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“There’s a hard work alternative to the magic lottery, one in which you can incrementally lay the groundwork …” Seth Godin

I chose incremental after I told my son, “I’ve never in my life done anything incrementally.”

This year seemed like a good time to start.

Especially after decades of frenzied writing, exercise, organizing closets and cabinets, you name it, followed by nothing – a month or two or three of what our daughter calls the ploms (poor little ‘ole mes).

I’d wear myself out, which is a surefire way to end up feeling sorry for myself, especially when the whirlwind of work doesn’t instantly produce a book deal, the loss of 13 pounds, or a home that’s in perfect order.

I looked forward to the day I’d settle down and practice daily action that adds up to big goals.

Incremental living is turning out to be easier than I thought, probably because I’ve gotten help at every hang-up. God works like that, you know. When we seriously commit to a lifestyle change, he opens floodgates or at least a spigot depending on what we can handle, and change seems possible, even probable.

Jeff Goins’ blog post confirms that when our writing shows up everywhere, it’s more about the habit of writing daily than one post going viral. He walks writers through an incremental series called 15 Habits of Great Writers. It’d be good for anyone who wants to accomplish anything. Just commit an hour of your day for the next two weeks and substitute writing with your art/goal.

Chris Guillebeau offers his book for free, although I’d pay just because of the title, 279 Days to Overnight Success.

Seth Godin’s post about choosing incremental work over magical solutions (like winning the lottery) showed up when I was searching another topic. How gift-like is it that he used the word incremental, almost like it was written for me, except it’s from 2010 so guess not.

Here’s my part, what I’ve done with the information so far.

  • I returned to an exercise routine that includes Zumba, Pilates and walking. My goal is to do at least one of these six days a week. So far, I usually accomplish one at least four times a week.
  • I participated in Jeff Goins’ 15 Habits for Great Writers, and I’ve read everything I linked to in this blog post and more, as well as listening in on two webinars about writing and marketing.
  • I write daily and my goal is to complete a blog post a day so I have a backlog. By the end of the year, I want to have a regular posting schedule.
  • I read daily, something every writer (and everyone else) should do, but previously I was not committed.

My additional goals for 2012 include work and play, to write toward a book, and visit our mountain home once a month.

Did you choose a word for 2012, or maybe a lifestyle change? If so, how’s it going?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Some days I feel like I’m in a circus and juggling lots of plates on sticks. However, incremental living is only accomplished by focusing on one at a time.

On the side: Thanks for the reminder to check on my word, artist Kelly Rae Roberts.


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