I recently reread Michael Hyatt’s book, “Your Best Year Ever,” and right at the beginning, he says, “Consider…what a truly breakthrough year might look like for you.”
I’ve put together a synopsis of 10 concepts (or suggestions) I loved from the book—but I’m only going to cover five of them today–and then I’ll go through the remaining five next week (so you don’t have one super-long podcast to listen to or one long post to read!). Throughout this process, I’ll be taking you a little bit behind the scenes of my own life, simply because I think it’s helpful to hear how other people apply what they read, and I’m hoping this will help you gather your own insights.
All right, so I want to begin by inviting you to define what a “breakthrough year” really IS for you.
Initially, I thought, “Oh, it means our family will get along beautifully every day, our business will be more successful than ever before, I’ll be in amazing physical shape, I’ll feel happy and energetic pretty much all the time, and I’ll basically become the PERFECT person.” (Ha!)
Now, while the tone of our family, business success, physical fitness, mental health, and the “good things” of life are important to me, after giving this quite a bit of thought, I’ve decided that the way I’ll know if I’ve TRULY had a breakthrough year is if I can answer these two questions in the affirmative each day. (I actually posted them on the back of my bedroom door so I see them morning and night, and while your questions will most likely be unique, and these questions of mine will definitely adapt to my specific needs over time, I thought it might help to share the ones I’m thinking about right now.)
QUESTION 1: Do I feel healthy, happy, relaxed, and aligned with God?
QUESTION 2: Have I fulfilled my purpose deliberately—doing one day’s share?
Now, I could go into all the stories and psychology behind why I chose these questions, but instead, I’ll just say that when I can answer them both with a genuine “yes,” it feels like everything else falls into place. That includes things like the closeness I feel with Eric, the joy I feel with our children, the level of faith I am working to develop, and the sense of progress I feel as I work toward my goals.
So now, if you’re ready, I’m going to review the first 5 of the 10 suggestions from “Best Year Ever” that gave me really good food for thought.
(1) Identify which areas of your life need the most support right now.
The book outlines 10 (pictured below), and he has a whole assessment you can take (that is linked at the bottom of the page, if you’d like!).
I can see personal room for improvement in every area, but the 6 that need the MOST focus from me right now are…
- physical (because I’ve had way too much sickness this past year)
- emotional (because I apparently have a lot of hidden emotions I didn’t know about!)
- spiritual (because when I prioritize connection with my Higher Power, everything else feels easier)
- marital (because Eric is my best friend, and I want to invest in our relationship and not just assume “we’ll be okay”)
- parental (because family matters most to us)
- vocational (because the vision of what I want to create is pulling me forward, and it’s becoming more and more painful NOT to pursue it)
(2) Get over the limiting beliefs.
I’ve been working on these for a long time. (It feels like too long….) And I have a post that goes deeper into the limiting beliefs/liberating truths process from a few years ago that I’ll link at the bottom of the page. But for now, here are two great quotes from “Best Year Ever” that I highlighted:
“A limiting belief is a misunderstanding of the present that shortchanges our future.”
“Many of the circumstances that seem to block us in our daily lives may only appear to do so based on a framework of assumptions we carry with us. Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view.” – Rosamund Zone and Benjamin Zander
A few weeks ago, I got out a sheet of notebook paper and identified 13 limiting beliefs—JUST in the “vocational” category. Reading through them, I sound like the biggest pessimist in the world—saying things like, “I don’t have very much to offer, I shouldn’t dream about xyz, creativity takes too much energy, the world is doing just fine without me….”
But sometimes when you actually SEE your limiting beliefs written on paper, you realize all the lies you’ve been believing. (Don’t skip this step!)
(3) Identify how you can become a more abundant thinker.
The book has a great chart (on p.37, if you have a copy!), but here are three ideas that stuck out to me as far as how I can increase the “abundance” in my mind.
- Assume I can learn, grow, and develop
- Be optimistic about the future—believing the best is yet to come
- Think big and embrace risk
Sounds so easy, right?
And I don’t know if you’ve heard of the book, “Finding Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, but it is SO good, and this is one thing I learned from it: “One cannot enjoy doing the same thing at the same level for long. We grow either bored or frustrated; and then the desire to enjoy ourselves again pushes us to stretch our skills, or to discover new opportunities for using them.“ (p.75)
So, essentially, if we want to avoid boredom and frustration (who doesn’t?), becoming a more abundant thinker isn’t really optional. Trying something new is hard. But so is living with boredom and frustration. That’s why LearnDoBecome exists…because we believe that this growth and “becoming” is central to living a life of excellence.
(4) Identify what’s not there.
You may have heard this quote before–about Steve Jobs and his “gift,” as described by his wife, Laurene Powell, “he saw clearly what was not there, what could be there, what had to be there…He imagined what reality lacked, and he set out to remedy it.”
Ahhhh! So good!
You may have heard the analogy of seeing “the space on the bookshelf.” Imagine that all the ideas, information, and advice out there as books on a bookshelf. Where is that space? Where is that gap in the collective intelligence of the world that is waiting for YOU—for your experience, insights, and gifts to shine through? I believe that there’s a space (or many spaces!) on that bookshelf for each of us. And there’s no limit to how many books can be created.
It’s a powerful exercise to sit down and identify what you, uniquely have to offer—even if you can’t always see it right away.
I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now—really trying to hone in on “that thing” that I want to say with my life. As of today, if I were to try to sum it up into one kind-of-long paragraph, it would look something like this:
I am here to help mothers (or those with “mother hearts”) who want to feel excited about their lives—prioritizing family AND using their unique talents. I show them how to get out of the overwhelm, and then I offer encouragement and support so they can finally attain what they’ve been hoping for. Hope that…
- they won’t always feel exhausted
- they’ll be able to laugh and enjoy life again
- their family relationships will be a source of happiness and meaning
- they can wake up excited and go to bed content
- they’ll thrive financially
- they won’t be anxious all the time
- they’ll be able to walk around the house and breathe…knowing that everything is clean, organized, and taken care of
- they won’t be afraid to discuss things that are hard
- they’ll have the physical, mental, and emotional energy they require
- they’ll actually have time to think
- they won’t feel alone
- they will be able to bravely accomplish their dreams
- they won’t have to be the martyr
- they won’t have to carry the world on their shoulders
- they can design a life consistent with their values and purpose
- they don’t have to be successful in the way “everybody else” says they do
- they can rise to become who their Higher Power knows they can be and wants them to be
- they’ll know that they matter
And I know everybody here isn’t a woman or a mother, and I’m hopeful that my efforts will help a broad group of people from all walks of life, but I know at my core that one of the unique reasons that I am here on this earth, at this time, is to care for those who feel that they have a direct stewardship to care for others. That’s been in my heart for more than 20 years. And as I look at that purpose statement I just shared, all those things are places where I have struggled—or where I am still struggling. My hope is that as I build this community and open my heart to share what I’ve learned—and bring in others who can help us all—I will also put myself in a position where I can receive the strength, encouragement, and support that YOU have to offer.
(5) Depend on your Higher Power to help you with the resources you have—and the resources you need.
This quote from Martin Luther King Jr. touches my heart every time I hear it: “Lord, help me to accept my tools. However dull they are, help me to accept them. And then Lord, after I have accepted my tools, then help me to set out and do what I can do with my tools.”
Beautiful, don’t you think? (And if your belief or understanding of God is something different than what I believe, I hope it won’t stress you out when I talk about these kinds of things. My goal here is to be honest about what I personally think and feel—but I’m not here to tell you how YOU should think and feel. Hope that makes sense!)
Going back to that quote by Dr. King, I’ve noticed that once you accept your tools and start using them, you then start receiving more tools and sharper tools to facilitate your work, and then others join on to help you. Then sometimes—in the small moments when you least expect it, you find that your tiny contribution was put to use as an instrument in the hands of God.
Those are the messages that I receive that mean the most to me—when someone tells me how our programs or podcast or something that we created came to them at just the right time and was accompanied by an assurance from above that they were not forgotten and that Someone was watching out for them. (I love those experiences because they remind me that the work I’m doing is not about me.)
I hope that these ideas have been helpful for you today! Make sure you come back next week for the next five featured ideas.🙂
You can find out all the ways to connect with our email updates, social media channels, podcast, etc. at https://LearnDoBecome.com/connect
LearnDoBecome Challenge: Take some time this week to review the 5 ideas in this post. Take Michael Hyatt’s LifeScore Assessment (linked below), think about your limiting beliefs and how you can become a more “abundant thinker,” and then brainstorm some ways you can fill a gap in the bookshelf! Along the way, if you believe in a Higher Power, TRUST that new ideas and insights will come to you!
See you next week!
Michael Hyatt’s LifeScore Assessment
Limiting Beliefs/Liberating Truths post here at LearnDoBecome
Have you had a chance to join our free class that will introduce you to our Steps to Everyday Productivity program? If not, we’d love to see you there! Sign up here!
Don’t stop laughing! 😁
April Perry says
Oh my goodness, you’re so cute. Thanks for your support! ❤️❤️❤️
Here, here! Or is it Hear, Hear? Either way April, you are a wonderful person. Your personality and humanity shines through in every episode you record. I’m relistening right now, giggling along with you. Please keep being you. That’s how you are able to help so many of us. XOXO
Oh my, so every time I think we couldn’t get Twinkier enough. 😅 We could have our own don’t like my laugh group. I’m listening and I’m thinking Wow. I wish my husband would let me post things on my doors to get my mindset straight. I think he’s coming around slowly with that idea. And I’m mean slowly. 😜 I am struggling in the exact same areas but my girls are 3&4 years Away from being 30. Wow I am old💗. I find it hard to function when I don’t have my heart and mind on God so my soul can thrive. Otherwise I feel like a dying flower. I can’t hang on to my petals because I am drying out. (lifewater/water of life) it’s so necessary In our bodies. Hang in there, y’all are on my heart and in my prayers. 🌸
April Perry says
Thank you for your kind words and support, Jovita! Sending lots of love your way, too! (And maybe you could post your questions inside your closet or next to your bathroom sink or someplace where only you would see them?) I think the more we explain to our spouses/family members what we are working toward, the more they can watch out for us…and vice versa. ❤️❤️❤️
Loved your response, Jovita! (I read rather than watch videos, so I must have missed the thing about our laughs.) I’m right there with you–gotta keep that living water flowing through.
April’s thoughts, shares and suggestions are so heart-felt and vulnerable. I’m finding this group life transforming. Looking forward!!
MIRIAM ROBBINS says
Please don’t ever stop laughing! You have a beautiful laugh, April (I swear, mine sounds like a hen laying an egg, ha ha!) and it brings so much joy to the podcast! Nehemiah 8:10; Proverbs 17:22.
Your podcasts minister so much to my spirit and I get excited thinking about all the things you share. I totally would love to walk into Office Depot or Staples and find a guided Command Central supply area! I’ll bet if you contacted your local store’s manager and offered to set up a Command Central for their own desk and showed them how to use the STEP system, they would totally be open to trying out a CC supply area in their store!
Keep up the wonderful, thoughtful podcasts as your health allows. I’m off to buy The Best Year Ever right now!
April Perry says
Miriam, I love your office supply store ideas!! I am putting that on my “Someday List” for now, but I may move it up quickly if I start feeling brave. 😀 Thank you for your encouragement and kind words!
April! So I was thinking…it would be a bigger impact to put a video ad on Amazon in the office supplies section. That way, when people are searching for office supplies, people can also view your ad on STEP command central 😀
April Perry says
Ara, I LOVE that you shared this idea with me!!! So fun. I’m going to look into that. I’m sure there are some great ways I could grow our Google and YouTube ads, too. Thanks for your encouragement and support!
Helene Bennie says
Even your “hen’s cackle” will warm the heart of somebody. My son had a teacher, who was the sweetest lady who taught high school maths and physics. She was so nice that nobody wanted to misbehave much. Anyway she was my son’s favourite teacher not because she was so kind hearted but because of her laugh. He would say “I love Mrs H’s laugh. It makes me feel so good.” And SHE laughed like a witch apparently. So there you go.
April Perry says
That is awesome. Love that story! Thank you Helene!!
Ann M. says
Thank you, April. I needed some inspiration and encouragement! Your humor and endless positivity were very welcome today. I’ve been feeling unfocused, not sure what to prioritize and, as a result, nothing gets done. Then, I feel worse! My command central is good, but the piles of papers are starting to form and I need to get back on track. Michael Hyatt’s assessment was a great starting point for identifying big-picture priorities. It was nice to be reminded of what’s going well when I feel overwhelmed by what’s not going well.
Debbie Patrick says
Definitely don’t stop laughing! I’m enjoying your podcasts and I’m so glad you’re feeling better and still excited. It’s delightfully infectious. I’m 65, and spent a season over a decade in length in caregiving. When people asked me if I had children, I’d tell them that mine came late in life and were called parents. So I count myself in your group as having a mothering heart. That caregiving season is long past now, but I still find myself needing “remedial” training as I try to reinvent the next stages of life. Honestly it’s hard sometimes to muster the energy and enthusiasm I had as a younger woman, although I certainly don’t count myself as old. But it is different now. Yes, I’m wiser and perhaps have more perspective but I’m still learning — and organization is one of my biggest challenges, so you and your work have been a godsend. Thank you.
Lynn Smith says
I love your heart, April❤️ Your encouragement is a delightful gift!!
Bernadette Riemar says
Oh April, I see you as “Brave as a Bear!” What you have done for others is far greater than you can ever imagine! I see you as plunging through you fears and insecurities because of your dreams and deep desire to help others live a happier, more joyful life! I belong to your LearnDoBecome and I am still struggling to complete your program, only because of my distractions, procrastinations and not thinking I have enough time to spend on organizing my life! Isn’t that a laugh? And yes, keep laughing, it is healing to the body and soul! I love your idea to bring your Command Central Supply area to our office supply stores. I feel confident you will be guided when the time is right for you and your family! Thank you for helping others LearnDoBecome the best version of themselves! You are loved. ❤️
April Perry says
Bernadette, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I am excited for you and your continuing progress building your Command Central! xoxo
Amanda Christensen says
I love your laugh April! You made me smile and that is always a good thing. Your voice is so full of your feelings and how much you care. If someone doesn’t like that…their problem! You and Eric came into my life through finding your website in my search for personal development. Your site was really the first one that really helped me and I have leaned on you both, the STEP Mastery group and your processes to make a much better life for myself and by default, my family. Keep keeping it real because that is what most people need.❤️
Ann-Morgan Krueger says
I LOVE when you are giggling in the podcast!! It’s so sincere and heartfelt, and it always lifts my spirits, too!!! KEEP LAUGHING!!! 🙂
April Perry says
All of these kind comments have meant so much to me! We have a really great community here, and I appreciate your positive outlook and support!
Jenny McGowan says
I LOVE YOUR LAUGHTER! our world needs more people who can just be fun and light at different moments, and God speaks to me through your laughter, giving me permission to not be so serious all the time. Seriously, just hearing your laughter and delight is an education for me. Everything else do is as well, very much so. But your joy and laughter are infectious and I love it. Please don’t change that!
April Perry says
You’re so cute. Thank you, Jenny! It’s so funny because after I recorded this episode (with my laughing), I was SUPER nervous to post it. I had my daughter listen to it, and I asked, “Is this too much?” She thought it was fine, so I went ahead and made it public. I think there’s an “unspoken rule” that we need to be perfect and professional online, but because I am SO human, I’m feeling like it’s time to just relax a bit more and let others see the bumps behind the scenes. I am so glad that this gives you permission to do the same. I think we ALL need more laughter, rest, relaxation, and opportunities to be normal people. 🙂 Thank you for your support and encouragement!
I laughed out loud as I was listening in the car at the ridiculousness of someone telling you to stop laughing on your podcast! Keep on being you – I love that you laugh at yourself and find the humor in things. What a great example. 🙂