Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new year, a new you.


Not much for making resolutions at the start of a new year? I traded in the standard tradition of making resolutions, and adapted a business like model for change this year.

About six months ago I stumbled upon something called CIP, Continuous Improvement Process. Derived from the Kaizen Method (think Toyota production process), CIP is a business method used to continuously improve products, services and the processes used to deliver said items.

Most companies (and most people) tend to make drastic changes all at once (most people make these changes at the start of a new year), which can result in a poorly executed outcome that will most likely cost a lot of money.

The CIP philosophy is to make continual small incremental changes. Small ideas or plans are easy to implement into complex system (like your life) and can be modified as needed. Also, small plans don’t require much money in order to make these changes. The CIP method also calls for constant self -refection to identify key areas in which to reduce or eliminate unneeded practices.

So I decided to put this philosophy to the test a little over a month ago using the following steps:

1.Identify- I made a mental list of things I wanted to change. At the top of that list was my health. I noticed how my poor eating habits and lack of exercise effected all areas of my life; family, work and social.

2.Implement- After a little research. I came up plan up with a plan that would be easy to start. I weened my self off of smoking cigarettes, eating fried foods, and drinking those sugary energy drinks. Then I gradually eased into eating healthier and exercising more often.

3. Evaluate- After a few weeks of eating three healthy meals a day and cardio 2-3 times a week, I felt better,but didn't see the results I wanted. So....

4. Modify- I cut juice and soda completely out of my diet, and now I drink mostly water and tea, which wasn't hard at all cause the change was gradual. I was getting my wind back so I increased my running time an additional 10 minutes per workout. After about a week I noticed that I wasn't so sluggish in the mornings and I was more attentive at work.

5. Repeat- The purpose of this method it to continually tweak existing plans for change so that it will yield the best possible results... Why reinvent the wheel when you can make it better?

When I started I was 278 lbs. A month and 3 days later I'm down 266 lbs. Eventually I would like to get down to 245 lbs - which is possible if I continue to improve my process.

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