Kaizen and Personal Goals

If you’ve come across the concept of ‘kaizen,’ you’ll know that making many small changes can help you build towards big goals. It’s tough to encourage yourself to take on some huge new project when you’re already struggling to juggle all the balls you have in the air, so making small changes will likely be much more successful than trying to make one huge one.

But now you have a new problem: where do you start?

Say your goal is to be more prosperous, happier, or fitter, and you aim to make tiny changes to help you achieve that. Where do you begin? It will be a long, slow process, so where is it best to direct your energy at this point?

Well, often, it makes sense to think in currency. And when it comes to your personal goals, your currency is time, energy, and money.

The Currency of Success

With time, energy and money, everything becomes suddenly more achievable. To work out, you need time, but you also need energy at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. To eat well, you need money and the time to cook. To work on a side business, you need time and maybe money so that you can invest. To take up a new hobby, you’ll need all three. And relationships thrive when you have those things too.

So a great place to start with kaizen, no matter your personal goals, is to increase your time, energy, and money.

What small changes can you possibly make to do those things? There are tons.

  • Giving up one of your two coffees a day to save money
  • Turning down the heating one degree to save on the heating bill
  • Going to bed 10 minutes earlier to get more energy
  • Removing the sugar from your tea
  • Buying yourself a steamer to save yourself 5 minutes ironing

And etc.

Start With Subtractive, Not Additive

The great thing about kaizen is that change is exponential. Successful change is one aspect of your life, and others will follow.

So your primary directive at this point should be to make the change successfully, even if it’s minuscule.

It means starting with what’s most accessible, which in turn means starting with subtractive goals rather than additive. What’s this mean? It means it’s easier to do one thing less than to do one thing extra.

Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency.

Well, until tomorrow, stay safe, and keep the faith.

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