Happy New Month! My Year of New Month's Resolutions

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

 Instead of New Year's Resolutions, I'm trying New Month's Resolutions. Adding one smaller habit each month is easier that making a huge change.  


Have you heard of the practice of choosing a guiding word for the year? The topic came up in a Facebook entrepreneur group that I belong to. I decided to choose my own guiding word for 2016. So, like any sensible girl does before embarking on something new, I googled. I found an intriguing list of suggested words for a one word mantra in a blog

I wanted a word that would apply to multiple facets of my life. The words Abundance, Balance, Create, Grow, and Harmony were all contenders. After a few days of pondering, I decided that my guiding word for 2016 is “Create”. My goal is to mindfully create the life, business and relationships that I want in 2016.


These are the questions I’m asking myself as I’m making decisions:

  • What steps should I take to create the life / business / relationships that I want?
  • Will what I’m doing right now create the life / business / relationships that I want?

WORKING 7 TO 7 (It's No Way to Make a Living)*

 *I just dated myself with that little headline. If you know the song I’m referring to, you’re probably at least 35 years old. (HINT: Dolly Parton). Oh my god, I just listened to the whole "9 to 5" song on YouTube. Total 80s flashback. So good. Give it a listen, and then come back to me. 

I work. A lot. Like, from 7 AM-7 PM most days. I tumble out of bed, and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition. (Yes, those are lyrics from “9 to 5”. Sorry. I’ll stop with the Dolly Parton references for now). I love what I’m doing, and it doesn’t feel like work most of the time. I mean, part of my job is pinning pretty things to Pinterest boards. Friends, that’s what I call a good job. 

So I work work work work work. Until it’s about 7:30 at night, and I’ve pushed beyond what my brain is capable of. And then I just crash. At my worst, I snap at my husband, snap at the dogs, and/or cry. But more typically, I pour a big glass of red wine and go watch "The Real Housewives of the OC". So I said to myself, “Self, is the life you’d like to create for yourself in 2016?” And I said to myself “Well, I do love red wine and reality TV shows. But I'd also like more balance in my life." 


I’ve been noodling on how to work less since I started my Etsy shop Gems by Kelley in 2013. I haven’t been successful at working less. If anything, I work more. I love almost  everything about making and selling my handmade jewelry. Being an entrepreneur is a joy.  And I’m extremely driven to be successful. That combo makes it hard to clock out for the day.  

But this morning while my mind was drifting during meditation, I had what Oprah would call an “Aha! Moment”.

I had already planned to add on one healthy habit per month in 2016. I started with meditation in late November 2015. My idea is to keep the healthy habits from the previous months, while layering on a new habit the next month. I’m calling it Habit Layering.

While I was distracted by my busy brain during meditation, I decided that my February habit will be reading. Reading for 30 minutes a day, timer set, no interruptions. My March or April habit will be walking.

Then I had my epiphany. Deciding just to clock out 30-60 minutes earlier didn’t work for me. Instead, I would naturally work less by adding healthier habits to my day. I’m meditating, which takes about 20 minutes from my work day. I’ll be reading, which will take 30 minutes from my work day. Walking will take another 30 minutes from my work day. AHA! I’m so relieved to have a plan.

Will it work? Stay tuned. I’ll post updates in my blog about my Habit Layering throughout the year.

Do you have a guiding word for 2016? Are you trying to add any new healthy habits this year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you'd like to join me in my Happy New Month Habit Layering, I'd love that! 

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