Roger Harty: The Art Of ‘Kaizen’

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rsz_roger_harty‘KAIZEN’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘good change’ but it is used in business terms meaning the philosophy of ‘continuous effort at improvement’.

The great Toyota car company in Japan would be a good example of the kaizen philosophy at work. As I have often said, there is a huge connection between business, health (lifestyle) and sport so the art of kaizen can equally be applied to all three areas of our lives.

The area I am mainly concerned with is healthy lifestyle which obviously requires the development of regular good habits.

If we want to improve any situation in our lives one of the first things we must do is to develop the ‘right attitude’, take ‘Ownership’ of the situation and come to the realization that change is required.

Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it!

If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got.

Take for instance that I wanted to lose some weight. One of the first things that I would do is to listen to the advice of an expert.

They say that in the ratio of importance that losing weight is something like 70% diet and 30 % exercise. In other words I can do all the exercise that I want but if I don’t pay due attention to my diet (what I eat) then I am fighting an uphill battle from the start.

The basic ingredients required for success are

• Desire
• A Goal
• Right Attitude (approach)
• A Plan
• Action
• Kaizen

All of the above are required for real benefits to occur but most importantly they must be applied with the kaizen philosophy. A continuous effort at self-improvement.

The reason for this is that old habits don’t die easily and as a result we need to be vigilant. There is no doubt that one of the greatest problems is when the initial enthusiasm subsides what happens then.

It is inevitable that a ‘blip’ or a ‘slip’ will occur and what is needed at that stage is a little bit of ‘Stick-at-it-ness’ a bit of ‘forgiveness-compassion’ and some resilience.

That is where ‘group’ work has the advantage because you see the ‘human’ aspect of the project where dealing with initial setbacks is all part of the equation.

Even this doesn’t always work. Just observe the increase in attendance at fitness centres around the country every year. There is a glut of increase in membership in January but by mid-February this will have dropped by nearly 70%.

This is where the continuous part of the ‘kaizen’ practice is most beneficial. We realise that there is no ‘short term’ fix and that the only way that this is going to work is by applying a change of lifestyle.

‘One fat laden meal won’t make you heavy no more than one green salad won’t make you thin’!!

Next week I am going to write about developing a good ‘Plan’

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email 

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