Jan 20


Jennifer Minar

Jennifer Minar

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Whether you want a fitter body, a calmer mind, a raise at work, or a more prolific writing career, there's no more popular time than now to make ... ... But how do you keep from fal


Whether you want a fitter body,BABY STEPS; AWESOME RESULTS! Articles a calmer mind, a raise at work, or a more prolific writing career, there's no more popular time than now to make life-changing resolutions. But how do you keep from falling short of your goals at the end of the year? You may want to try Kaizen, the Japanese art of making changes so small they may sound absurd.

The Kaizen concept is concerned with gradual improvement in the processes involved in attaining a particular goal. It's a slower process than which we are accustomed, but has been shown to make our results longer lasting.

For example, a dieter who wants to lose thirty pounds this year could begin by committing to exercise ten additional minutes a day. Someone who wants to improve his financial situation would do well to commit to saving an extra $10 each week. According to Kaizen, these changes, though relatively small, add up--and because they're easily attainable, you are much more likely to stick to your goals.

"It is the magic key to getting where you want," Joanne Mansell, founder of Australia-based Kaizen Coaching, told Writer's Break. "Kaizen is to your life what compound interest is to your finances."

Would you like to write a novel's first draft by next December but have trouble devoting time each day to reaching your goal? Are you intent on selling more articles in 2004? If so, here are a few incremental changes you may want to consider:

- Add ten-minutes of writing time to each day. For example, if you normally write thirty-minutes a day, write for forty. If you write zero presently, write ten.

- Research one new market each week.

- Read half of a writing-related article each day.

- Spend 15 more minutes a week networking.

- Brainstorm article ideas for 5 minutes a day.

- Each day, read two paragraphs from that writing book you just bought.

- Write one additional chapter of your novel-in-progress each week.

- Spend ten minutes a day cleaning your writing area and organizing your files.

You may want to try a few of these, or think of changes that better fit your needs. The idea is to think big but to start small. You're full of optimism right now and you're setting big goals, but don't lose perspective. Your life will become busy and it's all too easy to place your goals on the backburner where you will not think of them again for days, weeks, or even months. The idea is to begin implementing them now, in small increments.

Once you find these small commitments have become a habit, you may want to implement small increases. Ten minutes may be traded up for fifteen, one chapter may become two. Just remember, little things will add up and morph into bigger things.

Here's to accomplishing big things in 2004, little by little.