Publishing and business expert Michael Hyatt lays out his plan that everyone can follow to have their best year ever in all areas of life.
What are all the Areas of Life?
In Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever, he has spelled out every step needed to have a productive and successful year. From the beginning thinking stages, through the action steps and including reviewing and making adjustments of goals, this book details the way progress happens.
One of the first things he talks about in the book is what he calls Life Domains. There are ten domains in our lives of which we should be evaluating, setting goals and monitoring our progress. So often, we focus on setting goals for our career like getting a promotion, landing a new job or becoming self-employed. These seem like big legitimate goals.
Even things like having a baby, getting accepted to a college program, saving money or decluttering a house are common goals for a year. They are the big events that define our lives. We can move from unqualified to educated by getting a Master’s degree in some occupations. We can feel we have a better handle on our finances by having an emergency fund or starting a 401k.
But there are other, more subtle areas of life that need just as much attention. Hyatt identifies the ten areas as:
Assessing all Areas of Life
Hyatt introduces his idea of a Life Score Assessment, which you can access on his website. In it, the user ranks each area of his or her life and the site then produces a circular graph of all the life domains with their related score. In one glace, I can see the areas I am excelling in (intellectual- I’m a reader) and the areas that need some work (financial).
One of my favorite things about this graph is that all of the areas of life are the same size. While we tend to make goals and define success in terms of vocational, physical health or social networks, our interpersonal relationships and spiritual connections influence our lives just as much. Those lesser-thought-of areas still greatly impact our happiness and health.
Plus, an overview like this in one graphic, can show us if we are feeling awesome about killing it at work, we still have areas we need to grow in. And the reverse is also true. If we feel completely defeated that we just haven’t made time for hobbies we enjoy, we get a little boost of encouragement when we remember all the effort we have put into our marriage and how it has grown.
Setting Goals for all Areas of Life
Now that we know where we are, we can make a helpful plan for where we want to be. I scored high in vocational (because I freaking love my job!) so I know I’m moving in the right direction. What is the next logical step? What would help me grow to the next level? Is it taking on a new project or focusing on improving a specific skill? Maybe it’s building connections or meeting the next level sales goal.
The areas of life in which I have a lower score, I need to be a little more methodical with. I have to completely turn things around. What I’m doing now is obviously not working. So, now there is a full stop to reassess and make some new decisions.
For example, my social score is six our of twelve. This doesn’t surprise me at all. One of my goals for the year was to do something with a friend each month. In both January and February, this goal has been sacrificed for kids activities, school assignments and exhaustion. It’s been more than sixty days since I talked to a friend for more than the quick hi at school pick up time. On an individual day, I can justify doing something else, but when I see it charted in this form, I realize I’m neglecting a whole area of my life. An area that is just as important as parenting and employment.
Don’t Ignore an Area
Another great thing about assessing all the areas of life is the ability to set goals in each area. We don’t need ten hugely ambitious goals that will take lots of time commitments to achieve. However, we can’t continue to ignore any of the domains. At the beginning of the year, I took the assessment and made goals (some very small) for the coming year.
For physical health, I want to continue working out four days per week but also cut back on sugar. But that’s not a good goal. I need to be more specific. Maybe I want to limit myself to two sweet treats per week for the month. Then I make a small chart in my bullet journal that has two spots for each week. When I’ve filled those two spots, I’ve used my allotment. No more trying to remember what day I ate something. It will be right when I can find it. I also track on my monthly habit tracker which days I exercise.
For finances, I set an achievement goal of saving a certain amount. To make this goal achievable, I decided I would save an extra $1,000 by the end of 2019. I also set a goal for what would be in my Christmas Club account by the time the checks are mailed in October. My monthly statements can help me determine if I’m on the right track to achieving these goals.
Regularly reviewing my goals and my progress will ensure that I remember the goals in all areas of life and continue to work toward them. This also gives me a chance to tweek what isn’t working and find more effective strategies. The monthly review is essential to achieving our goals.
I know I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, but research in this book indicates that it takes an average of 66 days! This explains why we get so discouraged when habits take time and lots and lots of patience. Being gentle with ourselves is essential and tracking our habits and goals is necessary. Otherwise we would easily get off track and forget to follow through in the two months or more that it takes to create a lasting habit.
What is you Life Domain score and what areas do you need the most work? What are you plans for making sure your score improves next year?
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