How to Make 2014 Successful, Prosperous and Magical

Written by Christine Kane

BE DO HAVEThis morning, the regulars at the gym were joking about the coming doom.

“Have a good workout now,” they said. “Cuz you know what it’s gonna be like next week!”

That’s because all the folks who have – yet again – made their New Year’s Resolutions will show up. They’ll stick around for a while. Then, around Valentine’s Day, the regulars get to have their old gym back.

Last week, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with Family.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life transformation does little to inspire me. And it doesn’t surprise me that the success rates were low.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life.

The DO level.

It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model.

It goes like this:

“I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue:

The “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive change in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.

A Better New Year’s Ritual

Many years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone.  It would remind us of living our lives at the BE level.

This didn’t mean that we didn’t take action. It meant that our actions were inspired from the BE level. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!

For lots of years now, I’ve blogged about this inspiring way to begin the year.  The response has been huge. So have the success rates!  I regularly hear from people who have created big changes in their lives because they focused on one word.

How to Choose A Word

First off, grab my free “Word of the Year Discovery Tool” for in-depth instructions.

Look through the list below. Get quiet and listen to your Wise Self.  Pick a word.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re one of the many people who would normally choose “Get Organized.”  You’re tired of chaos and clutter.  So, you think, “I need to get organized. That’ll be my Resolution.”

But then you read this article. You decide to try this new approach.

You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you hold on to lots of things. You’re scared to let go.

So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go.

Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself.

You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.

Your clutter became your teacher simply because you shifted your intent towards it. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d opted only to “Get Organized.”

What word to choose?

Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.

As you read through the list of words, see if one stands out. It’s tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you’re so messed up, you can’t possibly narrow the mess down to one!)  I recommend that if you can’t choose just one, choose no more than two.

One is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.



































































Shout it out!  Post your word for 2014 in the comments below and let’s get the momentum started for a fabulous magical amazing year!

And click here to download my free “Word of the Year Discovery Tool.”  I’ll walk you through the whole process.



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{43 comments ... read them below or add one}

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{43 comments ... read them below or add one}

Jan Schochet January 1, 2014 at 10:27 am


This was a wonderful and effective exercise that I just completed that solidified my choice of my word. Thanks for all you do, Christine!


Dana Ortegón January 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

Wow. I’m already getting glazed eyes from all of the New Year’s posts, but this one is a keeper. Bookmarking. Printing. And will be referring back to it regularly.

Can’t wait to choose my word!


Gloria January 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

My word is Change. I’m finding it both scares and thrills me. Thank you for sharing all your gifts with us Christine. So what’s your word?


Ginger Wells January 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

My word is “Create”


Lawrence Laddaga January 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

My word this year is “enlighten”. I heard About this post last January in yoga class and picked the word “release”. It changed my life this year. Thank you.


Rachel January 1, 2014 at 11:34 am

As I was falling asleep last night, a word showed up. I drowsily thought… I wonder if this is it? I figured that if I still remembered it in the morning, it would probably be right. It is ATTENTION. (And I woke up two more times with it on my mind the second I was conscious). It’s gonna be a wonderful year. (And I won’t miss it by being unconscious). :-D


Christine January 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

Last year, my word was “leap”, and I did……MANY times. My word for this year is “soar”, which means to rise, fly, or glide high and with little apparent effort. Can’t wait to see where I will be soaring in 2014! Thank you for this exercise, Christine!


Nneka, Working Mystic January 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm


That’s my word of the year. It’s going to be a year of firsts, checking out how far my body can go then pushing it a bit further, and, of course, continuing to step out at Working Mystic.

All with TONS of fun!!!!


Alex Beecrofta January 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Mine is Abundance. After 2013 was spent living on minimal money and minimal health, I would really like a year of plenty this year.


Jessica January 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Consciousness – I will be more aware of my feelings, emotions, and present activities.


Debbie January 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

New Beginnings.


Sarah January 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Upgrade! I actually looked up this post last week and spend some time on my holiday break thinking about my word for the year. I wanted it to capture both my goals to grow my business as well as my personal growth. I have limiting beliefs around spending money and living well that are holding me back. So I want to upgrade my choices and become the person I need to be in order to live to my fullest potential and grow my business to the next level. So, from me 2014 is all about – UPGRADING!


Michelle Bailey January 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

My word for 2014 is simplify. This will be my guiding force for the year along with two main themes – being mindful and making my mark (on the world in ways big and small). Thank you for the tool. It helped me confirm my word choice (it kept coming to me but it seemed too simple – ha!). Thank you for all you do to support us in our heart-based businesses. I’m ready to shine this year like never before!


Carol Ann Desimine January 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm

My word is delegate. Sometimes it seems easier to just do things myself but I need to get into the habit of asking others then letting go of things being done my way.


Tammy Hart Dyer January 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Expansion. 2013 was a year of personal discovery for me and I dug through a lot of crap to get to the authentic parts of me and how I tick. In 2014, my goal is to expand in those positive areas and create something so wonderful I will amaze myself.


Wendy Robinson January 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

My word for 2014 is Action. I’ve been doing a lot of “aiming” and not enough “shooting” for the last several years. I’ve been planning, building, writing and saving lots of good stuff to share with people but I’ve put nothing into action.

I am hoping to change that this year. Thanks for providing the framework, Christine!


paula January 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Wealth. It’s time to put the talent, knowledge and energy to create a business that supports my spirit and enriches the lives of others.
Wishing all of you the very best in 2014!


Marsha Crites January 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm


Thanks for all the great tools, Christine.


Dvora S January 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

My word is Patience. I made a vision board that will become my computer desktop background to remind me to be patient with people and situations at work and home.


Laura Mixon-Camacho January 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Hiya! Last night I dreamed about you, Christine! Not really sure what that means but my word for this year is ART. My life as ART, my communication training business as ART, my hip hop and swimming as ART, home as ART, etc. xo, Laura


Jeanne B January 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Funny thing. I pulled three strips of paper from my word bag–FLOW, OPENNESS and DEFINE. As I’ve posted elsewhere, I realized that when I reverse the order, it’s a prescription for positive transformation: DEFINE my vision; OPEN to the possibilities and open my awareness; and FLOW with whatever shows up. And this is all good.

But then I read your post here, and my insides are saying “RELEASE” is probably the word I need most, and the one thing I’m ignoring/avoiding the most. (Let’s talk about clutter. No, let’s not. My house… the definition thereof…)

So intellectually, I’m leaning toward the process (Define, Open, Flow), but will probably wind up living Release.


Chris January 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

I started choosing a word for the new year back in 2010 when I first read Christine’s idea. My words have been: “Unfurl” (as in wings or a sail), “Release”, “Leap”, “Fly”, and for 2014, I’m choosing “Soar.” After a couple of years I recognized the words were in sequence, each leading to the next. I couldn’t take a “leap” without having the courage to “release” my hold on whatever I was clinging to. I couldn’t “fly” without that “leap” of faith. “Soaring” seems to be the reminder to have fun — to enjoy the reward of the past years’ challenges. A friend’s dying uncle’s advice to her was to ‘enjoy the ride’. Well, I intend to soar this year and enjoy the ride.


Sally January 1, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Action-I have spent too many years accumulating things to craft with, but haven’t done much crafting. I was also just laid off from my job, so I now need to take “Action” to search for a new job. I need to take action with my health and start exercising. I need to take action with my Bible Studies, and actually commit to doing it every day.


susan in ct January 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm



Teresa January 1, 2014 at 11:36 pm

My ONE WORD for the year is SHINE. This was inspired by the verse Matthew 5:15 which says, “Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house.” It’s a reminder to me that I shine for God’s purpose and that the light comes from Him.


Stacey Pruim January 2, 2014 at 1:03 am


It’s not finished with me yet from this past year. I’m just starting to get in the groove with it, so we’re going to dance some more ;-)


VANESSA WILLIAMS January 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

My word(s) is Mindful/Mind Full


Tiffany January 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

The word that first came to me was “mastery,” but then after I did the tool I chose “order.” My life has been in shambles for a long time, and I often let my emotions get in the way of picking up the pieces. So this year I decided I am adding some needed order to my life.


Tiffany Reply:

And now that I think of it, “purposeful” is also coming to me. It’s time I started living my life purposefully and not passively.


Nancy January 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

BOLD – Yep, that’s it this year. Going Boldly into where this woman has not gone before. Living Wild and Free and Focused on what feels most authentic to me. And then, of course, supporting others in doing the same in their own way.


Melissa January 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm


I’ve been playing small for too long and doubting myself and my abilities to show up in a bigger way and help others achieve their goals in business and in life.

This year is about the inner transformations that need to take place for me to really BE the person I know I am.


Jenny Heston January 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I originally thought my word would be Prosperity or Blossom. Then I dug a little deeper, my word for 2014 is Affluent as it covers, ease, flow and Prosperity.


Karen Wagner January 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm



patrice January 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Discipline and growth are my two words


Amanda Young January 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm

CALM. For me it includes being more steady, confident, centered, reflective, focused. It also encourages me to slow down, plan, set intentions, focus on and prioritize myself, think before I act, reduce my voice, be more slow to react, do more yoga and embrace meditation. All things I’m excited to embrace in 2014. Thanks for introducing me to the concept of using one word to guide me.


Kootie January 5, 2014 at 9:40 am



Linda January 5, 2014 at 11:01 am

I love this word idea and I am choosing TRUST! I’m in the process of studying what that word really means for me and it is already affecting me greatly. I am also going to get my word TRUST put on a stone so that I can be reminded of this, see the link for custom stones for only $10!


DonaB January 6, 2014 at 1:03 am

My word for 2014 is RELEASE. I started in 2013 by releasing people and things who did not serve me well or kept me thinking I needed to play small. I will continue to RELEASE in 2014, starting with the need for perfection. I replace it with powerful, purposeful, prayerful and passionate…. Happy New Year everyone.


Marina @DailyMysticLiving January 6, 2014 at 9:21 am

My word for the year is “bold” as in “taking bold action” my way (and stepping out of hiding). It is about time! :-)


Cindy January 15, 2014 at 11:27 am

Expansion is my word for 2014. I’ve been noticing my thoughts more and then asking myself “is that an expansive thought, or a contractive thought?” This has really helped me shift, connect with The Divine (who is my higher source) and be open to what is available to me. Thanks for this exercise!


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