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Paul Abraham: Kaizen for goal-setting

By Paul Abraham of

Kaizen is perfect for setting and achieving your goals. You will read and hear of ultra-successful people in business, entertainment and the sporting world describe how they set their goals and reached them.

Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It makes you focus to make your dreams and ambitions in life come true. By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the reaching of your goals, however large or small and this will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognise your own ability in achieving the goals that you’ve set.

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the “SMART” method. This is achieved by making your goals:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

For example, instead of having “I want to be fitter” as a goal, it’s more powerful to use the SMART goal “I will have completed a 5km run by December 31 this year.”

This is where Kaizen comes in to its own as it allows you to challenge yourself through little victories leading to your ultimate goal.

If you decide to become fitter and stronger without having to join a gym or health club, you could start by doing a circuit of Press-ups, Sit-ups and Squats at home without any expensive equipment. Your goal could be to eventually complete a hundred repetitions of each in one session.

However if you try to complete a hundred of each at the first attempt then, unless you are already incredibly fit and strong, you may struggle to get to five of each and so feel as though you have failed in achieving your goal.

Using the Kaizen approach you can set a target of five repetitions of each as your initial goal and then ten and so on until over time you reach your goal of one hundred.

By writing down your goals i.e. ten reps by ………. twenty reps by ………. You are gaining confidence and self-esteem each time you reach your goal, which in turn gives you the motivation and momentum to strive for the next goal.

You can use this Kaizen approach to achieving you goals in everything, from saving money to cutting down on sweets or chocolate. Set your ultimate goal and then set ten smaller goals to reach along the way to the final goal.

Most New Year resolutions fail because people set one tough target, for example: “I will stop eating sweet things and stop drinking alcohol” which is doomed to failure. It’s far better to do the Kaizen approach by taking small steps such as ‘I will limit myself to ….. number of biscuits or cans of beer each day’, or ‘I will have a day free of buns or wine’.

This way you can gradually reach your ultimate goal without torturing yourself with guilt for not stopping instantly.

Life is challenging, so we deserve to have our occasional treats as long as we are still achieving our small victories on the road to eventual long-term success.

“If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone.”
Donny Osmond

This is my final article of six covering the Kaizen philosophy which I hope you have enjoyed and it has been useful to you.


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