This is the time of year when, like many people, I do the majority of my goal-setting and strategic planning. Your Best Year Ever is a great companion for this process. Michael Hyatt starts by asking why fewer than ten percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them, and what might be wrong with that process if it generally fails. A healthy mix of skepticism and optimism provide for the ideal planning mindset.
Your Best Year Ever puts its own spin on some standard goal-setting tools. Many people are familiar with the ‘life wheel,’ which usually divides areas of life into eight categories. This book offers a chart with ten Life Domains, providing more nuance. Another upgrade is the familiar acronym SMART, for “specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.” This book asks us to make our goals SMARTER, for “specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-keyed, exciting, and relevant.” That alone might make a difference for those of us who tend to get stuck on commonplace goals like “lose ten pounds” or “get organized.” Choose risk and excitement if you’re looking for that hidden motivation!
A strong feature of the book is the structured review process. For the previous year, go over what went well and what didn’t, and think about both what you have to regret and where you can feel grateful. Where are limiting beliefs and scarcity thinking holding you back? During the coming year, pause each quarter and review your goals. Use the five R’s: Rejoice, Recommit, Revise, Remove, or Replace. It’s hard to express how important this is in strategic planning, the flexibility to adjust goals in the face of reality. For instance, the year I started running, my goal was to run 2.25 miles, but I reached it in six weeks rather than twelve months. That goal became both a Rejoice and a Revise.
Choosing appropriate goals can be trickier than it looks. This is partly because many of us feel like we have to choose from a set list of boringly ordinary goals, like “clean the garage.” Ugh. Your Best Year Ever recommends that we stay out of the Comfort Zone, choose goals in the Discomfort Zone, and also stay out of the Delusional Zone. For me that might be going camping for a weekend, planning a week-long backpacking expedition, and climbing Mt. Everest. Thinking about that Discomfort Zone in the middle makes me excited, and it makes me want to upgrade my workout, organize my gear, save money, clear my schedule, and start calling my friends, which are all great supporting goals. Uh oh, I think I just talked myself into a little discomfort!
Young people are more likely to reach their goals. Why is that? I would have guessed that young people would be too busy and too broke to make goals, while older people would use their experience, skills, earning power, and planning ability to get things done. The sad truth is that as time goes by, we disappoint ourselves by not achieving everything we set out to do, and we lose faith in ourselves. We give up. This can only be because we don’t understand how to use the goal-setting and review process to actually make our dreams come true. Also, we give in to the Law of Diminishing Intent, which says that the longer we wait, the less likely we are to do something. This is one of the reasons I use December and January for strategic planning; without a deadline, I’d never have any momentum and nothing I ever dreamed would find its way into the time dimension.
If you only read one planning book, this is a very strong contender. What if all you were ever missing was a little more structure to your process? Take a look at it, and hopefully you’ll make 2019 Your Best Year Ever.
Doubt is a goal toxin.
...if you already have everything you need to achieve your goal, then your goal’s probably too small.
Regret is a powerful indicator of future opportunity.
Agency sees an obstacle and says, “I can overcome this,” while entitlement complains about not being done yet.
Many people feel stuck or fail to make progress because they can’t make the connection between their yearly goals and their daily tasks.
I never met the goal police, but I’m certain they don’t show up when you strike a goal off your list.
NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF CLARITY
WITHOUT TAKING DECISIVE ACTION.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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