No matter how successful you might be, none of us are perfect and there’s always room for self improvement. Unfortunately, we often struggle to make the changes we’d like to see in ourselves, whether in terms of adopting healthy habits or learning new skills, because of the lack of time and most often because of sheer laziness. So how do we overcome this sluggish nature that seems to undermine our every effort to rise above the morass of modern life? Turns out, the Japanese have more than Sushi to offer, as a technique called Kaizen promises to do just that.
What Is Kaizen?
“The basic premise of kaizen is to simply practice something for just one minute a day, but at a fixed time and without any cheat days – this instantly eliminates any excuse to skip the practice, no matter how lazy or busy you might be”
The word ‘kaizen’ means “change for better”, and this is also the philosophy behind the simple technique. It simply involves a method of practice for continuous improvement, but in a sustainable and achievable manner. Why is it so effective and sustainable? Because the basic premise of kaizen is to simply practice something for just one minute a day. What is important however, is that you keep up the practice daily, making sure to do it at the same time each day. While it doesn’t require much time, the practice isn’t meant to be used as a shortcut, but requires dedication.
Considering how little time it takes up though, there’s no reason for anyone to skip the practice, no matter how lazy or busy you might be.
How To Apply This Japanese Technique To Meet Your Goals
The main reason for our failure to achieve fitness, career, or personal goals is because we often aim too high, trying to achieve too much too soon. If you want to improve yourself, Kaizen recommends gradual or phased improvements, starting small. So, whether it’s learning photoshop, playing the guitar, or running, don’t try to dive in all at once. Simply start with one activity for one minute a day and stick to the practice.
This may seem like a trivial pursuit, but there’s a reason behind it. Starting out slow increases the chances of success and managing to stick to the routine boosts self confidence, giving you a better fighting chance.
Baby Steps To Giant Leaps
While you may start out slow, with just one minute of practice a day, this duration of practice can be gradually stretched out as you get more habituated to the task or activity. It works in the same manner as does an exercise routine – from a 1 minute walk you take it up to 2, then 5, 10, and so on over a period of time. This also allows you to actually track your progress in a visible manner, so that there is less chance of disillusionment and despair.
While it’s normal to be skeptical about the application of such philosophies to everyday life, the method has been widely used in business management. In fact, has is even incorporated into the Toyota Production System!
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