My Word-of-the-Year for 2014 was “Within.”

I’m a lifetime learner. That means I take in and filter vast amounts of information and wisdom from people, perspectives and experiences – plus expand myself, my soul and my business using many levels of support and expertise.

AND, at the beginning of last year, I knew it was time to tap into the depth of my own wisdom, especially as UPLEVEL YOU continued to grow and impact the businesses, wealth and lives of so many people.

So, here are the top 5 lessons that “WITHIN” taught me throughout the year…

Lesson #1: Occupy Yourself. (This is non-negotiable.)

The more successful I get, the harder this lesson becomes — and the more imperative that I live it fully.

You simply can’t lead a business effectively and be only partially in your body — or worse, perpetually ruminating in your head.

I mean, think about how easily (or not) you can be pushed away from yourself. An opinion, a “should,” a self-righteous accusatory email, a “more important” person criticizing your process… how quickly does your soul jump ship?

I, for one, can bolt in an instant. In those times, no one is occupying the space of my body. When I finally do get present, I require myself to stop and “clean myself up.”

I teach a process to my Uplevel Academy™ clients called Clean Selling™, which helps you clean up any of your ego “gunk” when you are about to engage in any kind of sales conversation. I also use a process called Clean Coaching, too. Same basic idea.

I’m beginning to see that business owners need do this same kind of work and occupy our bodies on a daily basis.

Lesson #2: Your Commitment is Step One. Everything else follows.

I released a new program in 2014.

It was called Becoming 360. Becoming 360 teaches entrepreneurs how to master the alchemy of business and soul. It was our most successful product launch to date.

I was scared to even release the idea of the program. I hmm’d and hawed when I shared the ideas with my team. I toyed with how best to lay it out. I hardly told anyone about this program idea.


Until I COMMITTED to a release date.

Your commitment begins everything. Our suffering comes when we don’t decide, when we toy with ideas, when we half-ass what we supposedly “want” to do.

But set a deadline, take an action, make a promise? Then you get courage (and everything else you had been previously waiting for). Action teaches confidence. I learn something about this EVERY year… but in 2014 it was particularly big because – up until this year – I’ve always taught the “soul” side of business only to my upper level clients. In 2014, I blasted the doors open on this all-too-important work – and it all started with committing to it and moving forward.

Lesson #3: The Meaning You Give to a Circumstance is the Only One that Matters

Don’t let the name “entrepreneur” fool you into believing that it’s all just left-brain strategic business owner identity. Many business owners I know have teams that include energy healers, tarologists, numerologists, astrologists and happiness coaches.

All well and good. But my warning is always this:

Allow no expert to tell you what your circumstances mean. Not even the most enlightened shaman, blessed by the Dalai Lama himself. In other words, use your coaches and guides to make YOU more powerful, not to give you a daily temperature reading on the state of your soul. Only you can determine that.

Because of the work I do, I’ve had psychics and healers in my audiences, some of whom who have gone out of their way to tell me the various things that ail my chakras or loom on the horizon for me… or even the state of my soul’s path.

“Within” has taught me that I’m the alchemist here. I’m the power point. I’m the one who chooses the meaning of the circumstances in my business, body or life. I use coaches and experts for perspective and solutions. Not for translations.

Lesson #4: When You Do Choose a Meaning, Make it Future-Based

The best way to translate any circumstance is to ask, “How is this expanding me?”

In other words: What have I intended to unfold in my future?   How is this circumstance helping me become more aligned with that intention?

Many times, the worst stuff that happens is a direct result of the fact that you set the intention for it to happen. (You were just hoping it wouldn’t be this uncomfortable!)

Lesson #5: Creating and Claiming a Clear Vision is Surprisingly Difficult

I used to be a professional songwriter. Now I run a company. I lead a team of 8 (soon to be 9) people. Those people need a vision to lead them. Not just me saying, “Man, I don’t know. We’ll figure it out when we get there.” (Yes, I’m fairly good at doing exactly that.)

To create a clear vision is to choose. To choose is the ultimate abundance mindset. “I choose this, not that.” Leaving “that” behind is uncomfortable. It’s choosing to forgo the other exciting possible options in favor of trusting your wisdom, intuition and decision.

Scarcity mindset says, “OMG! You can’t just eliminate these other possibilities! Leave options open for pete’s sake!”

Yes, you need to be flexible. But a business runs better when there is a clear vision – and a core set of real values to guide the way. This year, I created that vision and those values and used them to lead my team each and every day.   I did not perfect this process by any stretch of the imagination. But it expanded me, and for that I’m grateful.

Care to share with me one of your Word of the Year lessons from 2014? Leave it in the comments. I’d love to hear how you expanded!


  • Chelsia Berry

    My word of the year was responsibility. I have a huge issue with this word because I want to avoid being responsible for the outcome of anything. I play out experiences of the failure choosing to believe things couldn’t turn out right due to my involvement. I want to make more happen in my life. And choosing responsibility means that I am in charge. Every assignment/situation that comes my way, I have the final say. I think responsibility was my word for 2013 & 2014 but I needed it to be. This year I’m choosing Commitment. I Commit to bring about the success I want in my life.

  • Ang


  • Sarah Schwab

    I absolutely love the word of the year. In 2014 my word was “Upgrade.” It was about things in my business as well as my personal life, and even my mindset. I have a history of being a “frugal” person, which I perceived as a strength, but sometimes ends up just being stingy and ungenerous (especially with myself). I wanted to embrace abundance and allow myself to “upgrade” things in my life that would make a difference to the way my family and I live and how I work in my business. It was a truly powerful year, and one of the most surprising outcomes from this was that I came to truly appreciate my husband more. He has a much more “abundant” mindset than I do, which used to aggravate me at times. He is an excellent balance and role model for me, and this year was wonderful, both entrepreneurially as well as personally.

  • Lawrence

    My word for 2014 was “enlighten”- I thought the “lighten” part would help with the weight loss part I was working on with the 2013 “release” I had picked which was the first year I tried your word for the year. I ended up quitting smoking, after 45 years ( pretty enlightened, I’d say) and increasing my yoga and ZUMBA classes to three each per week. Also gave up dairy and wheat. As in the previous year, completely unexpected results. I share your blog now each year at New Years as an alternative to resolutions, I’m so convinced of its efficacy. I’m going back to release again for 2015, I had such success with it losing weight in 2013, I want to give it another try. Thank you.

  • Nas

    I am completely new to your blog, your teachings, and the Word of the Yesr concept. I came across your blog on January 1 of this year, which was great timing to pick my word. I have been second guessing myself and stalling to make my dreams come true. But since it is my intention to make 2015 THE year that I will manifest it all, and for that I will need great commitment first and foremost, I chose the word COMMITMENT.

  • Trevor

    No word for last year, but this year’s new word is Zero. Becoming the state of Zero is a state, which can’t be destroyed. Zero always has been and will always be. There is no beginning and no end to Zero, Zero just always is. Zero cost less than the pain of being more, or less than Zero. Being Zero falls into the middle of everything. Zero is of the least; therefore it offers the most. Being Zero contains no preconceived thought; therefore, becomes Divine inspiration. My new word for the year is ZERO.

  • Nancy Willard

    My chosen word is “breakthrough.” I have spent the last several years working on a powerfully positive approach to address the concerns of bullying and other social cruelty in schools (what schools are doing is not working).

    I am about to release some new materials — including a free student learning program, called Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand, along with professional development resources I hope schools will pay for. I really need and want to achieve breakthrough in receiving just compensation for my work.

  • WAYS

    My word for 2014 is “Universe”, i learned to have faith in universe. I have a goal and after i plan for it, and have faith that its happening, i leave it to universe to make it true smoothly. It is happening to me all the way.

  • Monique

    Love the word of the year! My word for 2014 was ALLOW. I chose that in order to allow myself to be myself, to simply let myself be. And that is exactly what happened. I felt myself release resistance and open to the endless opportunites that were coming my way. And example: I now respond to emails from prospective clients the same day, instead of days or weeks later as I used to do. I take imperfect action quickly: this is what allowing means to me.

  • Shira Flam

    My word of the year was wealth. And many times things unfolded to give me more payment than the agreed price along with beautiful acknowledgement. Money flowed in unexpectedly. Exciting opportunities are coming to me on a regular basis. Even if I didn’t reach my specific number, I see my business is coming into focus, and developing more and more and this is HUGE! At times it is scary, and at other times it is quite wonderful. It’s great to see that I am growing in the process!

  • Sandra

    My word of the year 2014 was a slightly different kind of word. It was “naughty”. I wanted to stop hiding and always fitting in but start having more fun being myself and making my own decisions, sometimes stubborn like a naughty child. And often it worked.

  • Rachel

    Last year my word was ATTENTION. I used it to notice my energy levels doing seeing being difficult things & spaces. Learned a lot.
    This year
    , my word is SPROUT. As with last year, I wasn’t certain at the beginning, but it got clearer as I went along.

    1 I planted many “seeds” in2014. Curious to see what grows. 2 I recently went back to being a vegetarian. Also… The word makes me smile.

    • Rachel

      Different. Not difficult. 😊

  • Donna Cooper

    2014 was the first year I had a word of the year. I chose “stretch.” I stretched professionally, mentally and physically–took ownership of my website, started a Facebook business page, learned how to use my new Mac, delved into Photoshop, dipped my toes into Pinterest, and enjoyed new creative avenues. Physically, I increased my daily and weekly yoga practices, biked whenever I could, and simply stayed active. All told, it was a very successful word for me.

    2015 arrived with no inspiration for my 2015 word. I went back to the Discovery Tool and realized I needed to focus on my previous year’s accomplishments. It was that simple: Focus is my word for 2015.

  • Pete Cossaboon

    My word for 2014 was Faith. I decided to do everything I felt a clear inspiration to do and not ask how I was going to afford it, have the time for, or have the skills or tools to accomplish. It was an amazing year where I have learned to stand in my own power and not seek the opinion of others as to my worth. I have also started two new ventures and now know where my path is leading. Amazing money, people, opportunities, and new learning has come to me this past year and I am excited to expand in to 2015. Thank you Christine!

  • Nozomi

    Thank you for this post, Christine! It hit home. I love the word-of-the-year. It’s helped me tremendously this year. My word for 2014 was “focus.” I chose this word because as a new entrepreneur it’s natural to get distracted by all the information out there and forget what really is important now. I also wanted to keep my focus on myself and my business because I easily get into the “ugh, so-and-so is doing so much better than I am. What have I been doing? Why can’t I be and do things like her? ” place. In 2014, I had one main focus and that was putting myself out there and sharing my voice. I did that in a form of blogging and speaking. I published every single week and that led to 54 posts in 2014, speaking at a corporate HQ, national conference, being on a radio show, workshop at a business school and more. I’ve landed a corporate client that if you asked me a year ago I never thought would happen. I feel like I’ve lifted my glass ceiling I’ve set over myself and finally see the abundant possibilities! Very exciting! 🙂

  • Dorothy Suter

    My word for 2015 is “delight.” I had not heard of this practice in 2014, but I am excited to see how delight unfolds for me this year. It encompasses so much of what I want to be, do, and have.

    I’d have to say that 2014 was about transforming and learning gratitude. Before then, although I knew intellectually that I was responsible for my results, when my boyfriend broke up with me, and I lost my job, I had to really confront what I was doing — and more importantly, who I was being — that produced those results. I learned that my soul never gives me a circumstance that is “bad” for me, and I saw it as a signal that neither of those were my true path.

    I am now starting my own coaching business encompassing both marketing strategy and Law of Attraction/Mindset, and I have learned tons about both this past year.

    And, I know that my future holds a calling for making Mindset and Law of Attraction principles available worldwide, especially in those countries experiencing oppression and poverty. I feel that this is the underlying commitment that is driving all I do for myself and my business.

  • Corinne

    My word for 2014 was “evolve”. It spoke to me because it only contains the letters of the word love and it seems that that is the way we grow. There usually is not one event, or one idea or one circumstance that points out the ultimate direction of our lives. If you allow life to evolve and realign with love, I think you’ll reach your goals.

  • Greta Hillin

    My word for last year was fearlessness. It guided some very difficult decisions with which I was faced during the year. One of the biggest lessons I learned from partnering with fearlessness was:
    Being fearless does not mean charging head-long into situations. It means being willing to stop, to listen to that still, small voice inside that guides me well, and when I do make the decisions, they are made with intention and the belief in my own abilities.

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