Kaizen for the New Year. The end of the year is a time for planning, setting goals for the next year, a time for change. Unfortunately, we often set goals that are difficult to achieve, huge intentions that we quickly abandon.
Start Small, Start Today
Wouldn’t it be better to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps and not wait until Sunday to take the first step, but start today? Small steps are more enjoyable and have lasting effects. Benjamin Franklin believed that if he devoted a week to perfecting one virtue, it would become a habit and he could then move on to the next. So, don’t try to catch all the crows at once. And remember, “it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” (Confucius)
Sustained Improvement Over Time
When we improve a little bit each day, big changes will eventually appear. When you improve your adaptation method every day, you will achieve significant improvement over time. Not tomorrow, not the day after, but eventually, you must get really significant results. Don’t try to make a big improvement quickly, but look for one small opportunity for development every day. This is how changes happen that last for good. (John Wooden)
Eliminating Non-Essential Activities
As part of New Year’s plans, along with developing new habits and acquiring new competencies, I suggest adding a few “stop doing this” items concerning those activities that are worth “eliminating” from our lives. Because the worst thing is to do best something that doesn’t need to be done at all. We must also unlearn, minimize the number of activities, eliminate what does not add value.
Conclusion: The Path to Lasting Change
Kaizen for the New Year. In conclusion, the journey to achieving our New Year’s resolutions is not about making monumental leaps overnight. It’s about taking consistent, small steps towards improvement and recognizing the value of patience and persistence. By focusing on gradual progress and eliminating non-essential activities, we can set ourselves up for a more productive and fulfilling year ahead. Let’s step into the New Year with a mindset geared towards sustainable change and growth.
Dr. Iwona Burka holds a Ph.D. in Economics and has carved a distinguished career as a business trainer, researcher, adviser, and university lecturer. Celebrated for her contribution to various papers on management systems, she's also co-authored the seminal book, "Lean Service in theory and practice". With years immersed in the real-world implementation of management systems, Dr. Burka excels at simplifying complexities and excess. She fervently champions the optimization of organizational processes using the Lean approach combined with the Kaizen philosophy.