How many times has it happened to you that you want to achieve something and you find some many obstacles in the way you simply decide to quit? Almost all of us have experienced that feeling of wanting to do something or to change the way something works in our lives and we are simply not able or disciplined enough to do so.
When this happens, we end up feeling frustrated because we couldn’t achieve our goals and lacked the will to keep trying. This becomes a circle where we decide to start a bunch of different things at the same time, keep on quitting them and then end up feeling like we have done enough before actually trying. This situation has become common in our modern societies and we simply end up telling ourselves that we will try to achieve our goals next week, month or year.
Even though it is important to pay some attention to the things that we didn’t do, it is often more important to pay attention to the reasons why we kept ourselves from achieving our goals. Many people believe this happens because we set the bar too high, try to do things too fast, get sick of new responsibilities, don’t know how to deal with change and basically push ourselves really hard to do things that our bodies and minds are simply not used to. When the truth may be that we are just lazy.
Lucky for us, Japanese developed a method to overcome this laziness a few years ago when trying to become more effective within the working environment. This method has been explained before in this blog by David Kiger and it receives the name of Kaizen, which is, in few words is the philosophy of continuous improvement.
Quickly Defining Kaizen
Kaizen is the philosophy of continuous improvement that states that in every human and every institution there is always room for improvement. However, individuals may usually have to deal with difficulties to improve and make changes because they are too lazy to try harder.
To fight this laziness Kaizen proposes to embrace change gradually, trying to take one step at the time towards the desired condition. Steps usually come in the shape of practice and individuals are asked to practice some things for at least one minute every day in order to create a habit that will later lead them to the achievement of their goals.
Kaizen is a change for better. It is the practice of continuous improvement that aims to become sustainable by eliminating the idea of laziness out of the head of any individual. In this sense, excuses tend to disappear and practice appears as a necessary routine to implement change.
Applying Kaizen to Your Goals
According to Kaizen, the main reason why an average human can’t become a fitness model is that it sets the bar and expectations too high. We want things to happen right away, and in the best possible way by investing the minimum energy and time. This is why Kaizen always recommends to gradually implement things, starting small and moving through stages and phases.
When a person decides that it wants to learn something like play an instrument, learn a language, start a new sport or lose weight, it should dedicate one minute every day to that activity. Even though this may seem like a trivial matter that is not going to take you anyway, in reality, it is a great way for people to fight laziness to create these type of habits.
Starting slowly always increases your chances of succeeding. This happens because you are able to create a routine that is easy to follow, and which implementation will give you a sense of self-confidence that will help you to overcome rough patches. A good way to put it is that Kaizen tells you to take small steps in order to reach giant leaps.
You may not notice it, but by investing one minute every day, you are immediately increasing the odds of investing more time into the same activity gradually. This happens because you get more familiarized with the task that you are doing. In this way, progress can be tracked and you can see your evolution in time.
Kaizen is not only used to fight laziness, it is also a great way for people to start their own business ideas, organize productions systems and sort the way things are operating in their daily lives. It can be hard for some people to understand and actually trust this method. But, if an illustration is needed, just look at Toyota and many other companies that decided to work guided by the Kaizen philosophy and see how they have actually managed to stay on top of the game thanks to this incredibly useful method.
* Featured Image courtesy of Gratisography at Pexels.com