By Adam Jusko,,

Many of us look at a new calendar year as a fresh start. Starting today, we’ll focus on what’s most important, do things better, and stick with good habits longer than the first two weeks. In short, we’re hoping to have our best year ever. Popular leadership expert Michael Hyatt knows this, which is why his new book has the genius title… Your Best Year Ever.

Your Best Year Ever could be the textbook for a life improvement class. Hyatt is a believer in being methodical, with plenty of action plans, goal templates, and checklists. If you’re someone who prefers to have a plan and then track your progress, you’ll find plenty here to like. If you’re only looking for a big motivational boost to start off your year, there are words of wisdom here, but this is not just rah-rah, you-can-do-it stuff.

The book’s subtitle is “A 5-Step Plan For Achieving Your Most Important Goals.” In reality, I’d call it a two-step plan:

  1. Get your head on straight
  2. Work your plan

As anyone fresh off blowing their New Year’s resolutions knows, it’s not our intentions that are off, it’s our execution. We just can’t follow through over the long haul. Your Best Year Ever spends a good deal of time discussing the psychology of why we can’t get out of our own way. Until we get our head on straight (this is my phrase, not Hyatt’s), we’re probably not going to get to a new, better place. This means understanding the unconscious beliefs that stop us from being who we want to be, and the past regrets that slow us down when they could instead be the catalyst for a new start.

Once we believe we have the power to reach new heights, the rest is details. Of course, there are plenty of details to work out, but, as I said, Hyatt definitely has you covered in terms of planning for future successes.

One of my favorite parts of Your Best Year Ever is a discussion of the difference between achievement goals and habit goals. An achievement goal is something like “I will run a half marathon this year,” while a habit goal is something like “I will run 3 miles on weekdays at 7AM, beginning January 2.” Both are important and fulfilling, but they require different action plans and have different rewards. While Hyatt doesn’t say so, I believe most of us love the feeling of reaching an achievement goal, but would ultimately rather create new habits that last longer than a one-time high.

If you’re determined to make 2018 your best year ever, here’s your guidebook.