A Blueprint for Continuous Improvement

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 areas 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.‘ We get so used to doing things the same, which gives comfort, anytime we move away from that state we may resist the new (even if it is something we want).  So,  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. By starting small, that new action won’t feel threatening so you engage in that task. To make changes in your life, and your lifestyle, you need to make lots of small, manageable changes; of course, it’s unrealistic to think you can make many changes at once.

This is what seems to set someone up for failure; we can look at the New Year’s goals, i.e. make or save more money, get a new job, lose weight …each of these is a big goal in itself but how many lump them all together.

Choosing one, and the being methodical in your efforts, will give more clarity and motivating to go after them until achieved. This is why Kaizen can do for you.

How to Use the Process of Kaizen

So how does Kaizen 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 but, looking deeper, what you really need is  more organization of what is involved in your time; a small change could include buying a planner, or wall calendar, and writing tasks out so you visually see them. Having a reminder, such as timer on your phone, will prompt to get tasks done. Checking them off will show accomplishment so you keep going. This is brain-prompting.

These are all a simple change you can make – but the result could be a half an hour of extra sleep or spending time with a hobby or your family.  This can make a huge difference to your energy level and getting more done 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 forego a Starbucks for a day.  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?


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