7 Simple Ways to Apply Kaizen for Personal Growth


If you are looking for personal development and effective change, you can try the Japanese concept of Kaizen.

“Kaizen” is translated as “good” (kai) “change” (zen), so it means “change for the better”.
This principal is most frequently used in the business world to describe a process for eliminating waste and increasing efficiency. However, it can be applied to your daily life. The concept is valuable for you who want to strive for continuous improvement on a more personal level.

Kaizen encourages people to take baby steps towards larger goals, and aiming for 1% improvement each day. Just as drops of water can erode stone by persistence, small actions will add up to become big changes in life.

Now, are you ready to kaizen your life? Here are some ideas on how to implement this philosophy in both your professional and daily life:

Ask yourself simple questions

When you have a goal, sometimes you stuck on how can I reach it? It is because you see that goal from afar, and not realizing that it takes several steps to make it true. Now, change that mindset. Break down your goal and ask yourself questions like “What is the first thing I can do to make it?” or “Can I spend a few minutes a day doing…?” Stick to the concept that nothing comes easy, it needs a good will, perseverance, and consistence to make your goal comes true.

Create a process

Come up with an actionable process for a specific activity that is organized and repeatable. Examine whether the process is efficient by asking yourself if the process saves you time and if it accomplished your desired result. If not, change it. Do not stick in one fixed thing and keep innovating because our world is constantly changing.

Prioritize your actions

Now you know the steps to achieve your goals, and have the processes set and ready. Now it’s time to decide on the order in which you’ll pursue them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with the action that will be easiest to implement and go from there. Go easy on yourself, but stay discipline to consistently do the actions.

Make most of your time

If you look at your daily schedule, it seems impossible to make time for yourself to stop and do something to reach your goal. However, you will need time to take those small steps. Every night before you go to sleep, review your schedule for the next day and be realistic. Find a slot when you can make some time to do something to reach your dream, and discipline yourself. Do not delay and say that “oh I can do it another day”. If not now, then when?


Visualize your goal and how you can definitely achieve it in small steps that you make. Every day, always picture this in your mind, especially when you start the day in the morning. Do not think about the challenges and hardships you may face in achieving it. See your goal as a fun process that makes you stronger and better every day.

Keep track of your progress

The concept of kaizen is not a sudden, big change, but small changes that you consistently make daily. You can write down what you do towards your goal each day. Keeping track of your progress will also allow you to make adjustments as needed. Kaizen is an ongoing process, so you will need to keep planning, acting, and adjusting as you go.

Eliminate waste and excess

In your way to achieve your goal, you may find things that are unnecessary and time-consuming. Every once in a while, stop and evaluate how much value each activity adds to your life. If, for example, going to the language courses seems too tiring and ineffective to you, you may want to consider learning languages online that is more efficient for you.

These simple ways to practice kaizen should help you to achieve your goals and improve yourself. It may take a long time to achieve your desired result, but it will worth the wait. With kaizen practice, you can make your goal comes true while not being so hard on yourself–making the progress more achievable and enjoyable.