This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission which helps keep my blog up and running but it won’t cost you extra) Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Happy New Year, friends! At this point, you’ve probably read about 100 blogs and articles about ‘goal setting’ and making the most of the new year. This can often bring about equal parts fear and excitement. Setting goals is great but if you’ve come out of the previous year feeling like you didn’t achieve many of your big goals, you might also feel discouraged or disappointed.
Earlier this month I was excited to be included in Michael Hyatt’s launch team for his new book called, Your Best Year Ever. I received a free copy of the book and in exchange I’m happy to share my notes and honest thoughts about the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and below I have included my notes regarding some of my favorite frameworks and ideas that Michael talks about in his book. First, he discusses how our lives are made up of 10 interrelated domains.
Our lives consist of 10 interrelated domains:
- Spiritual: Your connection to God
- Intellectual: Your engagement with significant ideas
- Emotional: Your psychological health
- Physical: Your bodily health
- Marital: Your spouse or significant other
- Parental: Your children if you have any
- Social: Your friends and associates
- Vocational: Your profession
- Avocational: Your hobbies and pastime
- Financial: Your personal or family finances
I would suggest going through each of these areas, or at least the ones relevant to you right now, and make a few notes. Jot down where you are right now in each area as well as what you would like to see for yourself in the future.
In the book he also says,
Your Best Year Ever is based on 5 assumptions:
1. Real life is multifaceted
2. Every domain matters
3. Progress starts only when you get clear on where you are right now
4. You can improve any life domain
5. Confidence, happiness, and life satisfaction are byproducts of personal growth
“Our beliefs play a massive part in how we approach life. We tend to experience what we expect.” -Michael Hyatt
“The first key difference between an unmet goal and personal success is the belief that it can be achieved.” -Michael Hyatt
“So ask yourself: what’s not in your world right now that could be, must be there? As we begin to think about designing our best year ever, we need to recognize that most of the barriers we face are imaginary. There are a million thoughts running through our minds, but we alone get to choose what we’re going to believe.” -MH
Michael states that, “We all have more power than we sometimes give ourselves credit for.” According to Stanford psychology professor Albert Bandura, this power comprises 4 properties that help us achieve our goals.
- Intention: We can imagine a better reality than the one we’re currently experiencing
- Forethought: By visualizing the future, we can govern our behavior in the present and give purpose and meaning to our actions
- Action: We have the ability to act on our plans, to stay motivated, and to respond in the moment to remain on course
- Self-reflection: We not only act, we know how to act
Going forward, to really reflect and prepare for the upcoming year, you might find it helpful to use the After Action Review below. In addition, feel free to use some of the questions below to reflect on the recent year. Make sure to pick and choose and don’t feel as though you need to answer every question or complete each activity.
The After Action Review:
Stage 1: State what you wanted to happen
Stage 2: Acknowledge what actually happened
Stage 3: Learn from the experience
- What were the major life lessons you learned this year?
- Don’t overthink the outcome, just do the next right thing
Stage 4: Adjust your behavior
Questions to think about with the After Action Review:
- How did you see the past year going?
- What were your plans, your dreams, your concrete goals if you had any?
- What disappointments or regrets did you experience this past year?
- What did you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
- What did you accomplish this past year that you were most proud of?
- What were two or three specific themes that kept occurring?
- What were the major life lessons you learned this past year?
Next, let’s look at two elements that are critical to goal setting and preparing for the new year, Gratitude + Writing down your goals.
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Gratitude keeps us hopeful, improves our patience, reminds us we have agency, and expands possible responses. I totally agree with Michael on this point, gratitude is essential. If you don’t have a gratitude practice, don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds. Just take 1-2 minutes to write down 3 things that you’re grateful for today, that’s it. It couldn’t be easier. Try to do this at least 1-2 times per week.
Writing Your Goals Down:
“The mere act of writing one’s goals boosted achievement by 42%” -MH
Committing your goals to writing is not the end game. But it is foundational for success for at least 5 reasons:
- Forces you to clarify what you want
- Writing down goals helps you overcome resistance
- It motivates you to take action
- Filters other opportunities
- Enables you to see and celebrate your progress
So, now that you have some background on why writing down your goals is so important..let’s move on to a helpful framework that Michael mentions in the book.
I’m sure that if you’ve ever read an article about goal setting or planning, you’ve probably heard of setting SMART goals. I love that Michael uses the foundation of SMART goals in his SMARTER framework. For a goal to ultimately be successful, we also want our goals to be both exciting and also relevant.
SMARTER GOALS FRAMEWORK:
As you’re setting goals for the upcoming year, keep this framework on a piece of paper or in the back of your mind.
Finally, we’ll finish with looking at two different goals, Achievement and Habit goals. It’s important to differentiate the two in order to set the right parameters for your end goal.
Achievement Vs. Habit Goals:
Michael states that your new goals should align with your season of life, values, and other goals.
Achievement Goals: focused on one time accomplishments. Such as, reading 50 books by December 31 or running a marathon by June 1.
Habit Goals: regular, ongoing activities. Such as, a daily meditation practice or walking every day.
Habit goals have 4 time keys:
- Start date
- Habit frequency
- Time trigger: when you want to do it
- Streak target
Personally, most of the goals that I set are habit goals, but I would like to incorporate a few achievement goals into my planning for next year. As you think about your goals for the coming year, get really clear on whether the goal is an achievement or habit based goal. Or, try each one.
In conclusion: I know that this was a lot of information and probably much longer than my average blog post, however, the intention is that you can refer back to these ideas when needed.
Choose 1-2 of the frameworks above that really stood out to you. Get out a piece of paper or a fresh Google doc and take action right now. Whether it’s trying out the SMARTER framework or implementing a gratitude practice, remember that it’s just inspirational reading until you actually take action!
Here’s to a great New Year and if you’re looking for a copy of Michael’s book, Your Best Year Ever, Click here.
Also, I loved his previous book, Living Forward
What would Your Best Year Ever look like?