Have you ever fallen into one of those internet browsing black holes?  You know, where you go to your computer to just check the weather and then regain consciousness 4 hours later realizing that you have facebook stalked your entire high school graduating class, purchased 2 books about competitive race walking on amazon and watched 5 videos on youtube on space cats?

Well, if you are anything like me you do this on a pretty regular basis.  It was as a result of one of these internet-tastic web benders that I came across a wikipedia page about Kaizen.  Kaizen is a Japanese term representing the concept of continuous improvement.  It was first used by Japanese businesses after World War II.  Kaizen facilitates improvement of business processes and efficiency.  It follows a seemingly simple procedure (pictured below) to streamline a process and increase efficiency.

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I thought it would be a fantastic idea to take this concept of continuous improvement and apply it specifically to personal development and use it to assist you and me with our crazy awesome life goals!  Great idea Beth!  But wait… another minute or two of interweb searching revealed that I was unfortunately not the first to think of this idea.  Darn you Tony Robbins!! (Just kidding, Tony is a pretty awesome dude)

After a minute of pouting over the fact that my great idea was a couple years too late I decided to write today’s blog post as a practical example of how I applied the process to one of my current life improvement goals.

Goal- Adopt a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet that supports an active lifestyle and helps me attain and maintain a healthy body weight

Plan: Follow the Eating for Energy nutrition plan to transition to a well balanced and mostly raw diet

Do: Do it!  Follow the plan for one week and then evaluate

Check: Problem- Food is more expensive than what I had budgeted for

Solution- Use previous day’s leftovers as snacks for the following day reducing total amount of food purchased

Act:  Continue on week two of the Eating for Energy plan implementing above named solution

For purposes of simplicity and demonstration I limited the problems in the Check step to one problem but in reality there were a few more that I identified and figured out solutions for.  I love that this gives me a specific procedure for evaluating and correcting my goal process.  Kaizen may seem overly simplistic on the surface but I am finding that it is a very involved philosophy.  I urge you if you are interested to further investigate this concept as there are many resources available providing much more in-depth information.  The most valuable part of this concept for me has been the focus on action and small changes leading to big improvements and hopefully the ultimate success and realization of my goal!  Thanks for reading!  Now go Kaizen yourself and let me know in the comments how it goes.

You are a winner!

Resources:

http://www.bulsuk.com/2009/02/taking-first-step-with-pdca.html#axzz2Aq2nHvuc

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Step-Change-Your-Life/dp/0761129235

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen