Live a Continuously Improving Lifestyle

KAIZEN

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” -anon-

Kaizen (改善) is a Japanese phrase (word) that roughly translates to “continuous improvement”, a term used in the corporate world to implement small, incremental changes over time, typically focusing on efficiency and defect-proofing systems.

Kaizen emphasizes working smarter, not harder and developing best practices. Kaizen emphasizes working smarter, not harder and developing best practices. And the same principles can be applied to our lifestyle!

I’ve been practicing kaizen at Lockheed Martin since 2003. In 2010 I became Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, the second highest certification in the continuous improvement industry, and have enjoyed every minute of it.

I believe life is all about continuous improvement – taking small steps (or big leaps) toward making life better. Strive for perfection – you may never get there but having that as your end goal will make you one step closer to it.

I will teach you how to use kaizen tools and techniques in your life and help you put systems in place for small incremental improvements

Two qualities need to exist to experience continuous improvement: remain open-minded and be experimental. Try something for 3-4 weeks and see if your life improves. If it does, turn it into a habit. Remain a critical thinker but don’t be afraid to try something new. Some of the blog ideas may be unconventional but thinking outside the norm is what gets us ahead – it’s what sets us apart from others.

The sad truth is, a majority of people won’t even attempt to try something new and most of those who do, won’t stick to it for more than a week. Humans are naturally resistant to change but change is the only way we can truly grow.

The thing is, change is inevitable; by embracing change rather than fighting it, we have the chance to turn it into an opportunity.

The main thing I’ve learned as a Black Belt is that if you make small incremental improvements AND stick with it, change becomes painless, with almost no interruption to your present life. But you have to stick with it. You have to hold on to each small gain you make and take all change as an opportunity to become better.

To continuously improve -
*Keep an open mind
*ALWAYS continue to learn
*Experiment with EVERYTHING – See what works for you
*Challenge the saying “That’s how I’ve always done it.”

I’ve learned from my own mistakes and developed best practices.   But it’s the interaction with others that really drives change. What works for you may work for someone else. That’s why YOUR interaction on this blog is so important. There is always a better way to do something.

This is exactly why I created My21DayX – creating the best life through experiments in lifestyle modification.

I’ll leave you with a thought from Albert Einstein – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

TAKEAWAY: Change is inevitable; turn it into an opportunity rather than fighting it. 

7 DAY CHALLENGE: Identify something that really annoys you and try to do it differently for a week. Here’s an example: instead of watching the news in the morning, meditate for 2 minutes.

QUESTION: For you, what’s the toughest part of making a change or trying something new? If you have friends who are resistant to change, pass this on to them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Now, I want to learn from you – share your questions, thoughts and stories!