if you can just imagine four quadrants, and on the left upper portion, it is urgent and important task list. So, those are the items that you put down where it’s an emergency, it has to do with your family, it has to do with your health that you have to take care of right at this moment. Okay. And then to the right of that quadrant, there is important but not urgent. So, what that is are the needle-moving tasks that you have, but it’s not emergent that you do it at this moment today. Okay. Those are the things that where you can relax, have deep focus, those are the items where it uses up all of your capabilities and that you are training to do. And those are the items that challenge you that help you grow. All right. 


And then so if you move down on the left, lower quadrant, then you have the urgent, but not important. So those are some of the emails, some of the meetings where you’re not an active participant, and it’s not really benefiting you. But though you’re invited to it, maybe there are some call, phone calls, that is urgent, but not quite important, is important to the other person, but not important to you. So those are things where you can perhaps automate or be more protective with your time, really protect your morning time, or when you’re at the time that you’re when you’re most focused. So, take a look at the quadrants. And then from that, you can make a determination of what really goes on your priority list for the day. And they’re really for the day, you can accomplish three top priorities. And you can set it so that you finish at least the top one or two, the first hour or two of the day so that you’re not distracted by all of the other emails, all the other calls that come to you later. 


And this is the reason why I wake up at 5 am so I can do my self-care for the first hour in the morning. And I can begin work working on anything that requires deep work or focus for the next hour or two hours of the day before everybody else start their workday. And so, I know that was a lot. And there are definitely more things that we can do to dive into the future episodes. But at least that’s the overarching framework of goal-setting. 

Really, to summarize, it’s about remembering your why it’s remembering your life goal or life vision for yourself. And think about the five freedoms in life. If any of those resonate with you feel free to take those as your life goal. Again, that’s time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom, emotional freedom, and vitality freedom. And then you can look at the five goals that you want to achieve this year, then dial it down to quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. And when you have the right mindset, everything that you do is no longer busy at work. Everything that you do is really to achieve that ultimate life vision that you have for yourself. There’s really no waste of your time, no waste of your focus and energy. And that is truly living a productive life, a healthy life with a healthy mindset, that there’s no wasted time. And again, when I say there’s no wasted time, I’m not talking about you know, the time that you’re not being productive. That also includes the time where you are relaxing, you’re giving love to yourself, that you’re giving yourself time to wind down. That is not a waste of time. Okay? 

So please go to to see the show notes and photos of what I talked about. Sometimes it’s easier to visualize it in the photo format of what the quadrant is like. And I’m really, really grateful for you spending your time with me to learn together to grow together. And remember, everything we need is already within us now. Thank you.


ANNOUNCER: That’s it for today’s episode. Head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show. One lucky listener every single week that posts a review on iTunes will win a chance in the grand prize drawing to win a private VIP Day for a health and life makeover with Dr. Ann Tsung, herself. Then, be sure to head on over to and pick up your free gift from Dr. Tsung. Then, join us on the next episode.


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