If you’ve heard the word Kaizen before, chances are you are a student of business, or at least business literature. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “continuous improvement,” and it has been often cited as the key to Japan’s competitive success in the decades after World War II.
The principles of Kaizen call for operations to be standardized and continually examined, monitored and incrementally improved so that productivity can be increased over time. While I’m no Japanese scholar, or well-schooled student of business philosophy, I can appreciate this concept. After all, it sums up my beliefs about forging a healthy lifestyle.
Everyone has at least one area of their life that could use improvement. A more fulfilling or rewarding job, a committed relationship, health, financial stability, an improved body image … these are just a few examples.
So, when people come to the Bodysmith wanting to change their lives, they aren’t thinking small, marginal “change” but rather sweeping, about-face CHANGE. They envision a complete 180 on their lifestyle. A rejection of everything they were before, and the beginning of an epic journey. But the truth of the matter is that, just as in the practices of Kaizen, the path to a more healthful lifestyle is made up of a series of smaller victories.
Begins With a Single Step
I have already written extensively on changing habits and taking the slow approach. Our bodies, and just as importantly our minds, need time to adjust to new habits as we try to avoid burnout. We are in the health business to help people make lifelong changes and avoid the whirlpool of crash dieting, binging, frustration and guilt.
So next time you are at the gym please take a moment to consider this thought that we have on our wall: “strive for progress not perfection.” Then consider how you can apply this thought to your life.
- Imagine if you got a little more sleep every night.
- Imagine if you ate a little better every single day.
- Imagine adding 5 lbs to your deadlift or Power Clean.
Now, imagine repeating these small changes over and over again. Where would you be a year from now? How would you feel about yourself and the fruits of you efforts?
That’s Kaizen … and that’s real change that works.
Dedicated to your success,
– Coach Brad