Evaluate and measure – Recognising your commitment to 1% improvement
Continuous improvement does not focus on making huge gains or big improvements in one go. Instead, it focuses on long-term, steady progress towards your larger goals. This means that as a user of continuous improvement, you must also hone your ability to effectively focus on the progress you are making day-to-day, 1% at a time.
The greatest strength and weakness of the Continuous improvement model is that change will inevitably be slow, steady and consistent. As we discussed in the previous blog , it is human nature to look for obvious and substantial changes in ourselves or the situation around us for us to validate our efforts. Being able to evaluate and measure your improvements is important for your own motivation and ongoing commitment to the journey. If you are not measuring your progress, your subconscious brain will likely kick in and delay your progress by convincing you that you are not making any progress at all.
Continuous improvement is commitment to the journey, not the destination. In the spirit of this philosophy, one of the best ways to evaluate your 1% changes is to conduct a weekly review and document your findings. In this review answer the three following questions:
1) Where have I succeeded? What things did I improve upon this week? Acknowledging your progress and small improvements will you encourage you to take future positive actions.
2) Where did things get derailed? What things could you improve next week? By identifying the areas you believe you have to grow, you will be able to focus on making gradual changes to improve them.
3) Where to now? Even if you are happy with your general progress, you need to keep asking yourself what you plan to do as your next step forward. By identifying what you are going to do in the next week to improve, you are ready to commit to those improvements.
These evaluations are pivotal to your success. If you aren’t evaluating your progress, you won’t be able to see your own growth and you are more likely to resume old habits. Gradual improvement is generally fairly hard to see in the short term but huge in the long term. By evaluating our progress we can allow ourselves to see these little improvements.
By taking up the philosophy of Continuous improvement, your life won’t radically change overnight, but over time with consistent and constant improvement and dedication, you will find that you are directing your life along a path with the greatest possibility of success.