7 Steps to Design An Extraordinary Year

“Newsflash: drifting is dangerous!” Those were the words I began my broadcast with to an audience who registered for my “Designing An Extraordinary Year“ course.

I love what Michael Hyatt says about drifting. He states that “drifting is unlikely to take you to a destination that you would have chosen.“

 Why on earth would we, and why on earth do we, just allow “life” and “daily events” to chart our course through life? So that we end up in situations, destinations, and messes that no one would desire?

I’m not sure why we do that, but I was among that group for many years. Until I understood that I could design the kind of year, and the kind of life, I truly desire. An extraordinary year, an extraordinary life!

If you will allow me, I would like to help you do the same. You will have to roll up your sleeves; you will have to set aside some time; and you will have to focus by putting away your cell phone and your remote control.

Research says that alone would rule out over 70% of Americans. Further research reveals that 98% of American adults own a cell phone and spend 6+ hours on them daily. Researchers also indicated that the average American adult watches 3 1/2 to 4 hours of television daily. 

Other studies indicate that only 3% of American adults set goals. If we are spending four hours a day watching television, six hours a day on our cell phones, and eight hours a day sleeping, 1 hour and 7 minutes a day eating … that means we have a 4 hours and 53 minutes a day left for working, showering, exercising, family time, and errands.

No wonder we do not have time to design an extraordinary year! But I know you are here because you are the exception to the rule. And you are who I want to help this week.

Of those who set goals, only 8% realize them according to research. But I’ve been teaching this plan for many years, along with doing ongoing follow up. I have found that over 90% of the clients, friends, family, and workshop attenders following this plan have accomplished their goals.

You will be one of them! You will have an extraordinary year! So let’s start designing it!

1. Do an honest self-evaluation. 

I spent last week taking us on an adventure of doing an honest self evaluation. If you happened to miss it, click here to conduct your self evaluation.

Why is this so important? It’s critical because in order to get direction, any GPS device will ask you for your current location. We must be honest with ourselves about where we are, in order to design our paths forward to extraordinary.

It’s not meant as an opportunity for you to beat yourself up, or to bemoan things about you or your life. It’s simply necessary in order to chart your path forward.

If you begin the process, and you find yourself feeling disappointed, ashamed, or guilty…  Allow yourself about one minute of that. It is good to feel the pain of what we did not accomplish for just a moment. It inspires us to do better, and become better.

However, any longer than that is self-destructive. This is not about self-destruction; it’s about propelling yourself forward to become your very best! As you become your best, you accelerate your journey to an extraordinary year, and an extraordinary life!

If you did not follow the process last week, remember to click this link to get this step done. The rest of the steps are fun, but they will not get you very far without your honest self-evaluation. Because you cannot chart your way to your destination without knowing your current location.

I don’t want you to miss out on an extraordinary year, so take your time on this first step!

2. Reflect and be grateful. 

As I’m walking many clients through this process at the end of the year, for the past two years I’ve heard this more than usual: “What a hard year this has been!“

Difficult years happen to all of us at times. But the great news is this: We don’t have to pitch a tent and set up camp there.

One of the keys of moving successfully from one year to the next is to press pause and make note of what you do have to be grateful for from the events of the past year.

This key step begins to program our brain out of focusing on how difficult it’s been and prevent us from living in the rearview mirror. It changes the programming of our brains to be able to look forward clearly, powerfully, and with great determination. 

Each year I write at least 25 things for which I am grateful. Even in hard years, you likely had some beautiful moments. Capture those and write them down.

Yes! Write them down! And make sure you include any of your wins. 

3. Choose your power word.

One of the crucial pieces of designing an extraordinary year is to first reflect upon who you would like to become in the upcoming year. Write out words that describe who you would like to become as you navigate your way through an extraordinary year.

This year, my list included words such as:

  • Resilient
  • Cheerful
  • Fun
  • Energized
  • Determined
  • Focused
  • Steady
  • Faithful

After you have considered who you want to become (or become more of), think of a word, a power word, that you could use to remind yourself of who you would like to become.

For this year, I have chosen the word: UNSHAKABLE. 

Once you have selected your word, write it down a page vertically, and use it as an acronym to write short words and phrases that describe who you would like to become, and what you would like for your life to look like in that process.

For example, here’s part of what I have done with my power word:

Undeniable favor

Never ending determination

Shocking progress and results

History changer


Key connections and





Then put your power word everywhere. I have it up on the wall in my workout room, along with the keywords and phrases. Place it on your desktop, on your desk, in your calendar, in your car. Strategically leave it in places that you will see multiple times daily.

Then began the habit of waking up and letting that word be the first word you verbalize every single day.

While getting ready for your day, say the word out loud along with all of your keywords and phrases.  The greater the volume and the more energy that you put it out with gets it planted even deeper in your soul.

I always find a quote or a verse with the word in it, and I also read it aloud daily.

What will your power word be for this year? Choose a word that will excite and supercharge you!

4. Set targets for the 7 core areas of your life. 

Yes, I’m using the word “targets”, instead of “goals.”  For many, goals, and resolutions, are things that we think about at the beginning of the year, and then quickly forget about … until the following year when we’re disappointed that we did not lose that 10 pounds, or work on the next degree in order to get a raise in our salary.

Targets are things that we are inspired to hit.

I remember when I was a little girl and my dad was teaching me to shoot, he would set beer bottles on the fence posts at my Mamaw’s house in Arkansas. He would teach me about lining the scope up before pulling the trigger to hit the “target.“ It was not until I was a teenager that I realized that a target was not the same thing as an empty beer bottle. But the first time I saw a Target store, my idea of what a target was became crystal clear.

So I want you to set some targets for each of the seven core areas of your life that you did the careful self-evaluation on. Remember those seven core areas were outlined using the word respect as an acronym. 


Energy & Health

Spiritual Growth

Purposeful Living with Priority

Emotional Mastery

Career & Finances

Touching Others

Here is my definition of setting your targets:

Things that will create more respect for yourself and elicit more respect from others as you hit those targets.

Many people talk about setting the targets (or goals) in a SMART way, and I don’t disagree with that.  However, here’s what I think makes a smart target:



A real stretch

Respect creator


Review your honest self-evaluation, and set one target for each of your seven core areas.

5. Get some fire in your belly. 

Many people write about this. Simon Sinek calls it “finding your why.”  He says: “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.” 

Contemplating these questions can you can help yourself discover the fire in your belly:

  • Why is this target important to you?
  • What do you think you will gain or what the benefits will you reap by hitting this target?
  • What will be better in your life?
  • How will it make you a better person?
  • How would it benefit your relationships?
  • How will it make you feel?
  • What would be different about you this time next year?
  • What do you hope others will say when they make note of the target you hit?
  • Why do you believe this is a worthy target?

Answering those kinds of questions sets a fire ablaze in your belly. 

Without that fire, the little spark you feel as you set your targets may quickly burn out or fade away.

I coach people that unless you have 10 things in response to the questions above, or similar questions, you are very unlikely to hit the target.

Take some time! If you cannot create a fire in your belly, you must go back and choose a more compelling target.

Do this for all seven targets! Do them specifically for that target. If you do not do it specifically for each target, you are much less likely to hit them.

One of my targets this year (in the core area of “Energy & Health”) is:

Regain energizer bunny zest and lower my metabolic and internal age by:

  • Establishing <20 BMI / < 17 Body Fat / >90# Muscle Mass
  • Intermittent fasting five days weekly
  • 15,000 steps a day
  • Three full body workouts in the gym weekly
  • Standing tall and walking with a bounce in my step

Here are some of the fires I have lit in my belly:

  • I’ll feel vibrant and energetic
  • I’ll have the strength and energy I need to launch my new business
  • I’ll be cheerful and fun
  • I will reverse the aging process
  • I will have the energy and wherewithal to make a greater impact
  • I will conduct life altering workshops for many
  • I will be unstoppable

That’s the short list! What is your target in each of the seven areas? And what fire in your belly have you lit for each one?

6. Set a fire on your backside. 

This is the place where most people miss the boat. But I will not let that happen to you!

Having a fire in your belly is absolutely awesome. It’s like an irresistible, magnetic pull forward.

But there will be days when you’re discouraged, and would like to quit. If you don’t have a blazing fire on your backside, you will be in great danger of slipping backward or even worse … quitting.

But if the only thing behind you is a blazing bonfire, you won’t be very likely to want to step or fall into that!

Having a fire blazing fire on your back side is about knowing what you will lose, what you will miss out on, or negative things that may occur if you fail to reach your target.

These must be at least as powerful as the fire in your belly, if not more so. For some reason, people who are new to this concept often have difficulty setting them.

I will use my “Energy & Health” target from step 5 above, and share the fire on my backside to hopefully assist you in setting a powerful fire on your backside!

Here are some of the points I used to light my “fire on my backside”:

  • I will drag around
  • People will ask what happened to my vibrancy
  • I will not be able to train life coaches to carry on the legacy I live for
  • I will be in danger of giving up my 30 years of a sugar free lifestyle and begin eating junk again
  • I will not have the energy to conduct my workshops
  • I will look old, wrinkled, and becomes sour and surly
  • I will have abandoned my dreams
  • I will be in danger of becoming bitter and jaded

Just the thought of stepping into any of those keeps me going year after year, determined to hit my targets. Once again, this year, I plan to hit seven bull’s-eyes!

What is the fire on your backside for each of your seven targets?

For both your fire in the belly and your fire on the back side … it isn’t enough to simply think through them. You must write them down!

In the moment you need to be propelled forward either by the magnetic pull, or from the burning hot fire on your backside, you will be unlikely to remember them. Unless you can pull them out (or up on your screen).

Get your fuel starter, get your lighter, and let’s set a fire in your belly and a bonfire on your backside!

7. Take massive immediate action. 

Research has indicated that people who take massive immediate action in the first 24 hours of setting their targets are over 70% more likely to hit the bull’s-eye than those who simply have good intentions.

Good intentions count, but they do nothing to start the momentum you must have to hit your targets.

Once again, people who are new to this concept often struggle with what massive immediate action is. Hopefully some examples might provide you some insight for setting yours.

Using my “Health & Energy” target from step 5 above, here is some of my massive immediate action:

  • I have written a proclamation that contains elements of all seven of my targets. I used short phrases, quotes, scripture, and other inspiring things to write something short and concise that I will read aloud daily all year long to remind myself of who I want to be and the targets I want to hit
  • I have set my intermittent fasting schedule and shared it with a few of the key people who spend time around me
  • I have gone online and renewed my gym membership
  • I have created a chart to track my body fat and my BMI, along with my metabolic age
  • I have ordered a brace to remind myself to stand tall (due to an arm and shoulder injury, I have to retrain my body).

What are some massive immediate action steps that you can take in order to gain momentum and be one of the 70% who hit the target?

You may look at those seven steps and say… Oh my goodness! That’s a lot of work! And you are absolutely right! It is indeed a lot of work!

But I have used it year after year to great success. Will you join me? I want you to have an extraordinary year. I have learned as I have strung extraordinary years together, because I intentionally designed them to be so, I have found myself in an extraordinary life! That’s my hope, my wish, and my prayer for you!

Now get started and design your extraordinary year!