Kaizen: How to Improve You

There are times when you can feel a little stagnant, whether it comes after a particularly busy few months and you are adjusting to your return to normal routines, or whether it’s because you feel stuck in your regular routine. Whatever the reason, now is the time to reenergize and get your mojo back, and to do so, you need to embrace kaizen. Kaizen is the Japanese approach to self-improvement, and simply means ‘change for the better’. The changes can be big or small, a one-off or continuous: they need to help you improve you to be the person you want to be. Kaizen is the belief that everything can be improved. Here are 8 ways that you can take the kaizen approach to your life.

Declutter Your Home

Take this opportunity of standstill to rid your life of clutter. Go through your home room by room, and remove anything that you no longer want in your life. If you are unsure about an item, simply create a pile for things that you need to revisit in a day or to, as you may feel readier to give it up then, or you may realize that it is too precious a possession to be rid of. You don’t have to be extreme- just realistic. Remember: kaizen is about improvement and not the size of the gesture.

Be Ruthless with Your Wardrobe

You need to go through your wardrobe and try each item on. If it doesn’t make you feel wonderful, get rid of it. If it is the wrong color, shape or style for your body, get rid of it. Have a friend help you, as you may need a second opinion as to whether a garment stays or goes. You will probably find that you hold onto classic cuts and styles, and the faddier clothes haven’t made the grade. Remember this for future reference!

Deep Clean Your House

If you are feeling a little flat, a great pick-me-up is to get cleaning. Now your home is less cluttered, you will be able to give it a good clean. Open up the windows and get the fresh air circulating; this is especially important over the autumn and winter months as we typically have the windows open less than in summer, and the condensation can encourage mold to develop. This can cause breathing difficulties for those who are susceptible to respiratory issues such as the very young or the very old.

Have a Spa Day

After all of the work that you have put into decluttering and cleaning, you need to have time to relax. Whether you go to a spa with a partner, friends or alone, spend time reflecting on what could have been the cause for feeling deflated. Quiet time will allow you to think to a deeper level about the possible reasons for feeling out of kilter, and should you have an epiphany as to the underlying cause, write it down before the thought passes.

Have a New Hairstyle

To mark the end of a period of feeling below par, why not have a dramatic new style? People tend to change their hair during significant life transitions, and for good reason. You can add an element of control when you feel out of control with the rest of your life. A new cut and color can raise your confidence and self-esteem to empower you to show the rest of the world that the world that you mean business.

Get a Pet

Every pet owner will tell you that getting a pet is the best thing that they have ever done. Pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the heart attack-inducing triglyceride levels; but the major benefit that pets bring to their owners is the companionship and the feel-good factor that they provide which can lessen their owner’s depression. Before you rush and buy a pet though, you need to make sure that you can give it the best life that it deserves. Pets are for life and not to satisfy a whim. Research what your chosen pet will need: what bedding they need, what’s the best cat litter, or how much exercise that labrador really needs. You and your family will benefit from having the new addition – the added responsibility is outweighed by the joy that your new pet will bring.

Review your finances

No matter whether you are managing to save a small fortune each month, or are waiting for the next paycheck to put food on the table, the Kaizen approach means that every situation can be improved upon. For 3 months, journal your spending as if you were doing the accounts at your workplace. Have a spreadsheet that has columns that represent all areas of your spending: accommodation, utilities, travel, groceries, clothes and sundries, etc. Your groceries should be broken down further into food, household purchases such as cleaning products, and alcohol. You will be able to then see where any unnecessary or excessive expenditure occurs, and adjust your spending to make smarter choices. One easy way to save money is to compare the utility rates that you currently pay with other providers. Do not be shy about contacting your current provider and asking them for a better deal if you have found better rates elsewhere.

Workout More

You know why you should exercise more regarding your body’s health, but you may feel that you don’t have the time or energy to commit to a gym membership or regular classes. Exercise takes many forms and is not limited to organized classes. Make an effort to take the stairs instead of an elevator when you have the opportunity. Your housecleaning regime can be a workout itself as you change the bed linen, and stretch to reach those high and hard to get to places with your cleaning cloths. If you commute to work, get off a stop early and have a brisk walk to the office. Kaizen is about small adjustments too, and not just large ones.


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