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What is the one minute principle in Kaizan?

In 1986 a gentleman named Masaaki Imai wrote a book about the Japanese concept of "Kaizen." The word kaizen comes from two Japanese words: ‘kai’ meaning ‘change’ and ‘zen’ meaning ‘good’. This philosophy was first introduced by the Toyota company in the 1980's and encourages an improvement culture that gradually increases quality, efficiency, and profitability.

Within the philosophy of Kaizan is the "one minute principle." The one minute principle states that you should practice a something at the same time every day for one minute. This principle leverages the power of habit to improve a little bit every day.

To get started with the one minute principle, pick something to practice for one minute a day. So examples are:
  • Meditate for one minute.
  • Write something you are grateful for.
  • Do one minute of pushups.
  • Do one minute of jumping jacks.
Then set a time each day you can practice this skill. Set a reminder on your phone for this time so you remember!

Finally commit to practicing your skill for 14 days. Because its such a small habit you should know within a short period of time if its going to stick. What you will probably find is by the end of the 14 days you are sneaking in extra time and your one minute is now two or three minutes. That's OK, that means your habit it forming!

Go think of something you have always wanted to do and start doing it for just one minute a day! Everyone can find one minute in their schedule! You can do this!


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