It’s February 2nd today. How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

If they’ve taken root, Congrats! 

If not, and you find yourself avoiding what you declared you wanted, not to worry. I have you covered with two new approaches to try, a ritual to join, and a podcast to listen to.

Instead of resolutions, I declare a Word of the Year to set the direction, tone, and feel for the year ahead (here’s a worksheet I designed to help you).

This Word of the Year idea isn’t new, but I gravitated to it because I struggled like everyone else to gain traction; only to end up beating myself up, feeling lousy, and losing momentum. The opposite to how I wanted to start out a fresh year.

How you want to feel this year is as important as what you’d like to accomplish. 

Feeling your feelings (as discussed in January) is one of your superpowers as a human.

Choosing how you’d like to feel sets the stage for your aspirations, plans, and goals – providing guardrails if you begin to go off track.

Choosing a feeling state also goes hand-in-hand with your Word of the Year.

My Word of the Year for 2023 is, “No.”

“No” makes me feel confident and powerful.

“No” reminds me that I have a choice and that feels freeing.

“No” will move me into action towards what I really long for this year, and that makes 2023 feel ripe with possibility. 

What ‘One Word’ will guide you toward how you want to feel in 2023?

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Increase Your Progress (and Happiness)

We like to feel we’re in the flow, moving forward. No one likes falling behind.

Turning and facing into what you either fear or long for is an essential practice to living life on purpose.

Yet, it can provoke anxiety and doubt, which is why choosing how you want to feel in the months ahead is critical.

When you’re not feeling good about where you’re at or how you’re doing, it’s common to fall into comparison thinking. This leads to a downward spiral that zaps your energy and mood – making your goals seem out of reach.

Here’s a useful concept by coach and author, Dan Sullivan: The Gap or The Gain.

The concept is that you are more successful when you measure your current progress against your previous self, not against others.

You fall into The Gap when you judge yourself from what you’ve accomplished to your ideal and end up feeling badly for not being farther along.

The Gain is when you choose to focus from where you started to where you are now, to what you’ve accomplished so you can feel motivated and proud.

You’re better off when you look ahead, and measure backwards! 

Share your Word of the Year with me or tell me about how focusing on The Gain is helping you. I love hearing from readers like you!


ABOUT THE CREATOR OF The Leadership Pause

I’m Dr. Chris Johnson, psychologist, executive coach and author of The Leadership Pause: Sharpen Your Attention, Deepen Your Presence and Navigate the Future available on Barnes & Noble, Bookshelf, and Amazon

I draw from the book content in crafting Calm the Chaos for Busy Professionals, on online course, and Are You Willing to Go First: Conversational Keys to Leadership Success, two of my popular course offers.

Rhythm Ritual Workout: What if you took an hour to clear out space in your head and heart to connect with yourself, your clients, and your projects? Can you imagine?! It all starts with a 60-minute guided pause I call The Rhythm RitualThe Rhythm Ritual workout follows a consistent flow of 8 strategic actions to promote your well-being and work-life integration success. Join here for these 6 free workout sessions, my give back to this community.

I publish The Leadership Pause newsletter bi-weekly on LinkedIn. If you’re not already subscribed, click the Subscribe button to follow me too!

#consciousleadership #resilience #pause #mindset #practice


For more information, contact me by email:, or visit my website  Q4 Consulting (

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