I've written about kaizen - making small, continuous changes - in the past (see How Kaizen Can Motivate Writers and Kaizen in Writing), but lately I've been noticing how little things can have a big impact; without much effort or conscious thought put into building on them. For example, I decided at the beginning of last year to use body lotion at least once a week. Why? Because my legs and elbows were getting dry and sore. However, paying more attention to my body has been instrumental, I believe, in helping me to make healthier choices.
I found confirmation of my observation in a book I've just started to read, You Can Change Your Life by Rob Yeung:
"Introducing even small tweaks into our lives can create a virtuous cycle, an upward spiral, a self-perpetuating process of fulfilment and further change."
Yeung is a psychologist and everything in his book, he assures us (I don't know - I'm only a little way in!), is backed up by scientific studies. So my body-lotioning may well be behind my recent improvements in health fitness,
After reading this, my first thought was "how can I use this to help my writing?"
Then I realised I already am helping my writing by making small changes. The most obvious one is that I'm making an effort to submit my stories to literary journals and competitions. This has made me take my writing more seriously and forced me to act like a professional writer by resubmitting work that gets rejected, whereas I used to abandon rejected work assuming it simply wasn't good enough.
Similarly, when I make an effort to write every day, I tend to write far more than I do by writing nothing some days and "bingeing" on writing a few days a week. By the way, the binge-starve cycle doesn't work for losing weight (and maintaining it) either - I learnt that the hard way!
So now I'm wondering what small changes have had a large, perhaps unexpected, impact on other people's lives. What "tweaks" have sent you on an upward spiral? What changes have had unexpected, positive side effects in your life and writing?