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One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way - Robert Maurer Your brain loves questions. What color is the car parked next to yours turns out to be productive and useful for shaping ideas and solutions than commands (tell me the color of the car parked next to yours). Use it to shape behavior such as "what is one way I can remind myself to drink more water?".Mind sculpture how-to.1. Isolate a task that you are afraid to do or that makes you uncomfortable. Try to give yourself at least a month before you actually have to perform the task.2. Decide how many second you're willing to devote to mind sculpture for this task each day Make sure you allot seconds, not minutes or hours; the time commitment should be so low that you can easily fulfill its requirements every single day. Repetition is important.3. When you are ready to practice mind sculpture, sit or lie down in a quiet, comfortable spot and close your eyes.4 Imagine that you are in the difficult or uncomfortable situation and looking through your own eyes around you. What do you see? What is the setting? Who's there? What do they look like? etc.5. Now expand your imagination to the rest of your senses.6 Without moving an actual muscle, imagine that you are performing the task. What are the words that you use? What does your voice sound lie and how does it resonate through your body? What are your physical gestures?7. Imagine a positive response to your activity. 8. When your allotted time for mind sculpture has become habitual and even fun, you may find that you are automatically performing the formerly difficult activity with enthusiasm. But if you're not ready for the real thing,that's perfectly okay. Never force the process of kaizen. It only works if you let change happen in a comfortable and easy manner. Increase the number of seconds, but if you are making excuses or forgetting to do it, cut back on the amount of time.9. Once you are comfortable, now imagine a worst-case scenario and how you would respond effectively to it. 10. When you are ready to take on the actual task, try out some small steps first. For public speaking, maybe talk out loud to an empty room or a friendly audience of one.Examples.Stop overspending. Remove one object from the shopping cart before going to the register.Begin an exercise program. Stand -- yes, just stand!-- on the treadmill for a few minutes every morning.Manage stress. Once a day, note where your body is holding tension. Then take one deep breath.Keep the house clean. Pick an area of the house, set a timer for 5 minutes, and tidy up. Stop when the timer goes off.Learn a foreign language. Commit 1 new word to memory every day. If that's too hard, try learning 1 new word every week.Get more sleep. Go to bed 1 minute earlier at night, or stay in bed 1 minute longer in the morning. As you plan your own small steps toward change, keep in mind that sometimes, despite your best planning, you'll hit a wall of resistance. Don't give up! Instead, try scaling back the size of your steps. Remember that goal is to bypass fear -- and to make the steps so small that you can barely notice the effort. When the steps are easy enough, the mind will usually take over and leapfrog over obstacles to achieve your goal. Solve small problems. We are so accustomed to living with minor annoyances that it's not always easy to identify them, let alone make corrections. But these annoyances have a way of acquiring mass and eventually blocking your path to change. By training yourself to spot and solve small problems, you can avoid undergoing much more painful remedies later. The small steps of kaizen and the giant leaps of innovation are not mutually exclusive; used together, they become a formidable weapon against even the most profound, complex, and apparently unsolvable problems. When people are up against a thorny problem they've been unable to solve, I generally advise them to focus on kaizen first. Once they understand the small steps, they find that they've developed an intuitive sense for when innovation is appropriate and how to mix the two. When you're implementing a plan for change but find yourself bored, restless, and stuck, look around for hidden moments of delight. Gottman study of successful relationships. Positive attention outweighed negative on a daily basis by a factor of 5 to 1. -- using a pleased tone of voice.-- inquiring about appointments, other details of the person's day.-- putting down the remote, newspaper or telephone when the other partner walked through the door.-- arriving home at the promised time, or at least calling if there was a delay. However, don't just praise actions, praise the person as well (so the person doesn't feel like an employee). I love the way your hair looks in the morning. I love how excited you get on the way to the movies.