Instead of trying to do one big amazing thing, try to do a whole bunch of things a tiny bit better

Do you find yourself trying to make big plans to improve your life but finding it hard to stick to the new plan? Instead of trying to do one big amazing thing, how about trying to do a whole bunch of things a tiny bit better.

This concept is called Kiwi Kaizan. Improve 100 things by 1% instead of 1 thing 100% and the effect will compound. (Kaizan means constant improvement. The Kiwi’s were a sports team.) We all want to eat better, exercise, save money, devote time to a hobby, etc. How do we go from hardly being able to keep a plan to being a success?

Instead of trying to keep your whole house or an entire room clean, start with a section or zone. I started with making my bed, then I moved on to trying to keep my dresser organized. It’s usually piled with makeup and mail. By attending to it every day, it’s less of a psychological drain than thinking about having to clean up a whole area.

Do you find it hard to save money? My friends have been doing that thing where you start out saving a dollar in an envelope and then you add another dollar every week for a year. You should have accumulated $1378 by the end of the year. This is a great example of seeing how your small effort compounds.  

If you need a different type of motivation how about going the other way? Instead of starting out with a dollar and increasing, you begin by saving $52 and decreasing the amount you save by a dollar every week (Save $51 dollars the second week, etc). For more on that you can check out Pocket Your Dollars 52 Week Money Challenge . I can see this method working better for me, I would be excited about it in the beginning, so it would be easier to start big.

Get a tiny bit better in the things you do. Make it a game to find things throughout the day that you can do to improve your life. Then increase it another 1% the next day. Your results will accumulate as you build better habits little by little.

This idea comes from Brian Johnson’s Philosophers NotesKiwi Kaizan