A Japanese Technique to Overcome Laziness

Almost all of us periodically sets ourselves a new goal or challenge — and just as often in the end fails to achieve them. We end up telling ourselves that we’re just not ready yet, that we’ll do it next week, next month…next year. We might even pursue them with zeal at the start. But once we’ve made a small amount of effort, we’ll tell ourselves we’ve done enough, and it’s time to take this whole ‘starting a new life’ thing more slowly.

Why does it always turn out like this? The answer’s fairly obvious: Because we try to achieve too much, too fast; because we get sick of the new responsibility; because it’s difficult to change old habits and try something new.

  • The technique is called Kaizen, or the one-minute principle. Kaizen originated in Japan, and it is something that anyone can attempt in any sphere of their life.
  • At the heart of this method is the idea that you should practice doing something for a single minute. Every day at the same time. Just for a minute, no more.
  • Challenging programs of self-improvement that deprive you of vast amounts of energy can end up exhausting you, and leave no tangible results.
  • The one-minute principle lets you see the progress you’re making. And it’s a critical part of forming new habits! It’s important to overcome that lack of confidence you might have in your abilities, as well as free yourself from guilt and helplessness.
  • The moment those feelings inspire you, you will gradually begin to increase the amount of time you spend on the goal that you have set yourself.

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