Posted On February 1, 2019 By In Regulars With 134 Views

Inside Out: The Kaizen Mindset

by Stephanie Staples, Professional Speaker – 

You don’t need to read one more book to tell you how to be happier and healthier. You already know exactly what to do and if by chance you aren’t sure, you can Google the question and get 62 billion hits for advice. The problem is not that we don’t know what to do, it’s more that we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of what there is to do and when we are overwhelmed, typically we do nothing. Before you know it another year passes and we are in the same shape, both figuratively and literally – desiring for, hoping for and wanting more but stuck as to how to get it. 

I know this because that was my life too until I stumbled upon a powerful, two-syllable Japanese word and implemented its concept; that word is “kaizen.”

Kaizen is my secret sauce. Kaizen is the reason for my success. Kaizen is how I try to live my life day in and day out. It means small, continuous improvement and it has helped me be happier and healthier than ever before. 

The Kaizen approach asks: “What is a small thing you can do, continuously, to get to where you want to be?” So instead of declaring: “I’m going to the gym for an hour a day! I’m going vegan! I’m doing Fung Shui!” and then quitting everything three weeks later, the goal is to lean into the area you want to go to and stick with it, instead of jumping in with both feet and falling flat on your face soon afterward. 

Pairing the Kaizen with a “Cue” will really help too. A Cue is something that comes easily and effortlessly to you; it’s something you don’t even have to think about; it’s a trigger to remind you to do the Kaizen. It’s habit that is already part of your routine.

When you pair a Kaizen with a Cue, the formula looks like this:
K + C = H2.

Kaizen + Cue = Happy & Healthy! Easy, peasy! So for example, if you want to:

• Make a significant relationship better: whenever that person comes home or is going to leave, get up and give them a genuine greeting or farewell.

• Get more exercise: every time you see a park bench, do some triceps dips, or as soon as you get out of bed, do some pushups. 

• Be happier: every time you open the fridge think of three things you’re grateful for.

• Eat better: eat two vegetables with every meal.

• Be more generous: give a pair of socks away every time you see a person who is homeless.

Everyone can benefit from sprinkling a little bit of Kaizen into their life and, for all you Type A perfectionists out there, this word and formula can be the ultimate game changer.

You can’t do everything, but you can do something. You can’t help everybody, but you can help somebody. You may not be able to have it all, but you deserve to have more … more fun, adventure, learning, health, happiness, creativity, stimulation, laughter (or fill in your word here). You deserve more and you can have more in whatever situation you find yourself. Your circumstance doesn’t necessarily have to change but your mindset may have to. 

Apply a Kaizen mindset now and buckle up for an amazing 2019!



Your West Coast Culture. A magazine about the people and places that make the Saanich Peninsula the little piece of paradise we call home.

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