Your Best Year Ever: Michael Hyatt -Book  Summary

Your best is yet to come and your dreams are too important to entrust to a faulty system. “Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt takes you through the 5 Steps you need to follow to make progress on your most important goals.

Believe the possibility.

The circumstances of our lives change week by week, year by year. But we’re still us. And our habits of thinking tend to produce consistent results no matter what’s going on in our work, our relationships, or the world around us.

When we focus on belief improvement, often our circumstances follow suit.

When you read this book you will learn the following

  • Why your beliefs shape your reality –– and how to change both.
  • How both regret and gratitude lead to opportunity.
  • To create great goals that will help you design your future.
  • To master motivation and to build a supportive social circle.
  • To break up your plan into actionable steps and to use Activation to stay on track.


Step 1: Believe the Possibility

There’s an old saying, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” That’s especially true when we’re thinking of our personal histories.

Step 2: Complete the Past

After limiting beliefs, the next most common barrier we encounter is the past. Reflect on what happened and why it happened

Step 3: Design Your Future

Great results don’t just happen. You don’t usually drift to a destination you would have chosen

Step 4: Find Your Why

Step 4 is about the importance of identifying and connecting with the motivations for each of your goal

Step 5: Make It Happen

Make a Plan


  1. Regret Reveals Opportunity

Regret is a form of information and reflecting on our missteps is critical to avoiding those missteps in the future

  1. Gratitude Makes the Difference

Gratitude is a game of contrasts. Our circumstances look a certain way; then something happens to improve them. Gratitude happens when we take notice of the distance between the two.

  1. Achievements and Habits Work Together

Both achievement and habit goals can help us design the future we want.

  1. Achievement goals are focused on one-time accomplishment
  2. Habit goals, on the other hand, involve regular, ongoing activity, such as a daily meditation practice, a monthly coffee date with a friend, or walking each day


  1. Specific:

The first attribute of SMARTER goals is that they’re specific. Focus is power. Specific goals create a channel for our problem-solving skills, effort and more.

  1. Measurable: When the goal is measurable, we know the criteria for success.
  2. Actionable: Goals are fundamentally about what you’re going to do. It’s essential to get clear on the primary action when formulating your goals.
  3. Risky: By focusing on what’s supposedly realistic, we can inadvertently trigger our natural impulse to avoid loss and end up accomplishing less than we otherwise might have. We should set goals that stretch and challenge us.
  4. Time-keyed: This could be a deadline, frequency or a time trigger.
  5. Exciting: Only an exciting goal can access the internal motivation you need to stay the course and achieve your goal.
  1. Relevant: Limit yourself to seven to 10 goals that align with your life, your values and your ambitions.

What’s stopping you from accomplishing your biggest priorities?

You Can Trigger Success.


If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins — Benjamin Franklin

Recently I discovered I was using a version of what goal achievement researchers call implementation intentions. I call them Activation Triggers™. These are simple statements or actions that streamline the process of reaching our goals.


By anticipating whatever contingencies or obstacles we might face, we can cue a desired response. Instead of relying on our decision making in the moment (when our mental and emotional resources might be at their lowest), Activation Triggers lock in our decisions in advance by addressing contingencies. We can think of them as simple “if / then” or “when / then” statements.

When people decide exactly when, where, and how they will fulfill their goals, they create a link in their brains between a certain situation or cue (‘If or when x happens’) and the behavior that should follow (‘then I will do y’). In this way, they establish powerful triggers for action.

It’s hard to make progress when we’re stuck in behavioral ruts. Activation triggers can get us out of the ruts and remind us of new and better behaviors that’ll help us reach our goals.

This sort of planning smoothens out the friction we experience trying to maintain momentum and gives us a way to overcome obstacles.

Phase 1: Brainstorm the Best Triggers.

So you’ve got a goal that meets the SMARTER standard. Now you want to identify the triggers that will work best for reaching the goal. Make sure your Activation Triggers are easier to achieve than your actual goals. That’s the whole point. You’re leveraging the easy to do the hard.

After you’ve come up with a short list of possible triggers (two or three), select the one you think will set you up for success.

That Sorted Life Bonus Feature!

Check out some of Michael Hyatt’s brain trigger examples

Phase 2: Optimize Your Activation Triggers.

Take your trigger out of your control as much as possible using elimination, automation and delegation. For example the author delegated his “date night” activation trigger using his assistant. He sets up the author’s dinner reservations.

By taking the trigger out of your control, you’re no longer relying on yourself in the moment. You’re identifying contingencies and taking care of them in advance. When the contingency arises, it’s already handled.

Phase 3: Anticipate Obstacles and Determine Your Response.

Even with a set of Activation Triggers firmly in place, you can still get derailed unless you identify potential obstacles and detail how you will deal with them.

This kind of if/then planning replaces an in-the-moment decision with a predetermined cue. “When people have formed an implementation intention, they can act [automatically], without having to deliberate on when and how they should act.

Phase 4: Experiment Until You Nail It.

This is the key to success. You’re going to experience setbacks — especially if you’re normal. When you hit a wall, it’s time to pivot. Your goal might be sacred, but your strategy isn’t. Don’t give up on your goal, just change your approach.

Whatever your goal, the trick is to simply think through the contingencies and obstacles that’ll prevent you from achieving it.

Visibility Is Essential

A combination of radio and gyroscopes give a pilot the ability to fly safely regardless of visibility. There are several parallels when it comes to our goals. The first is that we often try to reach our destination without enough support. Without proper instruments, when we face stormy weather — which we invariably do, we’re forced to bail or just trust our luck that we’ll make it.

We need the right mix of instruments. You already have two:

  A simple procedure for breaking down goals into next actions, and A set of Activation Triggers.

Now you need to add another: A Regular Review Process. You can’t just write goals and motivations. You have to review them and keep them top of mind.

Reviewing your goals and motivations will keep you ideating, self-checking and analyzing. That will up your resolve and stimulate creative problem solving.

Daily Review.

A regular goal review process starts with a simple list of your goals, a goal summary. To gain the full benefit of the review, you should scan this list each day. Many people feel stuck or fail to make progress because they can’t make the connection between their yearly goals and their daily tasks.

The daily review is designed to make that connection between goals and tasks. As you scan the list, look for relevant next actions. Ask yourself: “What could I do today that would move me down the stretch toward the goal?”

The author limits his tasks to what he calls “The Daily Big 3.”

The idea is to limit yourself to three significant tasks to complete each day. If you really want to make progress, you need a fast and easy method to chunk down big goals into achievable daily tasks.

Weekly Review.

The weekly review has a triple focus. The first part is to stay intellectually and emotionally connected to your motivations. A weekly review keeps those key motivations present in our minds. When we’re in the thick of it, it can be hard to recall. But when we’re reviewing our rationale week in and week out, the reasons become so internalized that we have a deep sense of what’s at stake.

The second part of the weekly review is a mini After-Action Review. Review your progress and list your wins and misses.

Next, list the lessons you learned and what you would do differently or better. How will you adjust your behavior?

The third and final part of the weekly review is to get a sense of what needs to be accomplished for the upcoming week.

Use your weekly big 3 to dictate your daily big 3. Taken together, the process works like this:

The “Daily Big 3” from Your Best Year Ever: Michael Hyatt

All the way from the goal down to the individual daily tasks, the idea is to direct your actions so you’re always gaining ground. The daily and weekly reviews make that possible.

Quarterly Review.

Set your goals by quarter so you space them out throughout the year and prompt action immediately, instead of waiting till later in the year as a more distant deadline finally comes into view.

The main purpose of the quarterly review is to analyze your goals and decide if they’re still relevant to your life, and then make any adjustments if not. In the quarterly review process, at least five options are possible:

  •     Rejoice.
  •     Recommit.
  •     Revise.
  •     Remove.
  •     Replace.

First, you can rejoice. Let’s say you’ve reached an important milestone in pursuit of one of your goals. Pause to recognize and celebrate it. In fact, the bigger our goals, the more important it becomes to celebrate small wins along the way. { I don’t celebrate my progress so much as document it. }

Second, you can recommit to the goal. This can be hard when you feel like giving up and walking off the field. But then you realize the game isn’t over. Literally anything is possible. You never know what may happen. The only thing you can know for sure is that if you quit now, you will lose. The key in this situation is to refocus on the original goal and reconnect to your why.

In other words, list what is at stake. What will you gain? What will you lose? Once you have these in view, you can consider new strategies or find additional resources. But you have to decide, deep in your heart, I’m going for it.

☝Don’t conflate goals and strategies. Your goal is the what, your strategy is the how. There’s nothing sacred about your strategy. You can change it at any time if it’s not producing results. If we’re married to our strategies and they fail us, our goals will suffer. But if we’re committed to our goals, we can confidently pivot on our strategies as often as we need to hit our targets.

If you’re no longer committed to the goal, your third option is to revise it. This is totally valid. After all, when you are planning, you have limited knowledge. Maybe you’ve realized that you set the goal in the Delusional Zone instead of the Discomfort Zone. Other facts or circumstances that you could not have known about may come into play — and they may be out of your control. You do have to be careful when revising a goal. You don’t want to do it just so you can stay in the Comfort Zone and not stretch. But you also don’t need to put yourself in a no-win situation just to prove a point.

When I can’t recommit, and I don’t want to revise, the fourth option is removal. Grab an eraser. Hit delete 🚫. If you’ve decided to remove a goal, replace it with another you want to achieve.

This is your game. I never met the goal police, but I’m certain they don’t show up when you strike a goal off your list. If a goal is no longer relevant, if it’s no longer compelling, if you’ve tried to revise it and you can’t, remove it. If you don’t, the goal will just sit there and accuse you. There’s no need to pay an emotional tax like that on your own list.

Look at the four quarterly review options as a decision tree:

    ▶ REJOICE if you’ve reached your goal/milestone. If you’re not there yet,

    ▶ Then RECOMMIT to achieve it. If you can’t recommit,

    ▶ Then REVISE the goal so you can achieve it. If you can’t revise,

    ▶ Then REMOVE the goal from your list. If you remove a goal,

    ▶ Then REPLACE it with another you want to achieve.

Why Celebrate?

We experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals. That’s only true if we stop to notice. When we achieve our goals or reach milestones along the way, we need to take the appropriate time to celebrate.

How many people spend their entire lives striving for something with their nose to the grindstone, only to wake up one day and realize they haven’t really lived at all?

The Leap Principle.

Dreaming of a better tomorrow isn’t enough. I think the future is open to us to decide what to do. In other words, the future is in your hands. But only if you act today. I can think of no realization more important than this as we come to a close.

Dreaming up big results can be emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating. But getting started requires action. And that can be tough.

But proceeding without all the answers is not the real risk here. Not even close. The real risk is this: When facing these sorts of challenges, instead of taking action we can coast on the good feeling of the dream without taking the necessary steps to see it realized.

The Law of Diminishing Intent – Your Best Year Ever

Soon you’ll be susceptible to the Law of Diminishing Intent. It states, the longer you wait to take action, the less likely you will be to take it.

The LEAP Principle = “Never leave the scene of clarity (AKA a decision) without taking action.”

If you want to see a big change, you must be willing to take a big LEAP. It’s as simple as four steps, one for each letter of the acronym:

    Lean into the change with expectancy.

    When you notice that a change is desirable or necessary, that’s your green light. Punch the gas pedal. That inkling is all you need to get going.

    Engage with the concept until you achieve clarity.

    Don’t let the feeling pass. Work with it until you’ve got a sense of what to do. That nagging thought in the back of your mind might be the start of a whole new adventure — or the ladder you need to climb out of a deep rut.

Activate and do something — anything.

    Sometimes we wait to move until we have all the information. That’s a mistake. Clarity comes in degrees. And you only need enough light for the next step. Even if you get off on the wrong foot, the rest of the journey will become clearer as you go.

    Pounce and do it now.

    Once you’ve determined your next step, take it. Don’t wait. Waiting feels safe, but waiting kills dreams.

Your best year ever isn’t a movie you can sit back and watch. It’s a vision that needs to be built, starting now, or it won’t come true. Don’t defer your dreams. Don’t delay your goals. Don’t procrastinate on the one thing you need to do today to make meaningful progress in your personal or professional life. Once you’ve determined your next step, take it. Don’t wait. Take a LEAP.

By Osueke Gratias Nneka