Reading books can sometimes open your eyes to new perspective, one you haven’t noticed before. It happened to me at the beginning of this year when I read a book which changed my view on rapid, big changes vs very small incremental steps of improvements. I wanted to share it with you. I never heard before about Kaizen way but I really like the concept. So, lets look at that. Can one small step really change your life? How small is small? What is really the Kaizen way?
New Year Resolutions
New year- new resolutions and big plans 🙂 They feel so great on New Year’s Eve when you are excited, motivated and full of festive cheer. After the Christmas/New Year’s fever fades a little bit, the reality hits back and your enthusiasm as well become weaker and weaker. Usually most of New Year’s resolutions ends their life around mid-January or early February. Does it sound like you?
This time I decided I will do something differently. Instead of taking on huge and challenging goals, I will take it easy and just implement some small but still positive steps that can take me a little bit further then I’m now. And I got this idea from the excellent book written by Robert Maurer and called One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.
KIAZEN way is my recent revelation! Wow, I feel like I found my new way of thinking and working with more challenging goals. Great, lasting change through steady, incremental, small steps. It does make sense! The Japanese word KAIZEN is the mix of KAI -continuous or change and ZEN-meaning improvement, better.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”- Lao Tzu
The idea is to come up with very small steps for improvement, small enough so they don’t scare you, and keep it as regular every day thing. Too often, choosing the new and exciting but also big goal, we trigger the fear response, doubt and a sometimes failure expectation. Going small, with steps that don’t require huge sacrifices and can be easily implemented in busy life, feels naturally the way to go.
KAIZEN seems to be a gentle but very robust way to effect change. Asking small questions and taking small steps take away the fear, stimulates creative thinking and develops new skills and habits. Why not to give it a go? I’m planning to put it into a test in my life. Will you?
When I talk about small Kaizen steps and really mean small. Small as 2 min exercise every day to start your exercise habit or drinking 1 extra glass of water daily – as your health habit. The key aspect of Kaizen is that it is an on-going, never-ending improvement process.
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens—and when it happens, it lasts.” —John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball”
― Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
What is one small step you could take to improve your life, health, relationships, career, or any other area?