5 Simple Steps to Create a New Habit that Sticks

Hello Lovely,

I hope you guys haven't broken any of your resolutions yet. If you haven't started yet, or you're having problems making your new habits stick. check out this new post! 

Good habits are the backbone of success. How can you create positive, new habits easily? In many ways, this is a question for the ages. And here’s a great little answer.

1. Do set a goal.

Your goal will determine which habits you create. It sets the stage for everything that follows. Be specific. If your goal is related to saving money, then get clear. I want to save $5000 this year. Choose a number that works for you.

Weight loss, getting organized, learning to be at peace – all these goals can work.

I want to lose 30 pounds this year.
I want to live in a clean, organized office.
I want to feel calm throughout the day.

Good goals. And they all need daily habits to support them. So…

2. Determine which daily habits will take you there.

With your goal in mind, choose a habit that, if implemented successfully, will get you to your goal.

You may want to develop the habits of depositing money into savings, meditating, taking a daily walk, eating vegetables, and so forth. You can choose as many habits as you want, but it’s best to implement one or two new habits at a time, according my experience working with clients.

3. Trick your brain into cooperating.

This is the interesting part. You know, it’s easy to be motivated – initially – when starting a new goal. You’re all pumped up. A few days (or hours) later, all bets are off. Motivation tanks and you just don’t feel like hopping on that elliptical machine, right?

You’ve got to find a way to get yourself to be consistent. Here’s the solution: Make it super easy on yourself to get started. 

The key is to bite off a tiny chunk of your habit and do that. For example, if your habit involves 30 minutes exercising on a treadmill, the tiny version might be simply standing on the treadmill of a few seconds. Just go stand on top of the thing and celebrate getting there!

Once you’re there, chances are you’ll take a few steps…and a few more. The biggest obstacle in the way of habit formation is getting started, each and every day. Make it easy on your brain to get going by committing to a small chunk, not a large one. Momentum tends to kick in once you get going.

4. Celebrate your tiny successes.

Yep, allow yourself to feel good just for getting started on a habit, each and every time you begin. Don’t wait until the end to pump your fist or pat yourself on the back. Celebrate the tiny success of doing anything positive. This will fuel your motivation and encourage consistency.

5. Scale up.

Achieving a big goal may require several new habits. Take them one at a time. Once one habit is solid, add another one, then another. You can build a nice group of habits fairly quickly this way.

Which of these tips do you find most helpful? Sound off in the comment section below!


Olivia's Love Letters: We Need a Resolution!

Huzzah! We have just completed the first full week of 2016, everyone! Give yourself a pat on the back! You made it! We're wrapping up resolution week on the blog and I hope you guys got some inspiration for what your New Years resolutions will or even completed some aspect of it! My blog journal is full of fresh new ideas for the year for lifebyolivia.net and I can't wait to share them all with you! I'm more motivated than ever to make this the best year yet. If your New Year’s resolutions include stepping up your fitness routine, maintaining a balanced diet, reading more, trying new recipes or hair routines, eating out more, or revamping your wardrobe, you might want to keep reading…

This month on the blog you can expect to hear all about health and wellness. From workouts that you can do on your lunch break to learning the best toning moves for your whole body, I can already tell that this year is going to be a healthy one. A new year calls for a new wardrobe, right? I have a fresh batch of January style tips to share with you as well as a dedication to sewing more! 

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss out on all of this goodness…

What would you like to see more of on the blog this year? 

Share your thoughts in the comments!



After You: Book Club Begins Monday January 18!

After You Book Club for January

Hosted by Life By Olivia

Click on photo to download your free copy of this novel!

Click on photo to download your free copy of this novel!

Last night I finished reading the prequel to this book, Me Before You and I was in tears! I picked it up because it was on a list of books to read before you die. It is so well written and really made me feel connected with each of the characters. If you would like to read the first book before we start the second, download your free copy here and STOP READING THIS POST because I'm about to share the synopsis from Goodreads and it contains MAJOR SPOILERS!

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.

If you would like to join in, you’re welcome to do so!  It will be great to share our ideas and reactions every week. On Sunday's we'll gather on my Facebook page to discuss the assigned readings and our predictions for what we think will happen the following week. If reading more was on your list of resolutions, now is the perfect time to start! Here’s the schedule of what we’re reading and when, but if you can’t stick to that, no problem, you can always catch up later or move on if we're going too slow. It's a short book so we should be able to finish in four weeks or less.

Week 1: Chapters 1 - 7

Week 2: Chapters 8 - 15

Week 3: Chapters 16 - 22

Week 4: Chapters 23- 30

Very excited to start reading soon!  Are you joining us?

Thanks for reading,


The Only New Years Resolution You Need to Make

It's a new year and for many people, it's the first day back to work or school. This is usually the time when people become chronic list makers, especially ones filled with New Years resolutions that never get completed. I'm bad at making lists of things because I either forget to write it down, lose the object I wrote it on, forget to look at it after writing it or forget to tick it off that it's completed.

But no matter what your plan for the new year is, remember, the sooner you start, the sooner those dreams will come true!

Right-click and save image to download. It is an 8.5 x 11 photo. You can print it smaller to fit your jar size.

Right-click and save image to download. It is an 8.5 x 11 photo. You can print it smaller to fit your jar size.

For those who may be new to my Motivation Mondays, here’s a little run-down of how it works:

I usually share something I heard either in church or read somewhere that I found to be inspiring and think you would be inspired by. This could come in essay form of photo. This time, it's a plan, with a free printable. 

The best way to make sure you don’t miss a week, is to stay connected through my email mailing list. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so right here:

So how are we doing this?!


This year, instead of making an endless list of how you plan on making 2016 THE year, try making a memory jar. It's one of the easiest things to do. I wanted to do this last year, but of course forgot. Maybe by putting it out on my blog, I'll have something to hold myself accountable on. Instead of relying on Facebook to remind you of your greatest memories for the year, cherish all of your memories, big or small, especially the teensy things that tend to get forgotten.

You can keep a canning jar on the kitchen counter with a stack of colourful paper and a marker. Every few days, jot down something that made you laugh or smile. On New Year’s Eve, I’ll be emptying out the jar, unfolding each paper and reading them one by one.

Next year, a new jar will begin again — and the best part is we can bring out past jars any time to remember the little things that shaped our lives. You'll be surprised by how much positivity you can find in your life once you start this journey!