Pursue What Matters
Episode 87: Your Best Year Ever
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Okay, so who’s ready for a new year? I think every hand went up. We’re ready for 2021. Okay, so let’s get ready for your best year ever.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:14
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters Podcast, where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. Well, who knows, maybe it won’t be your best year ever. But we’re going to keep our fingers crossed, that it is better than 2020. You know, if you’re like most of us, and you’ve looked at the memes you’ve watched the memes you’ve laughed at the memes you’ve cried at the means. It’s, you know, we’re ready to close the door on 2020. Because 2020 has been rough, so many challenges. But we also don’t want to have unrealistic expectations moving forward. So you might be a little surprised by the book that I’ve chosen to review today, because I am a fan of managing expectations. But I’m going to review a book today, which I think can be helpful. It’s called Your Best Year Ever. So there, there you go, blowing my managing expectations out of the water.
Dr. Melissa Smith 1:40
But I do think this is a good book. And it’s not because, you know, we want to have wild expectations. But because I want you to know, and I think it’s important to remember that we have power in our lives, despite the challenges we face. Because think about this right? Despite the challenges of 2020. For some people, it was their best year, you know, when I think about 2020, there were plenty of challenges. But in my business, it was our best year ever. And there were a lot of factors that combined to make that happen. And so even though there are challenges, you still have power to influence whether things are going to turn out well or not. And that is a function of goal setting. And so of course, at the beginning of every year, we all set new year’s resolutions, and if you’ve listened to any of my podcasts, and certainly if you listen to my podcast at the beginning of last year, I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.
Dr. Melissa Smith 2:48
But I am a fan of goal setting. And so the book that I want to review today is all about goal setting. And so this is a great little gem of a book. So it’s called your best year ever. a five step plan for achieving your most important goals. And this is by Michael Hyatt. Now, I am a real geek when it comes to Michael Hyatt. He’s an influencer, he is an entrepreneur, he is a leadership guy. And I really like the way he thinks I like the way that he conceptualizes things. He is the creator of my favorite planner, the full focus planner, I get downright geeky when I start talking about the planner, and He is the creator of the full focus planner. And so he really gets productivity, he really gets organization. But it’s so much bigger than that. And so with this book, he really is focusing on goal setting. And you know, thinking about the end in mind, you know, planning with the end in mind. And so that’s what we want to pay attention to. And so if you recognize that you kind of struggle with goal setting, or you’re looking at the New Year and you recognize like you know what I need, I need a little help with my goal setting, this would be a really good book for you to get your hands on. And so I will review it today. And if you like what you hear, I would really encourage you to get your hands on it, you could get an audio version of it or you could you know, order it. It’s easy to get your hands on either way, but it is a great resource and I highly recommend it.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:38
So let’s learn a little bit more about Michael Hyatt and the book and what people are saying about it. Okay, so first of all about Michael Hyatt He is the founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt and company, a leadership development for firms specializing in transformative live events workshops, and digital and physical planning tools. So he I used to be the CEO, and chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers. And so that’s kind of how he, I think spent most of his corporate career was in publishing. And then has gone on and had a second career, leading his own company. And he’s also an author. I mean, he’s written a lot of books. In fact, he, I think he just published a couple of new books since this book came out. And so he is a very popular writer, he’s got a podcast, I think he’s got a blog. And he’s just he speaks with a lot of common sense. And I think he has a nice, practical approach to a lot of things. And so the other thing that I really like about Michael Hyatt is he, he puts a nice framework to things and, you know, you’ve probably heard this idea that there’s nothing new under the sun. And I think there’s a lot of truth to that. But when you come along, come across someone who can package it in a way that it makes some intuitive sense, or, you know, can give you a five step process, or a helpful way to, to conceptualize something or to make sense of it. That is valuable, that is helpful. And I think Michael Hyatt does that very well.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:27
So the way that he approaches organization, the way that he approaches, vision planning, I just think it makes a lot of sense. And I do think that that’s one of his gifts. And you know, more than a gift, it’s certainly a skill that I’m sure he has cultivated. And I really appreciate that about him and found a lot of value in that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:49
So now let’s hear a little bit about the book, and what others are saying about it. So from Tony Robbins, who you know, we all know, he said, “this is a simple program backed by the best modern research to reach your dreams.” So there you go, if you if you’re interested in doing something, this can help you get there. And then from Seth Godin, who I love, Seth Godin is one of my favorites. He said, “generous goals work if you write them down, and powerful books work, if you read them, Michael Hyatt has created a fun fast way to find your dreams, and then turn them into reality.” And so I really like that it’s a very practical approach, right? Like, you got to write your goals down, you got to read the book, you got to use it. And then from John C Maxwell, who, of course, is a very famous author, speaker and leadership expert, he said this,” Your Best Year Ever is full of compelling real life stories of average people who have achieved extraordinary results, please take my advice and buy this book. Only if you want to be able to look back in 12 months and say, Now, that was my best year ever.”
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:04
And so, you know, that’s what I want you to think about, you know, as you think about the year ahead, if you could, if you could do something, right, like you’ve had maybe had this goal in the back of your mind or this dream in the back of your mind. But you’ve maybe thought I can’t do it, or it’s too hard, or I don’t have what I need to be successful. What if you could if you had the right tools in place? What if you could be successful, how would your life be different in 12 months, and recognizing that it’s not so much a matter of, of not being able to do it, but we don’t necessarily take the time to break our goals down, to break our dreams down and actually, you know, take the dream and make it a reality. And that’s part of what this book does. And it does it really well. So it takes our dreams and translates that into first paper, and action. And that’s where, you know, we have to do the gritty work, which most of us tend to avoid. And so I think there’s real power in this, this work. And I want to share one more quote, and this is from Dave Ramsey, of course, most of us are very familiar with Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, what I like is because he kind of talks about resolutions. So he said, “let’s be honest, resolutions just don’t work. That’s why a lot of gyms are empty and even more budgets are blown by Valentine’s Day every year. If you really want things to change over the next 12 months. Look at what Your Best Year Ever has to say then do what it says.”
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:02
Okay, so let’s take a look at the details of your best year ever, right? It’s a five step plan for achieving your most important goals. And I’m going to go over the five steps and just give you a nice brief overview. So that you can hopefully make an informed decision about whether this book might be helpful for you in the new year. So that’s my goal is to give you a little bit of information, so that you can make a good decision about whether you want to take a closer look at this book.
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:37
And of course, every week with the podcast, my goal is to help you pursue what matters and to strengthen your confidence to lead. I try to do that in one of three ways. So leading with clarity, leading with curiosity, and leading a community and this week, it’s really primarily focused on helping you lead with clarity. So when you have goals, you’ve got to clarify what matters to you. And you’ve got to clarify, where am I going? And why? Why am I going there? And why does it matter? And so, you know, when we think about our goals, and we think about planning for the next year, we really need to have clarity of purpose. And so that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today with this book review.
Dr. Melissa Smith 11:26
Okay, so the first thing that I want to do as we talk about this book today is I want to take you through the five steps. So these are the five steps that will help prepare you for your best year ever. Okay. So step one is to believe the possibility. And so with this step Hyatt really talks about the importance of our dreams and the importance of believing in possibility. Right? So here, he really talks about the fact that our beliefs shape our reality. And isn’t that true? Right, when we can be optimistic, and when we can carry hope that can make all the difference, it shapes our behaviors, and it shapes the things that we do. And but the the opposite is also true, our beliefs can hold us back. And so he talks about this idea of learning to upgrade our beliefs and really having this paradigm shift. And so you know, when we think about this, this is where the concept of mindset can be so incredibly powerful. Now, I’ve talked about this before, I’ve done an episode, all about mindset. And I think I’ve even reviewed the book mindset before. And so this might be a good time for you to go back and review that podcast, but our mindset can have a powerful impact on our behaviors. So a fixed mindset is this belief that, you know, we we, we can’t change our future, our personality is fixed, our traits are fixed. And so we’re kind of stuck with what we have. And in opposition to that is a growth mindset, which is we are here to learn and to grow. And that as we experiment, and as we learn, and as we fail, we grow. And that that growth mindset actually paves the way for more success and excellence over time. And so step one is all about believing the possibility. So believing in your dreams, and believing that it’s possible for you. And so with this step, you really have to be willing to challenge the storytelling in your own head, you’ve got to be willing to tackle some of your demons, and some of the messages that maybe you have carried around for a long time, and so many of us have these unhelpful messages. So whether those are messages that we heard in our family, maybe we heard them from teachers, maybe we heard them from coaches, maybe they were created in our own head, because we just didn’t feel that confident within ourselves. Regardless, you’ve got to be willing to challenge those beliefs and upgrade your beliefs. So that is step one.
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:25
And then step two is complete the past. And so Hyatt here, he talks about thinking backward, is a must. And so let’s think about what he means by that. Okay, so when he talks about thinking backward, is a must. He really is talking about the importance of reflection. So when he talks about backward thinking, it’s really with a focus on learning, awareness and analysis. And so he talks about learning to reason forward and back. So backward thinking allows us to learn and grow, which facilitates greater progress in the future. So backward thinking includes learning awareness and analysis. Whereas forward thinking includes action, possibility and progress. And his point here is that both are necessary. So right in order to learn, you’ve got to be able to look back, you’ve got to be able to reflect on your history, you’ve got to be able to look back and look at the lessons and gain perspective and be able to say, Okay, what was that experience like for me, and what was helpful and what was not helpful? What were the patterns, to be able to look at your own history, and identify patterns, that is such a powerful tool, because then you start to see the gaps. And you can start to create better goals for yourself. So you can see your vulnerability points. And that’s going to be really important for accomplishing goals. Because if you don’t have any awareness of your history, if you don’t have any awareness of your vulnerabilities, you’re going to stumble into the same vulnerabilities, you’re going to fall into the same, the same ruts in the road if you’re not careful. And then the other thing that he talks about with this step two, is that regret reveals opportunity. And I think that one is actually really powerful, when you look back on your life, with a sense of regret. So that for you know, for most of us is really painful. And so we tend to avoid our experiences of regret. But when you can take an honest look at experiences in your life where you feel regret, that can be really powerful, because it helps you to see what is meaningful to you. And that can actually be an important signpost to you of you know what I need to pay more attention to that, or I need, I need to, I need to actually act on that I need to set a goal around this, because maybe I have another opportunity here.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:17
Now, of course, some of those opportunities are gone, and you won’t be able to get those back. But regret is an opportunity for you. And we want to be able to learn those lessons and pay attention to those. Okay, and then the last component of step two. And this one’s really important. I talked about this one all the time, is gratitude. And Hyatt talks about gratitude making all the difference. And this one is so true. There’s so much research about the value of gratitude. And one of the things that I have found most compelling about gratitude is it shifts our perspective, gratitude actually brings perspective, it brings understanding, it brings hope, it brings a sense of perspective, so that something not was painful, is no longer suffering, because we can actually see a purpose in it, we can glean meaning from our difficult experiences. And so that is part of step two, which is completing the past, we can look back. And it’s not that we want to repeat mistakes, or difficulties. But we can look back with a sense of gratitude.
Dr. Melissa Smith 18:32
And then let’s move to step three, which is designing your future. And this is where we get into the nitty gritty of goal setting. Now he talks about great goals, needing to check seven boxes. So you know, it’s not uncommon for us to talk about smart goals. You’ve probably heard about that. But Hyatt actually levels that up a notch. And he talks about smarter goals. So I’m just gonna go through this really quickly. So you know, the five attributes you’ve probably heard before, that he adds to more. And so the seven boxes that he wants you to check for an effective goal include, and this spells out smarter. So first, they’re specific, they’re measurable, they’re actionable, they’re risky, they’re time keyed, they’re exciting, and they’re relevant. Okay. And so when you think about a goal, make sure it checks all of those boxes. So I’ll just mention those one more time specific, measurable, actionable, risky. So you got to have some skin in the game, right? Time keyed or timely. And that’s another way that that that’s often put, exciting and relevant. Okay. And then the other thing to remember when you are working on Step three, which is you’re getting into the nitty gritty of setting goals is that you have achievement goals and habit goals. And so there, those are two different kinds of goals. Right? So when you think about achievement goals, that’s like a one time goal with a set accomplishment, date, right? Like, you know, if you’ve accomplished that goal, so whether it’s like, Okay, let’s do an example of I’m going to launch a podcast, by this date, will I know, if I’ve launched a podcast by a certain date? Like, is it out there? Is it on iTunes? Is it on Spotify, and I will know for sure if I’ve launched that podcast, so that would be an achievement goal, versus a habit goal is, you know, a goal that you are wanting to begin a new habit. So maybe it’s, I want to, I want to write every day, or I want to write five times a week for 30 minutes. So that’s not something that you know, you necessarily get to an end date, and say, Okay, now I’m done. Because you want to, you want to create a new habit of writing consistently. And so with the habit goal, you might have tick marks, that you would, you know, use in your planner or on your calendar or something like that, that would help you to get in the habit of doing that behavior. And so in that way, achievement goals and habit goals are a little bit different, but they work together and they go hand in hand. And your habit goals can can help you on your way to an achievement goals. So right, I might have a habit goal to write consistently every day, because I have an achievement goal, to finish my manuscript. And so those would work together.
Dr. Melissa Smith 22:08
And then let’s talk about step four. And this is find your why. And of course, when we think about finding your why this is all about connecting to purpose, and so do you know why your goal matters. So your goal is your what your goal is what you are doing, but your why is why it matters. Why is it important? Why is it personally compelling? If I’m going if my goal is to finish my manuscript, why does that matter? Why is finishing my manuscript personally compelling to me? Do I have something of value to say, and so step four is all about connecting to purpose, and with this is helping you with motivation. And so the best connection for motivation is around purpose, and around meaning. And so we want you to connect to your values. And so when I think about a goal of completing my manuscript, my motivation is about, you know, what I want to contribute, I want to help, I have something to say. And I believe that there are people that need to hear what I have to say. And so that is motivating. And that motivation is around contribution, that motivation is around service. And those are values that I hold dear. And so that is where motivation connects to purpose.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:42
And then step five, Step five, is all about making it happen, right? This is where whew, the rubber hits the road, right? Like, we got to make things happen. And so we want to remember that one journey is many steps. And this is where I always talk about the path that we need to have flexibility on the path because you know, you’re heading up the mountain, but there are going to be plenty of twists and turns along the way. And so you need to have flexibility. And, you know, you just, it’s the daily climb that matters. And so that the, the thing that matters most is that you keep moving, that you don’t take your eye off of the mountain, you don’t take your eye off of purpose, and why it’s important for you to move towards this goal. Now, if the goal doesn’t matter, then abandon it. But that’s why it’s so important to find your why. And, and, and then and recognizing that you’ve got to keep visibility at the forefront. Why does this matter? And why does it matter on a daily basis, and so make sure that you have And place in your life to keep you connected to, to your reasons for working on this goal because otherwise, like life gets in the way. And it’s just easy to get lost in the minutiae of daily life. So when we think about the daily journey, and the daily walk, some of the things that that Hyatt talks about is he talks about doing some of the doing some of the easy tasks first and building momentum. And if that can help, definitely do that, you know, getting some quick wins can boost your mood, right, it can really help you build some momentum. And that can be really very helpful. Building in accountability, I’ve talked about this before, but having an accountability group, where you are you are accountable to someone other than yourself, that makes a huge difference. If you can get on a schedule, if you can have some consistency and some predictability, that will make a big difference for you. And then the other thing we want to do is we want to make sure that your goals are visible, right. I’ve already talked about that a little bit, but what are you doing to make sure they stay visible? Are you reviewing your goals every day? are you tracking your progress to your goals?
Dr. Melissa Smith 26:31
So that’s part of why I keep a planner is so that I am never very far away from my goals. I’m looking at my goals several times a week. And I really every single week, I’m looking at how am I doing? Am I getting off track? That I can look at those goals several times a week and see how I’m doing. And then at the end of each day, I’m also reviewing how am I doing this week? And I am I getting waylaid by something. And so having a review of your progress and doing a deeper dive at the end of your week, and then at the end of each quarter at the end of each quarter I do I do a pretty deep dive. And that’s where I kind of look at Okay, do I you know, do I need to do a serious left turn here? Or, you know, what do I need to do to pick up my efforts because the way it’s going, I’m not going to hit this target. And so this requires a strong commitment to self awareness, and a willingness to hold yourself accountable. And you know, this can be just as powerful on the team side and the organizational side, you’ve got to be willing to do some of this uncomfortable work of holding yourself and holding one another accountable.
Dr. Melissa Smith 27:55
And then you know, the last step and I love that Hyatt includes this is as you accomplish your most important goals, you need to celebrate those. And you know, if you’re anything like me, I am like I am a worker bee I am a Dewar. And if I’m not careful, it’s easy for me, once I accomplish a goal to just skip on by it and keep on going. And that is a real problem, because I don’t take the time to celebrate. And actually, you know, kind of bookend those accomplishments and really take it in of, Hey, what did this require. And this was, this was an important thing. And let’s take a moment and acknowledge that and those moments really do matter. They help us to take it in, and to reflect. And to learn those lessons, right, if we think about thinking backward, and then also thinking forward, and so build, in some celebration, build in an opportunity to reflect, depending on the size of the goal, I would say make your reward or your celebration, kind of fit with the size of the goal that you have. But acknowledgment really matters. And so make sure you’re taking the time to do that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 29:19
Okay, so let’s go through the five steps. And then you can decide if this might be a good book to kind of help you get going on your goals for this year. So step one, believe the possibility step two, complete the past. Step three, design your future. Step four, find your why. And Step five, make it happen. And again, the book is your best year ever. By Michael Hyatt. I think it’s a great book for January. It’s a great book four is challenging New Year’s resolutions and actually identifying goals that that can be effective and help you to be successful. And so I hope that you will consider this book as a resource for you as you start off 2021 and that it really can be your best year ever and here’s the message, you get to decide that you’re not at the mercy, whatever 2021 brings. So you can head on over to my website to check out the show notes with resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-87 one more time that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-87
Dr. Melissa Smith 30:45
I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care
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