Over the years, there is one influencer I look up to most than others. Ex-CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, Michael Hyatt has grown quite a readership in the productivity and leadership sphere. His blog is ranked by Google in the top one-half percent of all blogs, scoring more than a million page views each month. His podcasts and books always have a place of choice in my media consumption each month.
Passionate as I am with all things goal setting, I was eager to get my copy of Hyatt’s latest book, Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, released this January 2nd. I read the whole thing in records time and also enrolled in the companion online course, 5 days to your best year ever. Unfortunately, this time, Michael Hyatt’s content disappointed.
The course and book are divided in 5 parts, 5 steps to set and achieve your goals for the new year, or at any time really. Each step is actionable and specific steps are laid out at the end of every chapter to let you know exactly how to put the system into practice. The steps are laid out this way :
Your Best Year Ever framework
1. Believe the possibility
Shake down any limiting belief that could be holding you back from believing you can achieve your goals.
2. Complete the past
Reflect on what worked, what didn’t and the reasons why things unfolded the way they did. By reflecting on the past, you can build a brighter future.
3. Design your future
Choose and set new goals following a 7-step framework based on the SMART acronym.
4. Find your why
Commit to your goals by determining the reasons why they are so important to you.
5. Make it happen
Get started on your goals, review and track them along the way.
The reason why I’ve been disappointed by Michael Hyatt’s new book is that there’s nothing new to it. I find that most of the advices contained in the book rely on conventional wisdom, stuff that we, as productivity geeks, have already seen or heard. There’s one thing proper to Hyatt in this book, an acronym based on the SMART goals, to which he added 2 letters. Nothing groundbreaking here.
One thing Michael Hyatt excels at is storytelling. It’s what made Living Forward, his previous book, so compelling. In Your Best Year Ever, we are constantly brought back to the stories of historical figures and alumni from his online course to illustrate the different principles in his book. If you’d like to get real life examples of successful goal setters, I think you’d enjoy, but frankly, it mostly seemed to me like a big commercial stunt to have you enroll in the online course.
Goal setting templates
One of the most valuable thing I got from the book is the goals template and the examples at the end. The template is well thought-out and very actionable. I did use the templates to set my yearly goals for 2018. I just hoped he would provide the template in exchange for an email subscription or something, I would definitely have signed up for that. If you want to use it, you have to draw it out on your own, which can be a hassle.
If you’ve read Essentialism by Greg McKeown and appreciated the modern design of the chapters, you will enjoy the fresh presentation of Your Best Year Ever. Full pages with quotables punctuate the chapters and cool icons illustrate the various principles exposed. The book is a quick read and the graphics and design make it a breeze to skim through.
Similar content within both products
I ended up buying the online course, getting a copy of the book and the audio book. Unfortunately, I noticed that parts of the online course are copy-pasted segments of the book. The online course costs a few hundred dollars, but you get more content from the 14$ book overall. Except for his take on the SMART acronym, I have not really learned anything new from the content. I ended up asking for a refund for the course.
The book has its value though, if you are just starting out in the goal setting field, you might get a lot from it. For you seasoned goal setters and productivity junkies, I think you might get the same feeling of déjà vu that startled me after reading Your Best Year Ever.
Hyatt brought interesting points to goal setting, such as acting on our limiting belief, and improving on our habits to achieve our goals. On the same topic, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a great complement to goal setting and much more detailed on how to incorporate habits into your success. You can read my review about it here.
If you are starting out with Michael Hyatt’s content and are a seasoned goal setter, look into his book Living Forward instead. You’ll go much deeper into goal setting for long term success.
Have you read Your Best Year Ever? What books on goal setting do you recommend?