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The Kaizen Approach to Achieving Your Biggest Goal (The Philosophy of Incremental Progress)

Self-Improvement: 1 Percent Daily

  • We are never done improving ourselves. We need to do certain things daily to achieve and maintain our success. The first steps are not easy, but taking small actions is progress, while not taking any action isn’t.
  • Kaizen is about the 1 percent improvement that we can focus on, and those daily 1 percent improvements compound over time.
  • Initially the improvements may not be noticeable, but in a span of months or years, the breakthrough improvements will start to be visible.

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The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
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Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow
  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”