It’s January the First. Happy New Year. And wouldn’t it be great if you could make this year your best year ever?
Well this is the mission of one of the biggest names in today’s self-help industry, Michael Hyatt. His ‘Your Best Year Ever’ online program has been running for a number of years now. And last year, he published it as an ordinary book. No more are we reliant on a high-priced wait-listed program. For a few pounds or dollars, you can read his guidance and follow his plan.
2019 promises to be a difficult year, globally. So, let’s find out how you can have your best year ever.
Why is the Best Year Ever Program Worth Following?
There are two answers to this question. and the first is that any decently constructed program can work to give you a good year. And, by good year, I mean achieving some worthwhile goals that you set yourself.
The value lies in taking time to identify what you want, articulating it with care, and then taking deliberate action to achieve it. Clearly, no guru, coach, or advisor can foresee events that can overtake your plans. But the sense of being in control of your destiny can have a huge impact on your wellbeing and your sense of fulfilment.
The second part of my answer is that Michael Hyatt’s best year ever programme is as good as any and better than most. It is carefully researched, well presented, and contains much to like. For someone like me, who has tried many of these ideas out, and has his own approach, this makes a lot of sense.
What is the Approach in the Best Year Ever?
Michael Hyatt’s approach has five steps, which I shall describe as I understand them. This then is my interpretation of Hyatt’s thinking:
Step 1: Believe in Your Possibilities
‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’
said Henry Ford. If you don’t start by believing you can achieve your goals for the coming year, you will be right. The personal success industry uses the term ‘limiting beliefs’ for the self-doubt that gnaws away at you.
But here’s how I see it, as a rational scientist…
Firstly, if you don’t have a goal, then you can’t achieve it.
You may do what you would have wanted to do, had you set goals. But, in not setting the goal, there is no recognition of meeting a goal, and therefore less of no pride of achievement. And thus less or no feeling of success.
Second, knowing what your goals are can make them you likely to achieve them
Because, quite simply, your brain knows what opportunities to be alert to. You are therefore more likely to spot and take helpful opportunities.
So, a bit of self-confidence can do no harm
Of course not. There’s a difference between optimism and confidence on the one hand, and a sense of entitlement and arrogance on the other. And, let’s face it… We all like confident, optimistic people far more than we are drawn to fatalistic pessimists.
Step 2: Be Honest about the Past
Yup, I’m sure some pretty bad stuff has happened in your past. Plenty of reasons to be pessimistic, if you were to choose to. But that is another recipe for failure. Phiip Zimbardo’s marvellous book, ‘The Time Paradox’ (US|UK) talks about positive and negative time orientations.
A Past Negative orientation leads us to see the past as a series of failures from which we cannot escape. It leads to a self-defeating ‘what’s the point?’ mindset. A Past Positive orientation, on the other hand, is resourceful. From this, we can draw lessons from the past with a will to make our futures better. We can reflect on what happened and why, and use the insights to change our approach for the future.
Step 3: Design Effective Goals
Badly formulated goals are the commonest reason for failing. A hope is not a goal, and Hyatt rightly puts a lot of focus on well-articulated goals. The SMART framework is a familiar one for well-formed goals. I prefer my own (US|UK) SMARTEST framework. Make your goals:
- Specific (measurable is one way to be super-specific)
- Meaningful (Hyatt addresses this at step 4, below)
- Action-oriented (and this is Hyatt’s step 5)
- Responsible (you need to play fair by the people in your life)
- Towards (express positive goals that take you towards what you want – rather than away from what you don’t)
- Exciting (because… why not?The alternative is ‘dull’)
- Supported (look for the resources and people who will help you)
- Time-bound (know by when you want to have your goal)
Step 4: Answer the Question ‘Why?’
Without a good reason to do something, we are not motivated to do it. All we do is mentally repeat ‘why?’ Hyatt quotes his wife, Gail Hyatt, as saying:
‘People lose their way when they lose their why.’
Step 5: Make them Happen
Here’s another quote – this one pretty famous:
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’
One internet source attributes this to Benjamin Franklin and it does sound like him. But I’m not sure. Anyway, I’ll give him the credit, and see if anyone offers a better source in the comments.
The point is, you need to develop a set of implementation plans to help you achieve your goals. Hope isn’t a strategy. Successful people work hard to win their success.
So, a Happy and Successful New Year to You.
Do let us know how you get on…
We’d love to hear your experiences, ideas, and questions. Please leave them in the comments below.
To learn more…
The Personal Success Pocketbook is full of tips, techniques, and tools to help you give your life direction, achieve your personal definition of success, and enrich your life.