7 Tips on How to Ditch Bad Habits and Start Good Ones in the New Year

Habits, once formed, never go away. They are the outcome of old decisions, and they can be changed, but only through new decisions and choices. Habits aren’t necessarily bad; they make our lives easier and more predictable by removing the necessity of thinking about every detail of our daily existence. They let us execute our actions efficiently, freeing up our prefrontal cortex to express itself creatively and intellectually.

But sometimes bad habits can creep in and good habits can be so very difficult to cultivate. As we start out a new year with fresh resolutions, it seems the appropriate time to get advice on keeping those resolutions by forming healthy and productive habits.

Enter self-published Outskirts Press author Dr. Sylvie Heyman.

Although initially Dr. Heyman specialized in weight management and life style changes, she has expanded her area of expertise to other habits that affect body, mind and spirit. Here, she offers other writers and self-publishing authors like herself advice on how to stay on track in the new year. This information and much more is available in her book, Make It a HABIT!

How do habits form? A habit cue or trigger could be a specific time of day, a location, other people, emotions or other things that lead to a predictable response, or reward. With repetition, our responses to triggers become automatic and a habit is born. Motivation may get us started, but habit keeps us going.

If your resolution in the new year is to get published, Dr. Sylvie can help with these seven tips for identifying habits that might be holding you back, or establishing new ones that will move you forward:

  1. Be aware and mindful. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, right? Observe your habits, good and bad — write them down if that helps. Be honest with yourself about your habits, good and bad.
  2. Assess yourself. Ask yourself which habit you want to change or acquire first and why you want it. Think about how the habit you wish to change (or the one you wish to acquire) affects or will affect you and others.
  3. Be accountable. Share your habit change with someone. This makes you accountable for that change until you can ingrain new habits or break bad ones. Confide in another writer, a spouse, coworker or another reliable and honest confident.
  4. Make small changes, one at a time. Concentrate on establishing small habits until they become second nature, then move onto the next small change. If your habit is to get distracted when you’re supposed to be writing, first change the habit of turning on the TV or radio. Once you’ve broken that habit, move on to, say, writing for just 10 minutes straight to get the feel for focusing.
  5. Test your willpower — but not too much! When willpower is applied in small increments at a time, when you are energetic and ready to take on a little challenge, willpower becomes stronger. Practice willpower in small steps until it becomes a habit — until it’s automatic.
  6. Trick your triggers. Practice breaking the associations between bad habits and their triggers. The aforementioned habit of letting media distract you is a good example. Break the association between writing and watching TV by moving to a different room or chair during your writing session.
  7. Give it time. There are many theories about how long it takes to form or break a habit, ranging from a few weeks to years! Use 30 days as a guidepost, but know that some deeply ingrained habits will take much longer to break, and new habits without awareness, accountability and practice will take some time to take hold.


Want to learn more? In Make It a HABIT! Dr. Sylvie Heyman provides a different perspective on how habits can affect your body, mind and spirit. Through personal stories, case studies and a compilation of best practices for change, you can learn how to get rid of habits that are sabotaging your health, job, relationships and overall happiness.


Dr. Sylvie Heyman has extensive background in traditional and non- traditional healthcare practices and has incorporated health coaching in all her careers. She specialized in Obstetrics and later on headed the Open Heart Surgery Unit at prestigious St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic in 1989 and her degree in Acupuncture in 1998. She served 12 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Chiropractic College and delivered a Commencement address during that period. Dr. Heyman is a certified Feng Shui Consultant, a certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant (AFPA), a certified Senior Fitness Specialist (NASM) and Silver Sneakers Instructor.


Get spooky! Or rather, get spooky books!

Welcome to October! Ya’all know what that means: It’s time to get your spooky on! That’s right … it’s officially close enough to Halloween to break out the costumes and the candy and the books you’ll need to see you through this dark and stormy season. And you’re in luck! The Outskirts Press Bookstore is packed with great selections, both holiday-themed and holiday-free alike, that will enrich those long golden Fall afternoons and languorous evenings in your near future. From Fiction to Non-Fiction to Memoir to Children’s books, we’ve got you covered!

Here are a few selections which might interest you this October:

The Witch’s Revenge by Danny Odato

If you’re looking to transmute the spooky into something a little darker — something more in the horror fiction vein — then Danny Odato’s The Witch’s Revenge is probably your cup of tea. Set in the Latur district of Maharashtra, this story centers on the Nehra family, loving and traditional Hindus who just happen to find themselves at the center of a growing circle of fatal “accidents.” When they suffer their own tragic loss, Padma and Mohan Nehra seek help and a series of incidents unfold to carry them into a dark and uncertain future. Here’s a book that blends Indian tradition with suspense and horror — to produce a truly fascinating read perfect for the moody and broody October weather.


Daughter of Affliction: Fight Evil With Evil by Mark Barresi

No Halloween reading list would be complete without a dip into the truly dark, and Mark Barresi’s Daughter of Affliction is here to sate all of your spooky Halloween needs. The book takes us back to 1310, a time when armies flying banners of different faiths clashed on battlefields across Europe and the Middle East. Here, the Templars ride again to save a young Yorkshire woman from her own bloodline. But in the present day, separated from those events by seven centuries, a young woman goes missing and the cycle of violence seems set to begin again — and only the missing woman’s aunt and a retired police officer stand in its way. Truly riveting, Daughter of Affliction is bound to become many adult readers’ next Halloween favorite.


The Grey Witch & Other Stories by Diana Mitchell

We’ve covered children’s picture books as well as adult fiction and nonfiction in this collection, and here’s the perfect book of juvenile fiction to round out the bunch! Diana Mitchell’s The Grey Witch & Other Stories sets up a fantastical world where whatever can happen often does. And in this world lives the Grey Witch, with the power to transform toys into real creatures although not always with predictable results! She accidentally turns her cat blue, sends the Coast Guard into complete confusion, and her fellow witches don’t … quite … know what to do with her. But then, that makes for a delightful kid-friendly Halloween read, which is exactly what we need right now!


Ghosts of Mayflower & Ghosts of Mayflower II: Pennhurst by Tamera Lawrence

Do you believe in ghosts? In the 1980s, the Pennhurst State School and Mental Hospital was shut down due to resident abuse. Fast forward twenty-five years, and the Mayflower building hosts a number of resident ghosts. Author Tamera Lawrence, an orderly working on the grounds, documents many of these hauntings — ones that she has experienced personally as well as those experienced by others — and traces the history of what is now known as Pennhurst Asylum. This book holds a lot of cross-genre appeal and is sure to be a hit with lovers of both memoir and the paranormal. Lawrence leads her readers on a thrilling journey of discovery, documentation, and brushes with forces that defy human understanding — and her books, Ghosts of Mayflower and Ghosts of Mayflower II: Pennhurst make the perfect platform to launch your Halloween reads in October!


Martinka: “Thru Eyes of Rem…” (First Narrative) by Martina Potucek-Palladino

When it comes to life, Martinka doesn’t have it all that easy. She doesn’t seem to be aging quite right, and she doesn’t seem entirely … well, mortal … and her mother happens to be somewhat demonic. There’s at least one thing Martinka does have a handle on, and that’s irony! After all, she’s made it her career to eradicate all that’s evil and demonic in the world. You can imagine that’s not going to be an easy task, especially once her mother and a potential love interest arrive on the scene. If you’re looking for a fantastic trip down paranormal lane, Martina Potucek-Palladino’s book may just be your perfect match. We have our fingers crossed for a sequel!


Maggie: Trick or Treat by L.S. Davis

No Halloween would be complete without a great picture book for young readers, and L.S. Davis delivers in his whimsical and delightful Maggie: Trick or Treat. This makes for Maggie’s third appearance — Maggie and MAGGIE are both available through the Outskirts Press bookstore but are not holiday-themed — and she just gets more and more interesting with each book! After all, who can’t relate to a little girl with a big appetite for food and for life? That’s right, nobody! Especially during the holiday season, what with all those pumpkin spice lattes and pies and whatnot!

There’s always something exciting happening in the Outskirts Press Bookstore as new items are added on a daily basis. You can find all of the titles we’ve mentioned here today, and more, for sale online in our store. And if you haven’t yet published a book yourself, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com where you can chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657.

Top “World Animal Remembrance” Books

Tomorrow kicks off World Animal Remembrance Month on September 1st, a time to pay tribute to, and honor, our passed animal loved ones. Yesterday’s post introduced two Outskirts Press EVVY-Award-winning authors for whom this is a subject near and dear to their hearts.  Congratulations, Marie-Yolaine Williams and Ellen Freeman!   This coming Saturday and Sunday we will interview each of them on this blog, respectively.

Both authors are donating a portion of their royalties to the animal care organizations of their choice.  And Outskirts Press has donated $1000 to the Denver chapter of the Dumb Friends League. If you wish to donate, you can see more details here.

Outskirts Press loves animals, and so do our authors! Today we recognize a dozen more Outskirts Press books that honor and pay tribute to our animal friends in recognition of World Animal Remembrance Month:

Join Outskirts Press in celebrating World Animal Remembrance Month

September is World Animal Remembrance Month, a time for all of us to remember and honor the memory of our passed animal friends. As human beings, we have an obligation to respect and care for all animals on our planet; and as authors, we have the special ability to pay tribute to our furry (and sometimes not-so-furry) friends through the written word.

Outskirts Press authors are a particularly animal-loving bunch, as demonstrated by two of our recent 1st-Place winners in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards.

Ellen Deery Freeman, author of 1st-Place EVVY Winner Just George, has rescued countless animals over the years, including a woodpecker, several mockingbirds, possum, and even a baby deer. As a retired science teacher, her classroom always housed live animals, including snakes. Just George is the true story of a injured dog Ellen and her husband, Buddy, rescued from the side of a highway and his struggles to overcome fears brought on by past abuse as he searches for his “forever home.”  Ms. Freeman is donating 10% of the profit from Just George to the current management at Hampton County Animal Shelter in Varnville, South Carolina. Join us this coming Sunday on this blog as we interview Ms. Freeman.

Marie-Yolaine Williams, author of 1st-Place Winner Old Dog, New Tricks, owns two senior dogs, Fenster and Keaton, both of whom were rescued. She wrote the Shelter Dog Series in hopes that it will encourage people to adopt dogs from shelters and consider dogs that are frequently overlooked by adopters. Join us as we interview Ms. Williams this coming Saturday on this blog.

Not only is Old Dog, New Tricks a heart-warming children’s “tail” with an important message, but Ms. Williams shares valuable information about how young readers (and their parents) can become more responsible, animal-loving occupants on our planet with this short excerpt:

How You Can Help

  1. Encourage your parents to adopt a dog or a cat from a shelter instead of going to a breeder or a pet store.
  2. If your family decides to adopt a dog or a cat, consider an older “forever friend.” They make wonderful companions!
  3. If it’s not the right time to adopt, ask your parents to foster an animal. Fostering pets provides temporary homes for pets while they wait for permanent adoption, and that saves lives!
  4. There are other ways to help, too. Consider sponsoring a dog or cat that is in a shelter. Shelters need money for food, health care, and beds.   Contact your local shelter and find out how you can help.

Marie-Yolaine Williams is also donating a percentage of her royalties for Old Dog, New Tricks, in this case to Lifeline Animal Project and Susie’s Senior Dogs, an organization that provides exposure to older dogs in shelters looking for their forever homes.

Join us tomorrow for a listing of the Top “Animal Remembrance” books from Outskirts Press in recognition of World Animal Remembrance Month in September. And join Ellen Deery Freeman, Marie-Yolaine Williams, and Outskirts Press in donating to the animal cause of your choice.

Our goal is $5000. To kick us off, Outskirts Press has donated $1000…

Celebrate Earth Day with these Great Books!

Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips
An easy guide book using a safer alternative, natural silica mineral, food grade insecticide.
Tui Rose RN

Climate Change Reversal
Restoring Earth for Future Generation.
Klaus H. Hemsath

Mother Earth
Connecting to the beauty of nature and our responsibility to Mother Earth and mankind!
Joesph J Corso

The Planeterian Principles
The Word Sequence for Uniting the People of the Planet Earth.
C Anthony Walk

Plentiful and Sustainable Energies Forever
Rescuing Earth from Overheating.
Klaus H. Hemsath

A Long Green Journey
Self-Building a Log Cabin
Douglas Maples

The Unified Cycle Theory
How Cycles Dominate the Structure of the Universe and Influence Life on Earth.
Stephen J. Puetz

The Adventure of Grassie Green in the Colored Worlds Book 1
The Flower Country and the Green World
Steven Rox

Children Go Green
Bus trip to Little Stars Elementary.
Monica Goldstein

Fence Row Gardening
Green Guide For Wise Use Of Forgotten Soil.
Paul R. Smith

Get Your Book in Front of 40 Million Readers!

At Outskirts Press, our marketing gurus help authors promote (and sell!) their books with a variety of promotional tools. The Goodreads Marketing Campaign is one of our most popular options. And in the month of April, we’re offering authors a 10% discount to instantly connect them to this huge group of loyal readers through an author profile and a targeted ad.

Imagine…your book reaching the 40 million dedicated book-lovers in the Goodreads community! With more than 300 million page views and 45 million visitors a month, Goodreads is a platform authors need to reach. Goodreads members are affluent and educated and highly engaged. They’re searching for new books and talking about what they’re reading with friends.

Why not join the conversation? With your targeted ad, these passionate readers could be talking about your new book!

When you sign up for the Goodreads Marketing Campaign, you receive a 30-minute consult with a marketing expert to set up your Goodreads Author Profile. Your consultant will show you how to connect with the right readers —  and more of them —  and help you set up a book giveaway to engage readers, generate awareness, and encourage reviews for your book.

Your consultant will also create a “per-click” ad on Goodreads to target your audience by genre, location, gender, or age. You set your own per-click rate between $0.50 and $2.00, based on your budget. Important stats will tell you how effective your ad is by measuring views, clicks, and the number of Goodreads members who’ve added your book to their collections.

April is the perfect month to get your book out there, networking with over 40 million people. Plus, you save 10%! Just enter the promo code of GoodReadApril16 to receive your discount. Then, your Goodreads consultant will contact you and you’ll be on your way reaping the rewards of your book’s new buzz.

Click here to get started and see all that Goodreads can do for you!

Click to order


Top 10 Holiday Books

In the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, we mark this occasion with a selection of significant works from self-publishing authors. Whether for you, or a last minute gift, there’s something for everyone in these Top 10 Books to commemorate the Holidays.

Do you have a compelling holiday story to tell? Let Outskirts Press show you how to share your story with the world!

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