I recently read a really good article about the Japanese word “kaizen”. It is a word that is not translatable into a single English word. Kaizen is a concept that means to make small, continual changes in order to reach a goal. Read the full article by Tsh Oxenreider can be found here: https://theartofsimple.net/kaizen-and-goals/ The concept of small changes seems to resonate with me.
The first step is still going to be to establish a goal, but then what seems more important is to identify the small, incremental steps that can be taken towards achieving that goal. Early in January I finished a two-year long project of writing a book about wills, trusts and estates. I had a goal of writing a book. In order to achieve that goal my kaizen was to set aside a certain amount of time each week for writing, and to gradually increase the amount of time, and the number of times during the week that I was writing in order to meet each deadline set by the publisher. After meeting each deadline, I was able to complete each phase of the writing, and eventually complete the book.
So what are your goals for this year? A friend of mine recently made an appointment with me because she declared this was going to be the year she got herself organized, and got her estate planning documents in order. We met for lunch, and established deadlines for each of the small steps necessary to reach that goal. For example: buy a three-ring binder to organize her documents, decide who was going to serve as a guardian for her two young children if something happened to her, get some draft documents in place, etc. We set deadlines for each of these steps and as each step is achieved, it gets checked off the list. The focus is not on getting her completely organized, but on accomplishing each one of the steps.
The idea of kaizen can be applied to any goal. What are your goals for this year?