You think you've had a good year in your life? Well it won't be as good as this one.
Hi. You’re here to improve your life tactically and philosophically through the greatest and latest books, with us, 3 things at a time. This week’s book is…
Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt.
So you’re a few weeks into the new year and you’re already starting to falter on your resolutions. Well, Michael Hyatt, best-selling author and tip top self-help advisor is here to wind you back up and place you on the tracks.
In this review we’ll see:
How to upgrade our brain toward goal fulfillment
How to maintain motivation throughout a pursuit
How to use behavioral triggers to set your world domination in motion
So, what are three things we can use from this book?
3 Things You Can Use
1. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
No don’t leave. I know this sounds super self-helpy – but - this is good.
“Wow these really stink, huh?” Says Bob to Sally.
These were a couple of factory workers, going through a CEO change.
“Yeah I used to bring home little chocolates but now all I can offer my family is stink bombs.”
See, poor Bob and Sally used to work at a chocolate factory. But when the CEO changed from Mr. Capa bill to Mrs. Cat atstophizing, the equipment in the factory was repurposed to produce stink bombs.
The factory in your mind can only create what it is equipped to create.
“Because our expectations shape what we believe is possible, they shape our perceptions and options. That means, they also shape the outcomes – and that means, they shape our reality”
Situations are, in themselves, arbitrary. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
If you stub your toe is it an opportunity to get angry with your dog for distracting you, calling it a “contusion causing canine”? Is the toe stub an opportunity to rearrange your house and move that table to be a little more feng shui?
Or is it an opportunity to have a little fun with your kids and rent or build a small catapult, go to a field and sling that coffee table into the air and watch as the flaming archers you’ve hired set fire to that ugly stupid table you’ve always bumped into and always hated, enjoying the fire lightened faces of your children as you create an experience that you will always have together.
The point is,
When you are interpreting a situation, are you doing it in a helpful, useful way? Or in a mentally defeating and damaging way? Are you seeing the opportunity? Or are you falling into one of these four mental traps:
Black and White thinking – When we assume we failed when we don’t achieve perfection.Personalizing – When we blame ourselves for random negative occurrences.Catastrophizing – when we assume the worst, even with little evidence.Universalizing – When we take a bad experience and assume it’s across the board.
What’s great about the mind is that it will answer whatever question you give it. Sometimes it takes time but when you ask growth-focused questions like:
"Where’s the opportunity here?" and "what can I do?"
You set up your chocolate factory for mass-production.
Either that… or you could make stink bombs.
2. Sustaining A Goal
“Oh yeah?” said Bob.
“Easily” Said Sally.
Bob and Sally were now squaring off. They were always competitive but now that work was… stinky… they had gone to extreme measures.
“There is no way you can eat as many hot dogs as me.”
They had two months to prepare. The fair would come to town and the famous hot dog eating competition sideshow would be featured among the fair’s main attractions.
These two had to get mentally and physically ready for the challenge.
Bob was quite the eater in college – so he wasn’t so worried.
But Sally, she had no experience here and she was determined.
They both trained hard, gulping down hot dogs, timing themselves, bench pressing with their stomachs.
But Sally had done a few things both initially to hone in her goal focus and some things habitually to sustain it, while Bob had not.
Sally had found 4 keys to sustaining motivation through the process:
Finding the right reward
Being realistic about the commitment
Gamifying the process
Measuring the gains
Sally knew she needed to beat Bob and that was plenty reward. She wasn’t discouraged at the thought of having to be the best hot dog eater of all time, because she had aimed high, but not delusionally high. She had had fun training, giving herself progress points for hot dogs eaten and stomach exercises preformed and she had been watching as her hot dog eating prowess exceeded anything she ever expected, marking it off on her chart all the way while improving.
While she didn’t have the most pressing intrinsic “why” reasoning, something that is very important to sustaining a goal, she did have one that suited the conditions for her desire: to destroy Bob in this competition.
One month in and halfway there, Sally was still training hard – and finding a lot of fulfillment in the pursuit of her goal. Bob though, was eating small portioned meals and even salads, sick of stuffing himself from the first month.
And while Bob got some motivation back near the end of the training period, needless to say, in the competition, Sally ate twice as many as many hotdogs as Bob.
3. Trigger Success
“Yeah I know. Mine too.”
Bob and Sally were discussing the conditions of their bathroom scales. They were broken. Crushed under the weight of each of them gaining 200 pounds in pursuit of the hot dog eating championship.
This, however, created another opportunity for competition. Who could lose the most weight.
Sally, getting to see that golden hot dog trophy she mounted prominently over the mantle, was confident she could beat Bob again. She was a goodness gracious champ for gosh sakes.
Bob, stewing in his poorly lit, ramshackle studio, smeared with the grime and dirt of a defeat that he couldn’t live down was finally given just enough of a crack of opportunity, for the light in his heart to shine through.
Bob was not going to lose this time.
He phoned all of the friends he ever had, he phoned their parents and he phoned their parents' parents and he asked them all one question:
“What can I do to get the advantage?”
After pouring over the responses he arrived at a consensus: Behavioral triggers.
While Sally would said she would go to the park to exercise tomorrow, Bob would get specific with frequency statements and time triggers and say that he would run for 30 minutes in the park, every other day at 7am.
He would say what kind of exercise, where, how long and when he would do it.
He would do the easiest thing first to get his momentum going, releasing a bit of dopamine to improve attention, memory and motivation. In turn keeping his mind from procrastinating, circling the most daunting task, which was what Sally was doing.
He would set his gym clothes out at night and make his smoothies the day before, smoothing the transitions to the healthy activities.
With the assistance of all of Bob’s behavioral triggers, he lost the 200 pounds in no time – while sadly, Sally had gone on to gain five pounds.
When you see the stink bomb trucks pulling up to your factory, throw chocolates at them
Prepare to face the challenges of your goals by rewarding, being realistic, gamifying and measuring your gains.
Get the advantage by giving yourself triggers, by starting easy, setting it up beforehand and precisely scheduling your goal-centric activities
Michael Hyatt’s book had nothing to do with the Bob and Sally narrative throughout, that was my dumb thing. Michael Hyatt’s book came into effect with only the smart and useful stuff.
He's got a whole 5-step system, that's very simply broken up and very simply described. Just enough examples to get the point across and not choc-full of endless, highfalutin scientific expositions. Michael Hyatt is a very popular self-help advisor for a good reason and this book illustrates that.
There is plenty more to the book that I left out that includes how essential gratitude is, the benefits of taking regrets seriously, the confidence that the realization that you have agency provides, when to act on your dreams, and much much more on goals.
I’ll have some links for you to his website, which has some useful tools, and some links to the book itself, if you’d like to check it out.
Maddi, any closing thoughts?
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