01st Aug , 2017

We’re now halfway through 2017. I could write something about summer, but the weather hasn’t even felt like spring.

How about we take a look at all of those New Year’s resolutions people
made in January. Some wished to lose weight. Some hoped to quit smoking. Others made various attempts to make a positive change in their lives for 2017.

Alas, most seem to either give up on their resolution or fail to meet their goal. Why is this? How about you? Have you all but given up on your personal goals for this year? And why? Perhaps I can assist. The reason people give up so easily is because they set their expectations far too high. For instance, let's look at those who join a gym. They start out fine. But three to four
months later, they are already giving up. This is typical of Americans because we want everything right now. We don't want to wait and, as a result, we don't. When we don't see the results we want in a few weeks or months, we get aggravated and move on to something else.

I say this is an American thing because I want to teach you about a mindset which is very Asian in its thinking. Here's a word to remember. Kaizen. It's Japanese and means "Good" and "Change". It is generally a business philosophy of improvement in which small, incremental
changes are made which, after a period of time, result in a great change.

However, the Japanese understand what the Americans don't; the meaning of the word "slowly".  While Kaizen is generally used for improvements in manufacturing, the philosophy can just as easily be applied to people. When we join that gym or set out to accomplish any goal, we must
understand that it is the small, slow and sometimes unnoticeable micro-improvements that are taking place. W These small improvements, when consistently repeated over a long period of time, result in new, better and positive habits or changes in lifestyle.  Want to lose weight? Forget those crash diets. They are unhealthy and only starve you temporarily. Instead, start by cutting back five percent of your daily calories. In a month, cut
back another five percent. In six months (Which is pretty much the point we're at now since January), you will have cut back your daily caloric intake by nearly thirty percent. As a result, you will have lost a great deal of weight.

What if you want to quit smoking? If you can't go cold turkey, start to reduce the number of
cigarettes you smoke by one each week. In twenty weeks, you will be finished.
By lacking patience and expecting things to happen overnight we lose hope and slide right back into our past bad behaviors. But, by developing patience and embracing a long-term outcome, we can succeed at anything we wish. This is the philosophy needed for every person and in all aspects of life. It is the small, consistent efforts– like the little engine that could– which can
allow anyone to accomplish anything.

Do you want to really establish and accomplish goals for your personal and professional life?Commit to the long haul. Do not look for daily or even weekly signs you are getting there.

Instead, after your first month, look back, see where you are versus where you were. And remember, a thousand mile journey begins with the first step. Focus on each step, make it the best it can be, see your end goal clearly in your mind and you can accomplish anything. It takes patience and perseverance.

COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS BY BRIAN HAGGERTY

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