“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step.”
Not many people are able to continue their new year resolutions after about four months. It is only after many annual resolution abandonments that a small number of people succeed. The initial steps are hard.
Kaizen, the theory of ‘one small step’ has two aspects:
Humans tend to come back towards comfort and have a fixation with ‘big’, favouring big steps, big upgrades, big changes and producing humongous results.
Signing up for the gym is easy, but setting aside an hour every day and travelling daily to the gym is not so easy. The sudden shift from no exercise to one hour daily can be eased by slowly moving towards exercise, making minuscule progress every day.
Slowly and slowly, the new habit is formed with minimum friction, and with great, dramatic results. We don’t even realize how those drops of effort fill up and create an ocean.
Rushing up a steep road towards the top of the hill will only make you breathless. You will see that the summit is too far away and you are tired, wanting to turn back.
A better way is to leisurely and gently tread the path only focusing on that next step, with no rush to reach. You won’t even realize when you reached the summit.
This lesson can be applied to save time, starting an exercise regime or any new habit.
Making big changes right away is a failure waiting to happen. Anything can be done the Kaizen way, by taking tiny steps that move towards the desired direction.
Example: If you want to save money, have a tiny goal of saving a dollar every day. Make innovative changes in your daily schedule to accomplish saving that dollar, like sharing one cup of coffee with a friend, or reading news online instead of buying from the newsstand. You would have USD 365 extra at the end of the year.
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