Using kaizen in your personal life is an effective and useful practice. Essentially, the idea is that making lots of small changes can help you achieve big goals. Sometimes it can be hard to take on some big new project when your life is already full. So deciding to make small changes is a lot more enticing and will likely be more successful than trying to make one big change.
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?
Well, often it makes sense to think in terms of 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 using kaizen in your personal life, 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
Start With Subtractive, Not Additive
The great thing with using kaizen in your personal life is that change is exponential. Successfully change one aspect of your life and others will follow.
So your main focus at this point should be to simply make one change successfully. Even if it’s something miniscule.
This means starting with what’s easiest for you, and that in turn means starting with goals that are subtractive rather than additive. What does this mean? It means that it’s easier to do one thing less than it is to do one thing more.
How to Afford Anything You Want With Kaizen
In regards to finance, the ultimate idea of kaizen is often to look at how small savings can add up to help you save large amounts of cash with time. In fact though, this is only one aspect of it and other elements include finding ways to supplement your income in small ways and ways to get things for cheaper.
Using these principles in conjunction, it’s almost possible to actually afford pretty much anything you could ever want. Read on and we’ll look at some of the ways that this is possible…
Every Little Helps…
One of the easiest ways to afford something you want and to avoid making it feel like you’re spending a lot of money is to think about something that you want to buy and then think about when you want it by. Now just divide the value of the item by the number of days until you want it, and you’ll have the small amount of money you need to save each day.
So say you have your eye on a new computer that’s going to be released in three months. That’s 90 days to buy a product that will likely be $1,000 maximum. $1,000 divided by 90 is just over $11. So save $11 a day and you’ll have the money within 3 months.
This is actually a very small amount of money to save but it can make a gigantic difference to your perception of what you can afford.
Adding to the Pot
Similarly you can also use other ‘kaizen’ inspired strategies to help these sorts of pots grow. If you can’t afford to save quite the $11 you need a day, then make it $8 but add to this plan the intention to save any spare change you have in a pot and to add this to your cumulative score at the end.
Likewise, you could find small items you can sell and add those as well. Maybe this would mean your old computer or maybe it would just mean a bunch of DVDs. Again, kaizen tells us that every little bit helps!
Better yet, look at places you can save money. Instead of buying that morning coffee, take the money you would normally spend on that and add it to your pot as well. If you normally buy a new item of clothing every month, just forgo that for the next three months (are t-shirts really that exciting anyway?).
Combine these techniques and you’ll find there’s almost nothing that you can’t afford in a short amount of time!
Here Are Some Great Little Changes to Make You Instantly Feel Healthier and More Energetic
What does optimal performance feel like? How do you feel when you’re performing ‘at your best’?
For many of us the answer would be a combination of energy, focus and good mood. If you’re interested in being healthier then you should focus on these things because not only will you feel healthier immediately, but you’ll also then have more energy and drive to stick to whatever other health programs or objectives you’re setting yourself.
To achieve these kinds of small improvements, the best strategy to take is to focus on making small, cumulative changes that will build up over time. By gradually improving yourself with smaller goals you will find each change is easier to make and that you experience less resistance. These small changes then add up and provide you with more large scale success.
So what are some little changes you can make to start enjoying more energy, drive and health right now? Here are just a few:
- Swap your coffee for a health drink – Do you drink coffee every morning on the way to work? Not only is this likely to cause tolerance and dependence for caffeine (making you groggier in the mornings) but it also means you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to get some health drinks in you. Try swapping this for a vegetable juice and see how much better you feel for all those vitamins and minerals.
- Remove the sugar from your tea – This will not only reduce your calories and carbohydrate intake, it will also help you to get rid of your sweet tooth.
- Set the alarm forward 10 minutes – Ten minutes more sleep makes all the difference in the world. It’s hard to convince yourself to go to bed earlier, but giving yourself an extra ten minutes in the morning can make all the difference.
- Sit at the table when you eat – Sit at the sofa when you eat and you’ll feel lethargic and not want to get up.
- Swap your socks – It sounds funny, but swap your socks for fresh ones halfway through the day and you feel energized!
- Take calls outside – If you’re on your mobile why not use this opportunity to pace around a little and get some fresh air? Just a little fresh air makes a huge difference.
- Wear brighter colors – Bright colors make others see you as more energetic, which means they treat you as more energetic, which makes you more energetic. That’s the law of attraction in process…
So the idea of using kaizen in your personal life is an imminently practical one, as you can see. Pick a goal and apply the ideas in this post. See what you think!
The 30 Days to a Happier Life Challenge is similar to the idea of Kaizen-you are sent messages each day that suggests ideas to be considered and habits to work on. Check it out!