Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So too does any great endeavor, a truth embraced by the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen.
Do you want to make a major improvement in your health, productivity, or lifestyle? Start with a goal to get 1% better every day.
What is Kaizen?
Kaizen means “change for the better.” Translated as “good” (kai) “change” (zen), Kaizen is a Japanese productivity philosophy that focuses on deliberate, continuous improvement.
It’s the concept of taking “baby steps” on your way towards larger goals, and aiming for 1% improvement each day. Eventually, all those small actions will add up to become big changes in your life.
While Kaizen originated as a business strategy, it works well for any area of your life that needs improvement. For many people, that includes better health.
Why Big Goals Crash & Burn
Huge goals often require huge lifestyle changes, and thinking about such lofty endeavors is a terrifying prospect. So terrifying, in fact, that your “fight or flight” response is activated. You shut down. You fail.
Kaizen turns giant goals into baby steps. You don’t have to break down the entire process into steps at the beginning. You simply have to identify the one smallest action you can take towards your goal. And then do it.
Why Kaizen Works
Credit: @shaunna_harrisonWhich of these scenarios is more likely to happen?
- Traditional: I will stop eating sugar completely.
- Kaizen: I will eat one less bite of ice cream after dinner.
- Traditional: I will do 100 push-ups.
- Kaizen: I will do one push-up.
- Traditional: I will meditate for 30 minutes.
- Kaizen: I will meditate for one minute.
- Traditional: I will write a novel.
- Kaizen: I will write a paragraph.
- Traditional: I will never drink a soda again.
- Kaizen: I will replace one soda a week with Epic Matcha green tea.
It’s easy to see that our traditional, gung-ho methods of goal setting may be leading us towards failure. With Kaizen, you just have to take one small action at a time. Keep taking baby steps, and you will improve. One push-up becomes two, three, four – and before long, you’re doing 100 push-ups a day.
The Self-Fulfilling Success Loop: Celebrate Small Victories
Kaizen also taps into our brain chemistry. Every day you improve by 1%, you are reinforcing the idea of success in your subconscious mind. Our brains don’t distinguish between small and large victories. Reaching a goal of any size triggers a release of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter.
Achieving the tiniest goals – like one pushup – makes you feel like a winner. It creates a self-fulfilling feeling of success, which gains momentum with every step you take. With patience and a commitment to improving by 1% each day, you will create new habits and make big changes in your life.
Change for the Better: Identify One Small Step
Do you have a large goal that has been on your to-do list way too long? Conquer the biggest challenge with the following steps:
- Step 1. Think about the smallest possible action that you could take towards achieving your goal.
- Step 2. Do it.
- Step 3. Repeat Steps 1 & 2.
Healthier Living with Epic Matcha
Better health is a goal on almost everyone’s list. Drinking a cup of Epic Matcha is an easy step towards a healthier future. Packed with antioxidants that destroy disease-causing free radicals, Epic Matcha helps to boost energy, mood, and brain power.