Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt. Baker Books. 272 pages. 2018
This helpful book is based on practical experiences and research on goal attainment and human achievement. The program that is detailed in the book is designed to help you find clarity, develop courage, and leverage the commitment you need to accomplish your most important personal and professional goals. The book includes a link to the author’s LifeScore Assessment to help you quickly spot areas of improvement and measure your personal growth over time.
The book takes you through 5 Steps:
- Overcome any doubts you might have about experiencing your best year ever.
- Get closure on the past.
- A 7-part framework for setting goals.
- Find Your “Why”.
- Take action with three tactics.
The author states that our beliefs play a significant part in how we approach life. The greater the number of setbacks we’ve experienced in life, the less likely we are to believe we can prevail. Both positively and negatively, your beliefs have tremendous impact on your experience of life. Recognizing that fact is the first stage in experiencing your best year ever.
A limiting belief is a misunderstanding of the present that shortchanges the future. However, you don’t have to be confined by limited beliefs. Instead, you can exchange them for liberating truths, and he provides a six-step process to help you do that. The author tells us that whatever our circumstances, we have the power to pursue a better future.
After limiting beliefs, the next most common barrier we encounter is the past. If we are going to experience our best year ever, we need to harness the power of what he refers to as backward thinking. Unless we learn from our experiences, we can’t grow.
The author addresses the important subject of our regrets. He states that when it comes to experiencing your best year ever, we can leverage our regrets to reveal opportunities we would otherwise miss. Regret is a powerful indicator of future opportunity.
He addresses resiliency, gratitude and writing down our goals. He states that he’s never met anyone who wins at very much for very long without resiliency. Gratitude is fundamental for achieving our goals. He writes that you will never have more of what you want until you become thankful for what you have. He states that committing your goals to writing is foundational.
The author shares some very helpful information about goals. Many are familiar with SMART goals. The author introduces us to the SMARTER model:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable
R – Risky
T – Time-Keyed
E – Exciting
R – Relevant
Goals are fundamentally about what you’re going to do. They are not just about what you accomplish. It’s about what you become.
The author suggests that you should limit yourself to seven to ten goals that align with your life, values and ambitions. You should use a mixture of what he refers to as achievement (focused on one-time accomplishments) and habit (regular, ongoing activity) goals. You should set a few per quarter so that you can space your effort out evenly throughout the year. Your LifeScore will help you in crafting a set of goals that are aligned with your personal growth path. You should include goals from several different LifeScore domains.
The author introduces us to three zones for goals – Comfort, Discomfort and Delusional. For a goal to stretch us it has to stand outside your Comfort Zone. Your best year ever lives somewhere beyond your Comfort Zone. You should set goals in the Discomfort Zone. Goals in this zone will challenge, and result in your best performance, while goals in the Delusional Zone will leave you frustrated and discouraged. While we should set goals in the Discomfort Zone, the way to tackle a goal is to start with a task in the Comfort Zone. You should tackle your easiest task first.
In introducing the concept of our “why”, he writes that people lose their way when they lose their why. Next to finding your why, mastering your motivation is key for developing the necessary persistence to make it through what he refers to as the messy middle.
If you expect to experience your best year ever, you must take action. Activation Triggers are simple statements or actions that streamline the process of reaching our goals.
You should regularly review your goals and motivations. He suggests daily, weekly and quarterly reviews.
He discusses the importance of intentional relationships in achieving our goals, using an illustration on how J.R.R. Tolkien was encouraged by C.S. Lewis to write his book The Lord of the Rings.
He writes about the importance of celebrating your wins. Celebrating validates your work and is a key component of living a full, meaningful life.
He tells us that the future is in our hands, but only if we act today.
The book began as an online course. It includes many interesting stories, such as the author’s goal of running a marathon. As I read the book, I thought of goals I wanted to achieve in 2018, such as finishing a book I’ve started on integrating faith and work. The book also includes a lot of good information from research studies.
This practical book is best read with a pen and notebook handy. A detailed “Action Plan” is included for each step. Helpful goal-setting templates are provided. Use this book to help make 2018 your best year ever.