Make Kaizen A Daily Routine

KaizenKaizen is a Japanese word that is formed from two characters – “kai” and “zen.” It translates literally to mean “good change” or, we might say, “improvement,” or “a change for the better”.

When you make Kaizen a part of your daily routine, you are taking steps toward steady improvement in all areas of your life.

Successful companies in Japan, like Toyota, a popular automobile manufacturer, use the principle of kaizen to emphasize steady and innovative improvement.

The principles of kaizen are simple. The challenge is to take the long term view of a daily, continuous and steady path to improvement with an overriding willingness to change. The same can be said about our personal lives.

A willingness to change and constantly on the lookout for ways to improve moves us closer toward making lasting change.  Whether we embrace the principles of kaizen or something else, the quest for self-improvement and the opportunity to change how we view our environment and ourselves is always worth pursuing.

Striving to continually improve is not the same as striving for unrealistic perfection.  You may never fit into that size six killer outfit you covet or earn a spot on the Hollywood red carpet. But, what you can do instead of lamenting your lot, is begin to make a change for the better by focusing on becoming healthier and more fit a little at a time.

Here are some ways to incorporate the kaizen principles into your daily life:

Home Kaizen – Is there something in your home that needs changing or an uplift? Maybe now is not the time to spring for a complete kitchen remodel. Instead,  you can start practicing kaizen by implementing a change for the better (e.g., painting, color accessorizing or keeping countertops free from clutter). By putting the principle of kaizen to work in your kitchen, you will have a more appealing space until such time as you can make a lasting change. You can also apply the kaizen principles to any other room in your home that you feel needs improvement.

Relationship Kaizen

  • Making communication a priority is key to a successful relationship. Make sure you listen and express your feelings even if it feels uncomfortable.
  • Schedule regular quality, non-interrupted time with your partner
  • Tell your partner often how much you appreciate having him or her in your life.
  • Work daily to improve and reinforce your relationship.
  • Do a 10-15 minute “check in” at the end of each day to reconnect.

Personal Kaizen:

  • Show random act of kindness to those close to you often.
  • Express appreciation – write down at least 5 things you are grateful for every day.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re stuck in unfulfilling routines and comfort zones, stretch yourself to try new things. Take a yoga class, travel, rearrange your surroundings, get rid of clutter, volunteer or mentor a child.
  • At the end of your day, take 15 minutes to unwind and relax so you can enjoy quality time with those you care about.
  • Do at least one thing every day that you enjoy.
  • Do at least one kind deed each day.

Work Kaizen

Is your office constantly in disarray? Using the principle of kaizen, begin to look around to see how you can begin to improve your surroundings to create a more appealing and creative space.

  • Rearrange the furniture to create a better workflow
  • Keep a small vase of fresh flowers on your desk to inspire you to complete that project you’ve been reluctant to start.
  • Clear your workspace of unnecessary clutter.
  • Surround yourself with your favorite colors, quotes or inspirational words for a sense of calm and a reminder to stay positive.

If you build the concept of kaizen into all areas your daily life, before you know it, you will be less prone to procrastination, self-sabotage, overwhelm and you will have made a lasting change for the better.

I would love it if you would leave a comment about how you apply the principle of kaizen into your daily life.

For more tips and insights like these, I invite you to check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace, and Celebrate the Real You.

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.