Continuous improvement – Keeping your 1% commitment
No matter how hard we tell ourselves that good things come to those who wait, our instinctive need to see big things happen fast is a part of our human nature. While many of us make a commitment to change in theory, in practice it can be much more complicated than simply setting a goal and working to achieve it.
Fortunately, by following the concept of Kaizen (1% improvement) every day, it will enable you to get off the roller coaster ride of feeling like a failure and being angry with yourself because you have given up on achieving your big goals. Instead, the 1% improvement philosophy will reward your efforts towards daily achievement, not momentous change in short bursts.
Despite the immense positive aspects of the incremental improvement model, it is still worth constructing a system around your new commitment to ensure yourself the highest probability of success.
For example, if one of your goals is to eat healthier, this is not something that can be achieved by doing it once or twice off. To achieve a better diet is a day-to-day commitment to yourself and your health made through the conscious choices you make with your food with each meal.
To put the concept of continuous improvement into action, the first thing you need to do is not focus on how much weight you wish to lose, rather focus on creating a system or process that enables you to cut back on the more negative food groups you gravitate to and replace the with positive options instead. This may by through a journal, a calendar or an app, just as long as it is a system that works for you and keeps you self-aware of the day-to-day commitment you have made and the progress you are making.
Once you have created the system that works, you can then break down your system into small actions or behaviours that will allow you to progress with the least amount of resistance and effort. Commit to these actions on a daily basis until your original system is habit. For example, commit to changing junk items from your shopping list to positive alternatives for each week and then increase the number of items each week after that.
Along with setting clear, incrementally focused goals, the other important factor about incremental achievement is that you must be able to evaluate your 1% successes. We will look into some of the ways you can measure your progress in our next blog.