Since reading the book titled One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, written by Robert Maurer, Ph.D., I find myself eyeballing a million items that yesterday would have gone unnoticed—and worse untouched. I figured if I were not going to complete any one task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision. (Kaizen goes against the popular teaching to finish what you start. With Kaizen, you eventually do complete the task, but not instantaneously.) Kaizen simply refers to incremental improvement. Little-by-little. One step at a time.
Kaizen also works when it comes to eating healthy. You do not have to give up French fries cold turkey once you endorse the Kaizen philosophy. Not all at once. Your brain will fight you, and you will lose every time.
Here is what I want you to do. Order the fries. Then before you begin eating, throw one of them away. Just one. The next time, throw two fries away before eating. Get the idea? Little steps. Big difference. Before you know it you will be refusing to pay $2.50 for four French fries.
But what about exercise? Same thing. You are not about to jog for 6- minutes on the treadmill coming off the couch in your new exercise program. I want you to stand on the treadmill for one minute. On day-two stand for two minutes. On day three stand for 60-seconds and walk for 60-seconds. This as you can agree is non-intimidating no matter who you are. Day-by-day, step-by-step, you will soon be working up a sweat while enjoying the process. My wife and I are doing this exact thing after walking past our workout room in our home for nearly six months.
I cannot remember being this excited about sharing my thoughts on any one particular topic in a long time. Your life could be on the verge of changing for the good. Fast. Easy. And soon. It all started for me at my kitchen table while reading the morning paper. My wife showed me a book review of One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, written by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.
Since I often remind seminar attendees that Olympic Gold is usually won by hundreds of a second, the concept of taking small steps to achieve goals was not new to me.
The Japanese might have given it its name (Kaizen,) but what it involves is simply continuous improvement. Taking small steps toward a desired goal is the key. All one needs to do is identify small steps and make meaningful improvements to each one on a regular basis. It is a beautiful, non-intimidating mind-set. And it works. Because it is easy.
But where can Kaizen behavior help you? Let me count the ways:
Whether you want to clean the attic, garage, closet or the trunk of your car, just the thought of it probably gives you a little stomach acid. As a result, these cleaning chores are postponed indefinitely.
This behavior can become yesterdays news if you subscribe to the Kaizen approach. Stop worrying about cleaning anything. All you have to do is pick up one book that is lying on the floor and put it back in its place. The next time you pass the closet, pick up or rearrange one garment. When in the garage, put a screwdriver back in its holster. Take small, non-intimidating steps. You will soon be amazed with your progress.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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