Kaizen - Deepstash

Kaori Tenshi's Key Ideas from Kaizen
by Sarah Harvey

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Incremental Growth is Key

Incremental Growth is Key

Transform your habits one small change at a time repeating until you don’t get results. Whether you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, get better at saving money, or rethink your career, kaizen can set you on the path to success. But first, you have to know where you stand.


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Analyze Your Habits

Analyze Your Habits

Habits are the way our brain standardizes behaviors to save mental resources. Association strengthens with repetition until the behavior gets locked in.

As a first step make an inventory of your life.

  1. List the areas that make up your life
  2. For each area ask yourself if you are doing the most to achieve happiness
  3. Areas where you have a sense of dissatisfaction should be subdivided in other parts to understand the source of dissatisfaction.
  4. Write what you love and hate about them
  5. Complete with a list of activities you feel drawn to
  6. When you are finished you will have a list of goals to choose from


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Plan Your Actions

Plan Your Actions

Your first actions should be so small you barely notice any difference. Adding them up will produce momentum (“contagious enthusiasm” and a compound effect. What is the smallest, most easily achievable step you can make toward your goal? 

Then set various incremental steps to achieve your goal. This step-by-step technique is recommended by experts and makes it a lot easier to sustain change in the early stage. It also makes lasting change more likely.

Once you’ve established your goals and first steps, write them down. Now, set a time frame for completing them.


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Break Down Your Goals In Short, Medium and Long Term goals

Break Down Your Goals In Short, Medium and Long Term goals

Breaking down your goals in achievable steps makes it easier to complete. If the habits you want to cultivate are permanent ones, it’s important to set a measurement and cadence (e.g. one yoga class per week). The kaizen philosophy suggests adjusting your time frame as you go, according to your natural pace. So if you find you’re feeling overwhelmed, make your goal even smaller. The more wins you accumulate the more likely you are to maintain momentum and make progress. The goal of Kaizen is not to cross off tasks but ongoing improvement.


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Monitor Your Habits And Your Progress

Monitor Your Habits And Your Progress

Tracking progress allows you to see timely where you need to improve. Bullet journaling can help through habit tracker inserts that enable a visual depiction of your progress. Alternatively use habit tracking apps. Do an end of month review to understand the progress you made and what you need to adjust, including setting new goals as needed.


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The goal of Kaizen Is Lifelong Improvement. Set your own Pace

The goal of Kaizen Is Lifelong Improvement. Set your own Pace

The time required to pick up a new habit changes from person to person and from habit to habit (18 to 254 days). Everyone has its own pace, so respect your own. The beauty of kaizen is that it’s a flexible and personalized approach to lifelong change – adjust to what works for you. Stay aware of your feelings and behaviors to identify when to step back. If you find yourself not meeting short-term goals, simply return to the very smallest possible action you can take instead. Taking a small action is better than taking none, and it enables you to gradually work your way up to your goal.


1.23K reads

Discover More Japan Inspired Personal development

  • Ikigai: find your unique contribution, live longer
  • Ichigo Ichie: learn how to make the most of each moment and fulfill your Ikigai
  • Joy at work: set your vision and curate your work life for joy and productivity
  • Wabi sabi: find beauty in imperfection and craft your own path


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Inspired by Japanese thinking, love marketing, tea and cultivating a growth mindset.


Kaizen is a Japanese management theory that encourages taking incremental steps to transform habits. First inventory your habits. Define your long-term goals and make a plan to start working toward them gradually. Once you start, track your progress and make adjustments according to your pace to keep momentum and compound improvements.

Curious about different takes? Check out our Kaizen Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

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Curious about different takes? Check out our book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash curators:

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