“Small things with great love…It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing. And it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving. To God, there is nothing small.” - Mother Theresa
In the Western world, you are expected to take radical leaps to create change. Sometimes those leaps are too scary and since your brain resists change, it can feel impossible to gain momentum. What if there was a way to bypass the fight or flight mechanism that blocks you from moving towards your goals?
Kaizen might be your ticket to success. In Japanese, Kai means “change” and Zen means “better” so all Kaizen asks is that you take small, comfortable steps for continual improvement. Think of it as “low key change” that seems so minimal, you wouldn’t ever be intimidated by it. In this way, you are rewiring your nervous system, creating a calm change pattern and seeing results over time.
Let’s use clearing clutter and organizing your home as an example of your goal. In order promote simple change, you could ask yourself, “What is the smallest step I can lovingly take to create an organized home?” Maybe it’s just making your bed every day. Bringing “love energy” to the task is an added, purposeful benefit. As you make your bed, envision you and your partner in a cozy embrace or send them loving thoughts.
How about placing one piece of old clothing, an unneeded book, or other clutter in a bag in the trunk of your car each day as you go off to work? At the end of the month, you’d have 30 items to take to Goodwill and it didn’t take a lot of effort. These steps are so small that you’re not afraid of doing it and practically guarantee success.
Since many of you think “I don’t have time,” breaking simple tasks into small time intervals ultimately leads you to your big goal. It may take three months to clear clutter from your closet but you’ll have it done. You won’t be wasting your precious energy thinking about it and then beat yourself up for never doing it. Each day that you accomplish your easy task will boost your confidence and fuel your momentum.
By taking steps so tiny that they seem ridiculous, you will easily flow past obstacles that have plagued you in the past. Reward yourself in small ways during the process. Remember, the baby steps are almost laughable…in fact, laugh all the way to the finish line! As Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with one step.”