Educate May 2018

“Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt


Written By: Sharon Brown

The year 2018 marches on — summer is almost here. Did you set some goals at the beginning of the year? How are they going? It’s normal for some things to fizzle out, but perhaps you need a better plan for achieving goals that matter. If so, author Michael Hyatt is here to help.

“Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals” might sound a little cheesy, but Hyatt is on to something with his step-by-step guide. Many of his ideas either reinforced my own thinking or are similar to other things I’ve been reading lately. The more connections I make, the better, and Hyatt’s book checked so many boxes. He grabbed my attention from the start with the first of his five steps: Believe the Possibility.

It was a nice surprise to see that he referenced and quoted Benjamin and Rosamund Zander, authors of “The Art of Possibility.” I first learned about them in 2017 during a training class called The Art of Possibility, which I highly recommended if you work at the University of Florida. I think I was more willing to trust Hyatt’s ideas when I realized that he clearly values the power of possibility. The next thing that clicked was that he recommends affirmations. I’m already a believer, and I’ve recently read two distinct books that both touted the benefits of positive statements. They are not a new idea, but like mindfulness and meditation, affirmations are going mainstream.

Reflection and reviews are two more themes that keep trying to get my attention. Hyatt recommends daily, weekly and quarterly reviews of goals. During his morning routine, he simply scans his goals, making connections between them and his daily tasks or next steps. Every week, he takes maybe 20 minutes to review and consider, first, if there’s still a connection to each goal and the “why” behind it. Then, he uses an after-action review to acknowledge what happened the week before — both hits and misses — and note any lessons and make adjustments. Then, he plans his next week.

During his quarterly review, he does one of the following: rejoice, recommit, revise, remove or replace. Notice that he allows for the inevitable: scaling back or even quitting some goals is sometimes the best way to go.

Hyatt is a longtime student of personal development and professional achievement: He’s fully branded and packaged, and he hosts productivity workshops and has trademarked several phrases, including the name of his workshop. His online self-assessment is free and, of course, highly recommended, but most of us don’t need a test to know where we want to improve. Staying motivated can be tricky. Hyatt says that doing the easy task first sets you up for achieving a goal. It sets things in motion, boosts your mood (the brain releases dopamine when we achieve a goal!) and kicks off momentum. Hello, motivation!

At the end of the book, Hyatt congratulates the reader, saying there’s a reason you made it through the whole thing. It’s a nice touch. He’s a sincere, helpful and motivating coach with a proven system. When I finished “Your Best Year Ever,” I thought of a quote I read recently (and modified slightly): “It works if you work it, and you’re worth it.” Hyatt’s system has the potential to help take any goal from idea to achievement. I say, let’s choose a goal and give his process a try with an “anything is possible” mindset. We may find ourselves in the middle of our best year yet.

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Sharon Brown is a Prospect Strategy Analyst with the University of Florida Office of Advancement. A graduate of UF’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, she is happy to have found a career that marries reading, writing and being curious. She and her husband, also a CLAS alum, live in Gainesville. 

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