Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, Michael Hyatt (Ada: Baker Books, 2018).
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Your Best Year Ever Synopsis
Michael Hyatt teaches readers how to achieve their goals in his book, Your Best Year Ever. His five-step plan outlines the mindset and actions that individuals need to take if they want to achieve their most daunting goals. Additionally, he tackles some of the common hurdles people face when trying to accomplish their dreams, such as how to handle a setback.
Step 1: Believe it is Possible
Hyatt believes that habits of thinking are important for manifesting the type of life we want. How we think tends to create consistent results around us, regardless of the experiences we have at work and in our relationships. When we have beneficial habits of thinking, we tend to experience positive results. These results include higher personal satisfaction and happiness. Such beneficial thinking can also lead to material success. When we have unproductive (or non-beneficial) habits of thinking, we experience the exact opposite.
Step 2: Complete the Past
After you convince yourself that your goals are possible, the next step is to complete your past. This means acknowledging, accepting, and letting go of things that happened. It is important to reflect on our experiences. Reflection allows us to learn and grow. However, being wound up in the past can prevent us from reaching our goals.
To complete the past, acknowledge what you wanted to happen versus what actually happened. Reflect and learn from the experience. Even in regret, there are powerful learnings. The strength of regret tends to gift us two things: the motivation to do better and instruction as to what to avoid. Regret also provides us with a wake-up call if we have departed from our values and morals.
Step 3: Design your Future
The third step in Hyatt’s five-step plan is to design your future. Start by identifying and understanding what you want out of your life. This means creating clarity around your goals. In addition to standard goal-setting requirements, SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, risky, and time-keyed), Hyatt also suggests that goals need to be exciting and relevant. For exciting, this means that the goal must spark enough interest that it internally motivates you. For relevancy, your goals should align with the life you want and the values you have. Goals that do not fall in line with this will produce less of what you want.
There are two types of goals: achievement goals and habit goals. Achievement goals are one-time events. Once you’ve accomplished them, you move on. Habit goals are changes in your on-going behaviours. This means shifting a daily practice. Habit goals are great for things that do not have a hard and definable scope. For example, improving your cardiovascular health can be a habit goal. This may translate into running 20 minutes three times a week.
Finally, goals are meant to push you out of your comfort zone. They involve risk and therefore require one to lean into the experience.
Step 4: Find Your Why
Personal motivation is incredibly powerful. We’ve seen how powerful this is in business, with Simon Sinek’s simple example of Apple. Those who find personal motivation for their goals tend to go farther. Building a personal motivation requires an intellectual and emotional connection. With intellectual connection, one must research and uncover a compelling reason that their goal is worth achieving. For an emotional connection, one must feel that there is something at stake in order to internalize the reward. Together, these contribute to the Why that one feels for a goal.
Furthermore, do not underestimate the power of the follow-up. Share your goals and your why with a friend. Have them support and nudge you along in your journey. This can be a powerful tool in holding you accountable to achieving your goals
Sept 5: Execute
The most difficult part of the five steps is the last step, which is bringing your plan to life. Start with the easy tasks first. This usually means tasks that are within and or are closest to your comfort zone. The hardest part is getting started. Doing easy tasks helps you break through this barrier, making it easier to continue through the plan. Additionally, make sure there is visibility on how you are tracking towards your goals.
The Professional Leadership Institute provides training on goal setting and offers a free preview.
- The five steps to your best year ever are: believe your goals are possible, complete the past, design your future, find your why, and make it happen.
- Goals live outside your comfort zone. Be prepared to push your boundaries.
- Find a friend to support you along your journey and nudge you to your goals.
Your Best Year Ever Author: Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt has spent the majority of his career in publishing, first as a literary agent and then as an executive. He is the author of various intentional leadership books and is the founder of Michael Hyatt & Company.
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Professional Leadership Institute (PLI) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical leadership education. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional PLI resources below will be useful: