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.
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.