The concept of Kaizen changed my approach to self-development and the way I set goals.
Every year people set New Year’s resolutions such as reading more books. They take high intensity action immediately, reading 3 hours every day. The first days the motivation is high but after missing one day of reading all motivation is gone. The result is that they don’t touch a book for weeks. How much improvement did they make? Almost none.
While big actions are necessary to achieve your goals, setting big goals can overwhelm us. Consistently improving yourself is much more important.
Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency and creating the highest value. Kaizen literally means a change for the better.
In self-development the Kaizen philosophy is that you make small changes every day that will compound to the massive change you wanted.
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
At the start you might not even notice your daily 1% improvements when you compare yourself to someone who does not improve himself. However, over time the gap will be enormous!
When you compound 1% every day it will double every 72 days.
We all want instant gratification, to set a big goal and achieve it as soon as possible. However, following the concept of Kaizen will give you the best results long-term.