Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt

(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018), 255

Action Plans

Step 1

  1. Recognize the Power of Your Beliefs
  2. Confront Your Limiting Beliefs
  3. Upgrade Your Limiting Beliefs to Liberating Truths

Step 2

  1. Conduct and After-Action Review
  2. Find the Opportunity Hidden in Regret
  3. Practice Gratitude

Step 3

  1. Set Your Goals: SMARTER
  2. Decide on the Right mix of Achievements and Habits
  3. Set Goals in the Discomfort Zone

Step 4

  1. Connect with Your Why
  2. Master Your Motivation
  3. Build Your Team

Step 5

  1. Break Down Big Goals into Manageable Next Steps
  2. Utilize Activation Triggers
  3. Schedule Regular Goal Reviews


  • Your life has at least 10 interrelated domains:
    1. Spiritual
    2. Intellectual
    3. Emotional
    4. Physical
    5. Marital
    6. Parental
    7. Social
    8. Vocational
    9. Avocational (hobbies)
    10. Financial
  • Every domain matters
  • Progress starts only when you get clear on where you are right now
  • You can improve any life domain
  • Confidence, happiness, and life satisfaction are byproducts of personal growth

Step 1 - Believe the Possibility

Chapter 1 - Your Beliefs Shape Your Reality

  • Transform your Limiting Beliefs into Liberating Truths

Chapter 2 - Some Beliefs Hold You Back

  • Transform your Scarcity Thinking into Abundance Thinking
  • Limiting beliefs are:
    • Black-and-white (think we fail if not perfect)
    • Personalizing (blame ourselves for failures)
    • Catastrophizing (assume the worst with little evidence)
    • Universalizing (assume something bad is true across the board)

Chapter 3 - You Can Upgrade Your Beliefs

  1. Recognize the limiting belief
  2. Record the belief (to externalize it and allow your to evaluate it)
  3. Review the belief (is it empowering?)
  4. Reject or reframe the belief
  5. Revise the belief (reorient your thinking around a liberating truth)
  6. Reorient yourself to the new belief (live from the perspective of this liberating truth)

Step 2 - Complete the Past

Chapter 4 - Thinking Backward Is a Must

  • Completing the past is an essential part of designing a better future
  • After-Action Review
    1. State what you wanted to happen
    2. Acknowledge what actually happened
    3. Learn from the experience
    4. Adjust your behavior

Chapter 5 - Regret Reveals Opportunity

  • Benefits of regret include information, motivation to change, and integrity (moral compass)
  • The Opportunity Principle: we feel regret the strongest when opportunity for improvement is the greatest; what if you biggest frustrations from last year could be pointing to your biggest wins of this year?

Chapter 6 - Gratitude Makes the Difference

  • Gratitude keeps you hopeful, reminds us we have agency, improves our patience, and expands our possible responses by moving us to a place of abundance
  • Michael's Gratitude Disciplines
    1. Start and end the day with prayer
    2. Practice thankfulness (at natural points such as prayer before meals)
    3. Journal about gratitude

Step 3 - Design Your Future

Chapter 7 - Great Goals Check Seven Boxes


  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Actionable
  4. Risky (don't set the bar too low)
  5. Time-Keyed (deadline or frequency)
  6. Exciting (inspire you)
  7. Relevant

Chapter 8 - Achievements and Habits Work Together

  • Habit goal time keys
    1. Start date
    2. Habit frequency
    3. Time trigger (when to perform, for consistency)
    4. Streak target

Chapter 9 - Seriously, Risk Is Your Friend

  • Three Zones
    • Comfort Zone: goals should be beyond our comfort zone
    • Discomfort Zone: this is where growth happens
    • Delusional Zone: set a goal that's almost delusional, then dial it back a few clicks

Step 4 - Find Your Way

Chapter 10 - Your What Need a Why

  • List your key motivations (5-7 bullets)
  • Connect with your motivations intellectually and emotionally

Chapter 11 - You Can Master Your Own Motivation

  • Focus on intrinsic and internalize the rewards from achieving your goals
  • Think of habit goals as serving larger achievement goals to keep you motivated
  • Track and extend your streaks, or gamify your habit to make it fun
  • Measure your progress to inspire your perseverance

Chapter 12 - The Journey Is Better With Friends

  • Others can help you achieve your gaols through learning, encouragement, accountability, and competition

Step 5 - Make It Happen

Chapter 13 - One Journey Is Many Steps

  • First, you have to just start
  • Do the easiest task first to lower the threshold for taking action, boost your mood with quick wins, and build momentum
  • Schedule it and commit to act

Chapter 14 - You Can Trigger Success

  • Activation triggers or implementation intentions: simple statements and processes that streamline the process of reaching our goals; if-then
    1. Brainstorm your best triggers
    2. Optimize them (when you're at your strongest)
    3. Anticipate obstacles and determine your response
    4. Experiment

Chapter 15 - Visibility Is Essential

  • Daily Review
  • Weekly Review
  • Quarterly Review
    • Rejoice if you reached your goal
    • Recommit if you're not there yet
    • Revise the goal if you can't recommit
    • Remove the goal if you can't revise
    • Replace the goal if you remove it

The LEAP Principle

  • Never leave the scene of clarity without taking decisive action
  • LEAP
    • Lean into the change
    • Engage until you achieve clarity
    • Activate and do something
    • Pounce and do it now

Sample goal templates on pages 237+.