Use The Kaizen 3 Step Method To Get What You Want
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want… then apply this simple kaizen 3 step method to learn how to get what you want!
First, what the heck is kaizen?
Kaizen is the Japanese term used for improvement, in some industries, it’s known as continuous improvement. I like to think of it as baby steps improvement. If we do a tiny bit every day, we are going to be getting better and closer to our goal, right?
Now, I must warn you, what I am going to share with you today is very powerful
IF you get off your butt and put the work in. If you just read this post then file it away as useful information, it isn’t going work. I do have a PDF Goal Setting Quickies cheat sheet for you at the end of the post but you need to read this first…
If you are a regular around these parts, you will know that I’m a doer, I decide on what I’m going to do and I make it happen.
Like the time that I thought, I’d like to write a book… within 6 months it was written, edited and published and hitting the number #1 category across all Amazons market places (true story, get your copy here *cheeky wink!*)
Or like the time I decided I was fed up with working in the pub and wanted to go and work overseas, it was just 6 weeks from the day I decided I had had enough to the day I landed in Japan.
Or the time after the big Tohoku earthquake, I made a huge decision to move from selling physical goods to having an online business model. Within the year I had launched a new brand, a new website and an online course.
These things didn’t happen by magic, they happened by intention!
This is not some magical formula, this is the way many successful people work whether they realise it or not. I know for a fact that Superlucky Di uses this method for her comping wins (she is one of the UK’s most successful compers!) and Denise Duffield Thomas uses and teaches a similar method over at Lucky Bitch where she manifested a million dollar company!
As I said, use it properly and you will get results.
Step 1 of my kaizen 3 Step Method – Set Your Goal
The important thing to remember here is that you need to be VERY, VERY specific. Let’s look at some examples:
I want to make lots of sales
I want to make 300 sales by the end of the year
I want to make enough money to
write off my debts and pay for a holiday
I want to make $10,000 to pay off my debts
and have money for a holiday by Christmas
I want to get my business off the
ground and start making money
I want to get my website up and running
and sell 50 of my new product by December 31st
See the difference?
Be specific about the numbers, whether it is losing 10 kilos or making $10,000 and also give it a doable timeline. You need a deadline so that you can work backwards ready for the next step…
Step 2 of my kaizen 3 Step Method – Break It Down
The trick here is to work backwards.
Most people overestimate the time it will take to hit their goal and so run out of time as the deadline looms. If you start from the goal and work backwards you will be able to see if you are over-estimating and make the necessary adjustments.
Break it into big steps first.
- Say you want to lose 12 kg in the next 90 days?
- How much is that a month?
- And how much a week?
- What are you going to have to do to make that happen? Will adding a couple of gym sessions be enough or do you need to be doing something physical every day?
- How about your diet?
Or, if you want to make $10,000 in the next 90 days, again break it down.
- How many products do you need to sell?
- How many of those will you need on average per week?
- Or depending on your business set up, will you need to generate that from a launch?
- If so, how many people do you need on your email list?
- Crunch those numbers baby!
Step 3 of my kaizen 3 Step Method – Baby Steps
You just need to break those big steps into itty bitty baby steps. So that you can do something every day, no matter how small, it will be moving you in the right direction. And us moms all of those days when just keeping the kids alive is a major achievement! So keep it real!
When you are planning it all out, remember to take things like holidays and family commitments into consideration.
Write down your tasks for the day and do them.
Simple right? Wrong!
There are 3 other things that you need to apply to the method to make it all work.
The 3 step kaizen method works and works brilliantly BUT, (yes there is always a but). But, you need to make sure that you stay accountable, very few people have the commitment to stick it out to the end all by themselves, which is why the top dogs in industry and sports all have coaches.
Accountability comes in many forms, from having a buddy that you check in with daily to something like a weight watchers group, a personal trainer or a mindset coach. Pick the one that best suits your needs. If you like having a group, check out The Wonder Moms Success Club, we have accountability and implementation built into the membership.
It is easy to add things to the to-do list but actually crossing them off is another matter.
As the story goes, almost 100 years ago, Schwab, a very competitive businessman from Bethlehem Steel, hired Ivy Lee to improve his CEO’s productivity. Lee talked to each executive and gave each one the following instructions:
At the end of the workday, write down the 6 most important tasks that you need to complete tomorrow.
Rate the 6 tasks in order of importance.
In the morning, only concentrate on the first task and stick with it until it is completed. Any tasks that are not completed, roll them over to the next day. Repeat this every work day.
It of course worked, productivity shot through the roof and Ivy Lee earned himself a nice fat commission.
But why does it work?
Mainly because it is SIMPLE. And because it’s simple it’s easy to commit to and once you have made the commitment getting distracted by busy work is less of an issue. But (yes another one) Schwab’s executives were not (as far as I know) moms.
And this makes a lot of difference.
If you don’t have dinner, shopping, laundry, cleaning, kids, doctors appointments, PTA meetings and everything else that moms tend to grapple with going on in your head, then committing to 6 tasks is totally doable.
But I know us moms have a squillion and one other things going on, so I recommend to my clients to stick with 3 tasks for work and 3 for home/family. And if that feels like too much, just pick ONE.
The 3 tasks for work HAVE to be things to move your business forward, no busy work or procrastination techniques on the to-do list please.
This is a biggie. It is really important to re-evaluate your tasks every couple of weeks.
- Are you still on track?
- Do you need to make adjustments?
- Did you fall off the wagon? (for whatever reason) what do you need to do to get back to your timeline?
I feel that this is important for everyone but especially for moms. We often have to deal with sick kids or snow days, trips to the hospital and unexpected playdates, all things that can derail us, so make the commitment to re-evaluate on a regular basis.
And there you have it!
I’ll leave you with an example of how this all works…
I live in Japan, my son and I fly back to the UK for the summer. This year my cousin invited us to stay at her place in Vienna (actually, come to think of it, I might have invited myself!)
Anyway, this was an extra expense that I hadn’t calculated into our initial trip. I crunched the numbers, got a good guestimate of the cost of hotels, trains and the usual expenses added a bit to it for good luck.
Then I used the kaizen 3 step method in two ways, first to break down what I needed to do to make the trip happen, hotels and trains to book etc.
We did it all by train via Brussels, Germany, Switzerland and France, with a couple of side trips to Slovakia and Liechtenstein and stay overs added to the mix.
I also set up another goal to work out how to rustle up the extra money I needed.
It worked! By the time we left Japan, the money was in the bank, all the hotels and travel had been booked and paid for and I had extra for spends!
We had an amazing trip but it only happened because I made it happen.