Book review: “Achieve Anything in Just One Year”


It’s a perennial story and one that remains so because it rings true. A man (or woman) wakes up one morning, rolls out of bed, stares in the mirror and has the revelation that 10 years have passed. What has he accomplished, he asks? What happened to the career she wanted? Where is the financial success that was planned? Why did the personal accomplishments disappear?

At this point in the story, the protagonist usually makes a dramatic promise to change: quit the job, ask for a raise, get a new relationship, start a new career or a dozen other options that imply momentary major change. But when the dramatic moment passes, so does the impetus for change. Most of us would claim we want change in our lives and careers, but would prefer it to be bite-size — manageable, if you please.

Jason Harvey would agree. His book, Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals, is a primer on taking change one day at a time, 365 days a year. His goal is to help us learn to nourish our lives on change, one spoonful at a time.

It’s the subtitle, “Be Inspired Daily to Live your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals,” that provides the recipe he wants us to follow. The author suggests 365 ideas to do just that, each coupled with a relevant quote and a follow-up assignment.

Readers are asked to read the day’s quote and accompanying notes and complete the brief assignments daily. Assignments generally are easy to do and often build on earlier ones. They include the basics of goal setting, career development and personal growth in a format that would take only minutes each morning. It’s difficult to argue that, having completed 365 of these exercises, you wouldn’t come away with some new insights about yourself.

What gives the book its strength is the lack of superficiality. The author provides compelling quotes from business and political leaders, writers, religious figures and generally individuals who have brought about change in the world through their words or work. The range is broad, including quotes from football players, actors, scientists and historians.

There is a well-planned order to the author’s list of days. In the early pages, the reader is asked to write down dreams, goals and aspirations and to take initial steps toward achieving them. Next, partnerships and teamwork are reviewed, stressing their importance. There is a process for discovering hidden talents and imagining the near impossible. Each day builds the ability to take risks and seize opportunities.

Copyright 2014 Smiley Pete Publishing. All rights reserved.