If you REALLY want this year to be different—and not just another version of “frustrating,” but actually a breakthrough year—we can totally be friends. 🙂
Last week, I shared 5 of my 10 favorite takeaways from Michael Hyatt’s book “Best Year Ever,” (that post is linked at the bottom), and today I’m sharing the other 5. Let’s dive in!
(6) Be willing to adjust your perspective.
This question (p.86!) had a powerful effect on me: “What if your greatest frustrations from the previous year were actually pointing you to some of your biggest wins in the next? What if regret isn’t just reminding us of what’s impossible, but rather pointing us toward what is possible?”
A few weeks ago, someone in our STEP Mastery Facebook group posted this:
“Does anybody else have an emotional breakdown after successfully clearing some big areas? I cleared off a multi-shelf rack with years of writing and coaching projects I’ve done. It felt incredible, but a day or two later, I was overwhelmed with feelings of being such a failure with things I’ve tried to accomplish in my life.”
The community had some amazing responses—full of encouragement and reflection on the wisdom we gain from those experiences.
I replied with this:
“I really appreciate this conversation. I go through this too. Whenever any of us “up level” our lives—in any way—we’re then facing a new realization. We’re seeing more clearly who we CAN be, and then we are comparing that vision with where we currently ARE. I have learned to be aware of that feeling (kind of a cognitive dissonance, I think), and then use it as fuel. It’s evidence that we are growing and changing—and that we are no longer okay with the status quo….”
Michael Hyatt talks about this when he refers to the discomfort zone: “You’ll know you’re there when you start feeling emotions we normally consider negative: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. When rightly understood, these supposedly negative emotions work like indicator lights telling us we’ve arrived.”
I also love the positive reframe technique I’ve learned from Dr. David Burns. When you feel like a failure, what does that show that is good about you? For example, it shows you have high standards. It shows you believe you can improve. It shows you’re realistic about how/why/if you’ve achieved your goals in the past, and it shows that you are humble. Once you can see the good, it explains why you hold onto those feelings. (He then teaches you how to dial those feelings down—rather than try to get rid of them. Check out his new book “Feeling Great” for more on that. It’s linked at the bottom!)
(7) Record your “why.”
For all the Simon Sinek fans out there, you’re most likely familiar with the importance of having a “why.” Michael explains that there’s all kinds of energy at the beginning of a project or a goal, but we have to have a “why” to sustain us…to fuel us.
That reminds me of the thoughts shared by George Lucas in “Empire of Dreams – the Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.” Until you see behind the scenes of any major undertaking, you don’t realize how much difficulty has to be overcome. Each time Lucas went to film a new movie, it turned out to be way more work than he’d initially anticipated.
And just in my own life, with my relatively tiny projects, if I didn’t have my strong “why” in place, I would have given up years ago.
(8) Involve friends.
Chapter 12 of “Best Year Ever” is titled, “The Journey is Better with Friends.”
If you’re feeling kind of alone right now, I get it. During some seasons of life—or for people with certain personalities—friendships are plentiful and easy to come by.
For others, it takes more effort. (And when you throw in a global pandemic, there are even more factors to be considered.)
Beyond strengthening my family relationships and making more of an effort to see “real people” on a daily basis, it’s helped me to make some online friends. Most of them don’t even know they’re my friends, but I watch them on YouTube, and I imagine the kind of advice they would give me, and I send lots of positive thoughts their way!
And I can’t say enough about the online communities we’re building at LearnDoBecome. If you’re not in them yet, come join us!!
We have a free LearnDoBecome Community Facebook group that anyone can join, where we share podcast links and lots of free resources from the site (LearnDoBecome.com/FBfamily), and we have an incredible STEP Mastery Facebook group for those in our program. The ARISE community will hopefully be coming soon! (That’s been in the works for years.)
I love these because (especially for the introverts), they provide deep connection inside the little pockets of time in your day. Friends are friends—even if you can’t see them!
And one more quick story…I was at a cross-country event for my son one afternoon, and a woman came up to me and said, “You look like one of my friends!” Then she hesitated a bit and added, “Well, she’s kind of my friend.” I asked her what her friend’s name was, and she said, “April Perry.” Then I laughed and gave her a hug and said, “I’m April Perry!”
We had a great talk, and it was SO fun to meet someone who was already friends with me!
(9) Invest in systems.
We all have the best of intentions, right? But there is SO much value in putting systems into place and not leaving our goals to chance.
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on new systems for nutrition, exercise, and hydration, for example. (This new HUGE water bottle is changing my life!)
We’ve also set up a new weekly family huddle—complete with calendaring, menu planning, and quick life assessments (the teenage boys LOVE that…they can’t get enough).
In an effort to help you learn from my mistakes, I’ll admit that I’ve let myself be a victim for a loooong time. I typically want to wait until everything is perfect before I move forward on something that feels scary. Even as I’m typing this—the only reason it’s happening is because I carved out time on the calendar, said no to another appointments/requests, and claimed this space.
This one is a little tricky for me. I like the idea of having something to look forward to at the end of a big project—or after doing something that doesn’t feel fun. It’s a great way to reinforce the beauty of the achievement, and sometimes I’ll say things like, “After that big workout, I’m going to watch a favorite show” (or something like that).
But as I look at my list of goals for this year (reading a full book aloud in Spanish, launching our ARISE program, investing more time with Eric….), I feel like those achievements ARE the rewards. That is how I want to live my life, in general. Doing things for the pure joy of doing them—and not because I then get to have/do/earn something else once they’re done.
Taking this a step further, Eric encouraged me to plan something fun into every day—and not just wait for special occasions. (Novel idea!)
Here are some things I look forward to:
- Reading while snuggling next to our dog Sunny (I totally let her on my bed)
- Smoothie baths (I drink a cold spinach smoothie while in a hot bath…heaven!)
- Random mid-day errands with Eric
- Playing new songs on the piano
- Looking at memes with the boys
- Getting Thai food
- Family dance parties in the kitchen (with disco lights…they “make” the party)
- Calling my sisters on the phone while walking around the neighborhood
Going back to that book, “Finding Flow,” it refers to the “autotelic” experience, which basically means that the activity or creative work has an end or purpose in itself. You paint because you love painting—not to sell or display the piece, for example.
Here’s a great quote:
“The autotelic experience, or flow, lifts the course of life to a different level. Alienation gives away to involvement, enjoyment replaces boredom, helplessness turns into a feeling of control…. When experience is intrinsically rewarding life is justified in the present, instead of being held hostage to a hypothetical future gain.”
I know I’ve covered a lot of information in this two-part series, and clearly, these ideas are things you would apply to your life over time—if you want to apply them to your life at all. But I hope that you feel lifted by the concepts I’ve shared. Books are like oxygen to me, and if I can share the points that resonate with me the most, they will hopefully help plant some new goals, dreams, and ideas in your heart and mind…and then who knows how much good you’ll do?
Thank you for being with us here at LearnDoBecome, and we hope you’ll stay connected!
LearnDoBecome Challenge: Take some time to see if reframing or adjusting your perspective on any current frustrations can help you out. Think about WHY you want to have a breakthrough year…what it would really mean for you. Then ask yourself if there are any simple ways to involve friends, incorporate systems, or celebrate your successes in a way that feels fun. (And if you’re in our Steps to Everyday Productivity program, use the processing steps in Module 5 to embed your plans into your Command Central!) We’re excited for you!
- Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
- Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalhi
- Feeling Great by Dr. David Burns
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!