Little and Often Makes Much


I don’t run. But I am fascinated by people who do, especially marathoners and other long distance runners. It took me a while to figure out what all those “26.2” bumper stickers meant. Honestly, I briefly thought it was something political (26.2 more days of so-and-so in office?). Then a friend started training to run a marathon and…Oh! That’s what that means.

Of course runners do not start with marathons. Consistent training sessions with gradually increasing miles, over a long period of time, are what lead to success on race day.

And so many worthwhile things in life are like that. Sometimes a far away goal looms so large, and seems so unattainable, that we stop trying before we begin. That will never happen is a refrain that keeps us in place. But what if you do start trying?



What if you did one thing every day that got you closer to your goal? One cookie left on the plate. One closet organized. One chapter of a book written. Over time, the little steps start to add up. It’s like seeing someone else’s child after all long time: we are amazed at how much they’ve grown! But to the parents, and to the child themselves, it was incremental. Tiny, everyday changes that go unnoticed in the moment can add up to something huge.


Today I am celebrating a “my how you’ve grown” moment: finishing the first draft of my second novel. As I was working on it, I sometimes felt like a chicken looking for grain – peck, peck, peck. And then one day I realized I was past the half-way mark. Then I wrote the climactic scene. Then I was working on the last chapter. Step by step. Page by page. Line by line.


I'm also obviously a lover of Chinese food.

I’m also obviously a lover of Chinese food.

What will you choose to take one step towards today? It may not be a marathon. Or a novel. But whatever it is, you have the power to get there. Go for it!



12 thoughts on “Little and Often Makes Much

  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m ‘running’ one page at a time, also, on my newest book. I’m going to post a note “Little and Often Make Much” by my computer. THANKS! And nice to meet you (thanks to Mike…)

  2. Nancy – Your timing is perfect, as I have a goal that I start this month and I needed a discipline boost. Like Angie, loved your 0.0 sticker. Congratulations on your first draft of your second novel – that’s huge!

  3. Well, from where I’m sitting, you’re doing it right! I often think of everything you do, daily, and how it has added up to ‘aging well.’ Walks, tennis, social connections, service to others…I want to be you when I grow up!

  4. Well, here we are in the final chapters of our book and we’re still wondering what is coming next that will be new and exciting and revolutionary. So happy to be alive and challenged by the many little steps yet to come. Thanks for putting it all into such a clear perspective.

  5. Congratulations on finishing your first draft of your second novel! That’s something. I learned long ago if you did something for 30 days, it will become a part of you. Nice to see your post.

  6. Ha – I *may* have had you in mind while I was writing this, Jen. You’re doing it! I love the idea of taking a step and then stopping to have a look around. That’s also progress. Love your new address. : )

  7. Nancy,

    Thanks for writing this post. I know it wasn’t meant for just me, but it felt like it. On Monday, I took one step forward. Yesterday, I stood and looked around a bit. Today, I will take another step forward and know I have a good friend cheering me on. Congratulations on finishing your draft!


  8. Very nice post, Nan. Your 0.0 sticker made me laugh. It’s a great reminder to just start because that’s the hardest part.

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