Kaizen is often used to describe the process of continuous improvement. That means making lots of small changes on a regular basis in order to ultimately improve the operation on a larger scale. It’s often applied to business and particularly to things like manufacturing and engineering.
But it can also be applied to your own personal goals. If you take the approach of continuous improvement – of making lots of tiny little changes in your life on a regular basis – then over time you’ll be able to ‘upgrade’ every single aspect of your life and in a few years you can be in a whole different place.
Countless studies tell us that people resist extreme change. That is to say that if you think you can wake up one morning and become a highly disciplined individual, then you’re in for a big surprise.
In order for change to be successful it must be incremental and it must be holistic. You have to change every aspect of yourself and your lifestyle to support yourself in the pursuit of your new goals. And to do this, you need to make lots of small, manageable changes.
How to Use the Process
So how does this actually look once you start using it? How do you take this idea and turn it into a reliable blueprint that you can follow?
A good place to start would be at the beginning. So look for one small change you can make to your lifestyle that can help to serve you in some tiny way in achieving your goal.
Let’s say you need more time. Perhaps then the thing you need is to get more sleep. So maybe you want to wake up half an hour later. So why not buy yourself a steamer and save a lot of time ironing? Or replace all your shirts with ones that don’t have to be ironed.
That’s a tiny change you’ve made – switching your shirts – but the result is half an hour of extra sleep. That’s a huge difference to your energy levels throughout the day.
What else do you need to achieve your goals? If you need a little more money then perhaps you could look for a way to save $1 a day. $1 a day is a tiny thing to have to change, so maybe it just means that you have a cup of tea in the morning instead of a coffee, or get off the bus one stop earlier.
Now you have 30 minutes of extra sleep and an additional $20 a week. Those are two tiny changes but they’ve just made it much easier for you to accomplish anything else you want to in your life because you have more energy and more money… What else might be possible?