Kaizen is Japanese for “continuous improvement.”

In my last post, I checked in with my 2016 intentions and it got me thinking about my life journey; my entire life journey is on a road with twists and turns, climbs and descents. I am on a life journey of continuous improvement, but aren’t we all?! I am always reflecting on past decisions and performances, reflecting on who I am, and focusing on how I can do and be a better person! That is always what I strive to do and be…the best version of myself!

For continuous improvement to occur, deliberate practice needs to be the name of the game. The quality of my practice is just as important as the quantity of my practice and this relates to all aspects of my life. Deliberate practice is the combination of setting well-defined and specific goals, finding and maintaining focus, providing thorough and reflective feedback, and learning to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. For me, discomfort is the hardest part of deliberate practice, especially when I’m working on improving a part of my life that isn’t on center stage. Change is hard, but it is so worth it when all of the pieces fall together and the uncomfortable becomes more comfortable.

So how does continuous improvement happen?! Small changes…I have to remember it isn’t about perfect. Instead, it is about effort. When I put effort in, change happens; the uncomfortable starts to become comfortable. This is when I know I’m making progress; what was once challenging is now easy and what is now challenging will become easy someday with effort and deliberate practice!


How do you use deliberate practice in your everyday life? Do you strive for perfection or Kaizen?

10 thoughts on “Kaizen

  1. You know, the best way I’ve ever heard it put is “progress, not perfection”. On the one hand, striving for improvement is great… on the other, I sure do love being where I am.

    1. Progress is the “perfect” way to put it! 😉 I struggle with this since I tend to try to be a perfectionist. I also try to love where I’m at all the time, but I also struggle with being present, so the here and now is sometimes not at the forefront of my focus. I definitely have room for Kaizen 😉

  2. Striving for perfection (it’s all perspective) by getting up daily for over 45 years and getting out the door. Try # 130 coming up and year #41 of teaching in the works!

  3. I confess I have a bit of an “all or nothing” attitude. Not on purpose, though. I WANT consistency, but I don’t always PRACTICE it. Perhaps making some smaller changes and not focusing so much on the future would help keep me more consistent.

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