Your Best Year Ever Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2018
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Every January 1, millions of us set resolutions to improve ourselves. The biggest areas are our health, our finances, and our relationships. Maybe it’s because we just spent December eating too much, spending more than we should have, and reflecting on the people that mean the most to us.

And by January 7, almost 30% of us have blown it. Barely half of New Year’s resolutions make it to Valentine’s Day. Last year, we took fewer than 10% of our resolutions across the finish line.

Ouch.

Now some of you may be thinking, “That’s because they’re New Year’s resolutions. We should be setting goals!” And you’re right. In order to improve our lives, we need more impetus than “It’s January 1 and I’ve been eating too much junk food this week.” (Brace yourself—bowl games are coming.) What we need is a system for setting goals that we’re actually going to follow through on.

In Your Best Year Ever, New York Times bestselling author and productivity guru Michael Hyatt will teach you how to set goals that stick. It’s the process that he uses. It’s the process that thousands of students have learned in his best-selling online course, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, and gone on to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, start their own business, launch new careers, repair their marriages, and get in the best shape of their lives.

There are three things about his approach that I really like:

  • You need a why to change. Throughout the process, he emphasizes the need to connect with your why. It’s one thing to say you want to pay off $400k in personal debt, but if all you see is that six-digit red number, it’s going to be intimidating. You’re not going to have the resolve to change. Instead, develop a strong vision of what your life will look like when you’re out of debt. No payments going out each month. No collectors calling. No guilt over what you spent on Christmas. The ability to give with incredible generosity and bless the lives of others. That’s when you’re willing to sacrifice.
  • Your past flows into your future. Whatever change you want to make, you need to start where you are. If you’ve tried before and failed, that’s part of where you stand now. You need to face that, accept it, and come up with a plan to move forward. Now, you have experience. You know one idea for change that isn’t going to work. Or maybe ten. With each failure, you can hone in on the right approach. It’s possible to change course on a dime, but most change requires a larger turning radius.
  • Change is a continual process. We may spend the holidays coming up with goals, but we shouldn’t try to implement all the change in the first quarter. If you work on more than two or three goals at a time, your efforts will be spread too thin. You won’t have the intensity you need to change your course.

There’s a lot of good stuff in here. Like any book, you can skim across the surface and not get anything out of it. If you go deep and actually do the exercises, you can make this your best year ever.

Michael also offers this material as a course on goal setting, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. The self-paced online video format is a pleasure to watch—Michael is a very engaging speaker and it’s easy to feel like it’s one-on-one coaching. An online community is also available, where you can ask questions, discuss problems, and share support when the going gets tough. You can also sign up for a two-day live (in-person) training.

Registration for 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever is only open in December. If you’re interested in knowing more, you can sign up for my newsletter and I’d be happy to let you know the next time it’s available.

Question: Have you read Your Best Year Ever? Share your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

On February 27, I’ll be appearing on Learn OmniFocus LIVE with Tim Stringer! If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at how I use OmniFocus, this is your chance. I’ll walk you through how I track goals in conjunction with Evernote, how I use AppleScript to create new projects, and how I play four-dimensional chess with the context field.

OmniFocus Workflows with Colter Reed

The event is open to all members of Learn OmniFocus, which is a paid membership. You can learn more and register at LearnOmniFocus.com.

Learn OmniFocus is a site devoted to using OmniFocus at the heart of a holistic approach to productivity—Tim’s philosophy that improvements in any area of your life will result in improvements in other areas of your life. Whether you just started with OmniFocus or are a Kinkless veteran, the articles, training videos, and online meetups will help you use OmniFocus more productively.

Date: February 27, 2018
Time: 10:00-11:00am
Appearance: OmniFocus Workflows with Colter Reed
Format: Podcast

The Top Posts of 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

We clear our schedules and spend time with family and friends. We’re a little friendlier to strangers, a little kinder. We assess who we are, the direction we’re heading, and start planning out the new year to make life all the more wonderful.

I’m taking the week off to read, hike, golf, and play with the kids. Instead of a new post, here are the top six posts you might have missed this year. They’re the most-read, most-shared, and most-loved posts of 2017.

How Scrooge’s Haunting Will Make You Change Your Life, Too

You might need more than one night, though.

Most stories involving time travel hold that time is non-deterministic: a small change in the past can amplify over time and drastically change the present. Some, like Doctor Who, believe it’s deterministic: there are fixed events which are unavoidable, though the path between them may vary a bit.

Until we can get a DeLorean up to eighty-eight miles per hour, we’re not going to know which theory is correct. But this is exactly the answer that Ebenezer Scrooge implores of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:

“Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

Scrooge correctly reasoned that there would be no point in the spirits exploring his past, present, and future unless the experience was a warning and an education. “I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!”

It was the perfect combination of past, present, and future. It was exactly what Scrooge needed to change. It’s what you need make the same kind of powerful transformation in your life.

Photo © Disney.

The Time Travel Mistake that can Secure Your Destiny

Small changes have a powerful impact over time

In Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, Eckels hires Time Safari, Inc., to take him back to the Late Cretaceous to hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When he faces his quarry, he loses all bravado and panics. He leaves the path, steps on a butterfly, and alters the present-day. Words are spelled differently. The other candidate won the election.

McCoy steps through the Guardian of Forever and stops Edith Keeler from being hit by a car. Keeler delays the US’s entry into World War II, Germany wins, and the Federation ceases to exist mid-sentence.

Marty McFly saves his father from getting hit by a car (different car) and almost erases himself from existence. Barry Allen saves his mother from getting killed when he was a child and… you get the picture.

It’s a trope of science fiction. Time travelers are always concerned about changing the present by making some small change in the past, but we never think that we can seriously change the future by making some small change today.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / eugenesergeev

Should You Use Your Apple Watch in the Shower?

Is “just in case” worth the risk?

When the Apple Watch was first introduced, there was a lot of optimism about the new ways it would enable us to be productive. One of the common questions was whether you would be able to wear it in the shower to talk to Siri.

I understand the question. We can come up with some great ideas in the shower. This might be the only time we have to step back from a problem and think about it, and Siri gives us a way to capture those key insights.

If you really can’t go 10 minutes without talking to Siri, then yes. Yes, you can wear your Apple Watch (series 2 or later) in the shower. With some precautions, you won’t even break it.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / Lucian Milasan