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2023 | Challenge - Response - Health

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Last week we talked about TIME and how you use it to get out of the "old ennui". Time and then health are often taken for granted until they are depleted. Then...we appreciate what was once there. Then we regret. Perhaps we give up as we grieve the loss. The last stage of grieving is Acceptance. Do you just accept your health as is? Do you begin to improve? It may seem hopeless. Or is it?

"But there are always possibilities" said Mr Spock to his crew in a Star Trek adventure, even as the plot seemed to offer no hope of survival. Possibilities need time to unfold, so if we have a bit of time left, we can create the hope of improving health. In most situations, this is true.

Let's start with the smallest part of you that moves - your little finger. Or an eyelid. Can you move it? Then there's hope. You start with the small thing that you control. Do it again!

Welcome to Kaizen - the process of continuous improvement by aiming small and celebrating success. You see Health is not a noun so much as it is a process in that you are always adding to it somehow or you are taking from it by not adding to it. You do this through the passage of time by slowly building habits of HEALTH and then the habits create hope repetitively. Of course, next week we explore the idea of how RELATIONSHIPS can help to form a HEALTHY response to a Challenge and reinforce hope. You can begin to see how TIME, HEALTH, RELATIONSHIPS, AND RESOURCES together support your identity and self image. Nothing new here for anyone of any age - aging merely intensifies the need to be proactive about the process. Your HEALTH need moves from "not Urgent, but important" to a different TIME class: "Urgent AND Important" right now. And you start right now with Kaizen.

Kaizen applications are everywhere if you look with a little bit of curiosity. You can find a lot of things on the internet and You Tube, but I think many of these are just commercial opportunities not available locally. It doesn't mean they are bad, but there are now so many you have to sort through them and that takes TIME - (the other pillar). So here are a couple of places I've found for you so you can really get started on the smallest HEALTH improvement and build on it.

Warning: You will quickly see that Kaizen has been used effectively in business situations - mostly modeled on Toyota processes. But it now is entering into Health Care and many other industries because it is so effective. For the individual, which is where you are starting, there are only four simple steps:

  1. Plan – define your objective and how you’ll achieve it.

  2. Do – implement the plan and make any changes required to ensure it works.

  3. Check – evaluate the results and identify opportunities for improvement.

  4. Act – make adjustments based on what’s found in the previous step.

How simple: You already Planned a little step and did it! And then you completed step two - Do. So now you Check and Act. Rinse and repeat. If you overdo (like I did this morning) on my weight training, you back off and reset or readjust.

Here is the book to get on Kaizen at Amazon or your favorite bookstore: One Small Step Can Change your Life (The Kaizen Way) by Robert Maurer, PhD, clinical psychologist on the faculty of the University of Washington and UCLA

See you next week as we continue to attack "the old ennui" by using RELATIONSHIPS. If you can, look locally for some people who know about Blue Zones. Reach Out. Blue Zones Ideas You Can Pursue (with kaizen process)

Happy Days Ahead!

Joe Grant, MBA Certified Retirement Coach

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