Michael Hyatt - Five Steps to Having Your Best Year Ever

We all want to move forward and build a better life but it’s very difficult to do that without a clear vision or roadmap. In this episode, we are joined by Michael Hyatt. He is an American author, podcaster, blogger, speaker, and the CEO and founder of Michael Hyatt & Company. He has written several books about leadership, productivity, and goal setting.  Today, Michael will be discussing five steps to having your best year ever. Michael’s perspective is that he wants to win at work and succeed in life. His programs don’t use the nomenclature of a goal-setting course but a goal achievement course.  He says that anybody can set goals, but the issue comes down to this question:  Do you actually achieve those goals and make your life markedly better than it was before? So, Michael focuses on the latest, greatest goal achievement research to establish clear steps for success.
Creating Goals
We have all heard that written goals are more effective, but did you know that the mere act of writing down your goal increases the likelihood of achieving it by 42%? That makes a strong case for taking the time to prioritize and write down the things you want to achieve.
Sometimes, though, we aren’t sure what we want. The biggest challenge for goal achievement is getting clear on what you want. Clarity is hard for people because they often keep all of their hopes, dreams, and desires in their head, just rattling around. But once they begin to externalize, they become clearer, and we can evaluate which ones are those we want most and will choose to focus on.
5 Steps to Having the Best Year Ever
1. Confront Limiting Beliefs
When it comes to deciding what we really want and then writing those goals down, we may run into obstacles in our own mind. A key step toward meeting goals is confronting these limiting beliefs. Whenever we start to dream and think about the future, there are things that will come up that are merely mental constructs that keep us from moving toward our goals. Unless we challenge those thoughts and beliefs, we will never be able to achieve what we want.
Rather than staying stuck in a defeated pattern of thinking, remind yourself of all that you can do! You can become better with money. You can learn how to manage it. You can become better at running a business. There are certain limiters that disappear once you identify them and realize the obstacle isn’t necessarily so big, it is simply a pre-conceived notion or belief that needs to be challenged and replaced with new thoughts and beliefs. Don’t cut off your dream before you even let it begin to bloom. Take those limiting beliefs and turn them into liberating truths instead!  
To do this, you need to identify them, get them out of your mind and put them on paper.  The process of writing down a limiting belief is scary because you may not even want to admit it is there in your mind. We hide those things. But being real with it and writing something down brings it to light. Revealing those thoughts and fears help us to know what is holding us back. Identifying that narrative is the first step in moving from that place toward where you want to go instead.
Michael Hyatt shares there’s this narrator that lives inside of our head that is basically interpreting life. The narrative we create is the difference between what we experience and the meaning we slap on it. If you decouple those, you can begin to objectify the experience. When we do that, we can identify limiting beliefs attached to that story, get them out of the way, begin to believe in the future, and move towards something better.
2. Complete the Past
As we look back and rewrite our beliefs, we will inevitably come up against stories from our past. We have all experienced setbacks, challenges, and things that were discouraging in life.  These things must be processed. If you don’t, you drag the worst of the past into the best of your future. Getting stuck like that can alter your perception and limit your ability to dream.
3. Design your Future
Once we intentionally process our past experiences and create new beliefs, we can then move toward the future. Designing our future is where we pivot from the world of limiting beliefs and the past and instead look forward to the future that hasn’t been created yet. It is a blank canvas, which is a gift that God gives to us every year. In designing our future, we can choose a SMARTER framework than we may have used before. This is how:  
SMARTER Framework 
S stands for SPECIFIC. Sometimes, we don’t achieve the goals that we set out to achieve because we’re not being specific enough.
M is for MEASURABLE. If you can attach a number to your goal and quantify it, it makes it more powerful and gives you the ability to track your progress.
A stands for ACTIONABLE. This means your goal needs to start with a verb, but not just any old verb, it needs to be an action verb like eliminate, lose, gain, achieve, or something similar.
R stands for REALISTIC. The problem with being realistic is that it is overrated. The goal achievement research says that you’re less likely to achieve realistic goals because they’re not that interesting, so the key is choosing goals that inspire you but turning them into realistic steps.
T stands for TIME-BOUND, and that just means put a date on it. Set a timeframe for each step you intend to take. That alone helps hold you accountable for progress toward that date.
E stands for EXCITING. The goal should be exciting enough for you to pursue it. Again, we need goals that come from our heart and our passion – from our new beliefs about what we truly want separate and apart from past beliefs and negative narratives. Our goals should inspire us.
Finally, R stands for RELEVANT. Goals must be relevant to your values. Goals that inspire and motivate must align with what matters most to us. Relevant goals cannot contradict your fundamental values.
4. Find your WHY
As you write down SMARTER goals, you also need to identify your why. Why are these goals important to you? Why do they matter so much?  Often when moving toward goals, people lose their way when they lose their WHY. As you articulate each of the goals you identify as important to you, figure out your two or three top reasons for wanting to achieve that goal. Think about what is at stake, why it is important, and what you gain when you achieve it. And this is something where you really need to dig deep, says Hyatt. You have to really dive into this because when you get to the messy middle, your why is what is going to pull you through.
5. Make It Happen
Another thing to remember as you move toward you best year ever is realizing that you don’t have to know every step from today until two years from now. You just need the next key step or two. As you move toward your goals, the best way to gain clarity and passion to get you through the discomfort zone, is by putting your goal in motion. Moving toward it will help you gain momentum to get out of your comfort zone. Michael says you really just have to get started and just know it’s going to lead you where you need to go. As you move forward, you will gain confidence and further clarity that will get you past the discomfort zone.
Michael’s Tips for Setting Goals
After processing your past, creating new beliefs, establishing SMARTER goals, and writing them down, there are some other tips that may help. Michael says it’s important to keep your goals visible all year long. The number one reason people don’t accomplish their goals is that they get all excited, they set goals for the next year, and the goals languish on their hard drive, or they get filed away or put on a shelf. Losing visibility means losing vision, losing direction, and losing momentum. But if you can create a rhythm of reviewing your goals regularly, it will help you move toward completing them. A helpful question is to ask yourself, “What are the three biggest things I can do this week to move toward my goal?” Figure out the weekly big three, either related to a goal or an important project that you could do today. Breaking goals into weekly achievable milestones helps keep us going and establishes opportunities for small successes we can celebrate along the way.
Think About What You Want in Life
If you’re reading this, you are likely in a position to want more from your life than you are currently experiencing. Getting real about what you truly want is crucial. Most people go through life just drifting. Many people felt this way during the pandemic, as if they lost their way. They feel directionless. The problem with this numbed out state of drift is that nobody ever drifted to a destination they have chosen. When you’re drifting, you end up at challenging places, places you never intended to be. The alternative to drifting is to design the future YOU want. Decide where you want to go and why. Don’t just drift into the future, says Hyatt, rather design the future you want and move toward it deliberately.
As a single parent, you have a unique opportunity to design your future. The past may have dealt you some difficult circumstances, but you can choose to move toward the future in a new way. Single parents don’t have a clean slate. Likely, you are carrying some baggage related to all you have been through but acknowledging that and taking time to process old beliefs and rewrite your story and what it means for your future, is a perfect opportunity to design the future you want now instead. Sometimes when things fall apart, it allows us the ability to choose a new way for things to come together. As a single person, you get to decide what you want your life to be like. If you are in the middle of that transition, this is a perfect time for you to evaluate and choose the path that you want going forward. You get to decide what your future will look like according to your values and what is most important to you. You can define what success means for you.
Stewardship and Success
Michael defines success entirely in terms of stewardship. He shares that for him there’s only one thing that’s going to matter at the end, and that’s hearing Jesus himself say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” To the extent that you have been a faithful servant, that is what will endure. He suggests we look at everything through the lens of “Am I being a good and faithful servant?” That question can help us consider what we value, how we want to live, and what our best year ever might like look accordingly.
Hyatt shares his belief that you should always return something you borrow in better shape than you first found it. It is the same way with the people around you. They’re not going to stay around forever. They are just on loan from God, so he says, it’s essential you return them to His hands in better shape than you found them. As a single parent, this applies to each of our relationships, especially with our kids. Are we being good and faithful stewards of the role God has given us in their lives? As you evaluate and determine your goals and what your “best year ever” will look like, use this opportunity to carve out what YOU want your life to be about, what legacy you want to leave for those on loan from God.
Setting new goals, reaching for new dreams, and moving in a different direction can be risky, but we all have a calling. As we consider how to move toward our best year ever, we must remember we are to be good stewards of that calling and as we move toward the path God has placed in front of us and the things, He has called us to do, we want to be faithful and deliberate so we can hear those words one day, “Well done”. This perspective is key to having your best year ever.  
Go to https://www.accessmore.com/pd/Solo-Parent-Society  to listen to more inspirational episodes that deal with today’s issues and how you can address them, or you can simply listen and be transformed.
You can also follow Michael Hyatt on:
Website: https://michaelhyatt.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelhyatt/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelhyatt/

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