Kaizen and Personal Goals – Where to Start?

If you’ve come across the concept of ‘kaizen’ then you’ll know that making lots of small changes can help you to build towards big goals. It’s very hard to encourage yourself to take on some huge new project when you’re already struggling to juggle all the balls you have in the air, so making small changes will likely be much more likely to be successful than trying to make a huge one.

But now you have a new problem: where do you start?

Say your goal is to be richer, or happier, or fitter… and your aim is to make tiny changes that will help you to achieve that. Where do you begin? It’s going to be a long, slow process, so where is it best to direct your energy at this point?

Well, often it makes sense to think in currency. And when it comes to your personal goals, your currency is: time, energy, and money.

The Currency of Success

With time, energy and money, everything becomes suddenly more achievable. To workout you need time but you also need energy at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. To eat well you need money and the time to cook. To work on a side business you need time and maybe money so that you can invest. To take up a new hobby you’ll need all three. And relationships thrive when you have those things too…

So a great place to start with kaizen no matter what your personal goals are is to increase your time, your energy, and your money.

What small changes can you possibly make to do those things? There are tons…

  • Giving up one of your two coffees a day to save money
  • Turning down the heating one degree to save on the heating bill
  • Going to bed 10 minutes earlier to get more energy
  • Removing the sugar from your tea
  • Buying yourself a steamer to save yourself 5 minutes ironing

And etc…

Start With Subtractive, Not Additive

The great thing with kaizen is that change is exponential. Successful change one aspect of your life and others will follow.

So your main directive at this point should simply be to successfully make a change. Even if it’s minuscule.

This means starting with what’s easiest and that in turn means starting with goals that are subtractive rather than additive. What’s this mean? It means that it’s easier to do one thing less than it is to do one thing extra.

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