Sunday, June 5, 2016

Weekly Goals #18: "Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen."

"Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen." - Taichi Ohno

I have been reflecting on this quote a lot recently, especially as I consider my weekly goals. There have been so many changes in my life in the past few months - ending my job, looking for work, starting a new job, moving to an apartment, then finally buying and moving to a new house.

My coping mechanisms have struggled to manage the turmoil. I crave stability and predictability, and I need to refocus on my physical and mental health. I have so much I can give, but I can't do anything if I don't protect my health.

So this week's goals revolve around taking care of myself so I can achieve my full potential. I read somewhere that the majority of people will never reach the heights for which they were destined. They die without fully realizing who they were created to be. I don't want my life to end like that. And I'm making the conscious effort to make the choice to live a life that brings glory to God. In the core of my being, I know that is the only way to live a life that matters.

Before I can make significant gains, I first need to stabilize my baseline. This concept is as true in personal improvement as it is in process improvement. I need a standard. To that target, here are my goals for this week.

1. Same breakfast and lunch every day.
Result: Done, with the exception of Friday/Sat/Sunday where I had a heavier breakfast but a lighter lunch. Consistency is definitely key.

2. Plan dinner. If I need to stop by the store to get something for it after work, that's okay.
Result: Not really done in terms that I didn't really have dinner most nights. The one night I did was challenging.

3. Drink more water. I cannot stress this enough - I had several headaches last week from becoming dehydrated. To help with this, I will buy bottled water to bring to work. It's not as economical as filling up a water bottle, but I'm more likely to drink it if I bring it.
Result: I brought water a few days to work, and it was usually gone by noon. That helped a lot, and I'm going to continue it this week.

4. Get plenty of (quality) sleep. I'm usually pretty good about this - most nights I'm in bed by nine, and wake up a few minutes before my alarm.
Result: In bed by 9 every night except Thursday. I was so tired Friday from staying up so late despite sleeping in.

6. Nourish my faith. I have been neglecting this lately and its correlated to my difficulty handling life. I can do two things. First, read the daily Bible verse in the morning before leaving work. Next, listen to Living on the Edge in the car on the way to work (7:05-7:30). Doing this first thing helps to set the tone for the whole day.
Result: Living on the Edge 2 out of 4 days due to waking up and leaving for work early. Bible verse almost all days, I think. Not much noticeable results but hard to tell.

7. Make a top 3 daily goals list every day. I find narrowing it to 3 ensures I get the most important priorities done.
Result: Yes, this really helps me get my top priorities done. However, it does make me a little more rigid than I need to be. Something to watch out for. Sometimes the Top 3 need to be adjusted, and that's okay.

8. Exercise most if not all days, even if that's 'just' going for a walk.
Result: Done most days, despite the heat. 'Just' a walk, but I always felt better afterwards.

9. Listen to Gemba Academy podcasts. I am learning so much about lean philosophy and tools and am able to apply it to what I do at work. This has been a great find.
Result: Not only did I listen to about five, but I reached out to the host to let him know how much I enjoyed them, and he asked if I'd like to be a guest on the show! What an honor.

10. Read. There is so much to learn. Right now, I have "The Art of War", "2-Second Lean", "Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers", and "Zen Habits: Handbook for Life" lined up. Between a couple of plane rides and a long weekend, I want to get some good reading and learning done.
Result: I finished "2-Second Lean" and about half of "The Toyota Way." 

11. Make a plan for the long weekend, one that includes relaxing activities. Having a plan will help me feel less stressed about the time off. Some things I could include:
  • Going for a hike with my husband Result: Too hot. Went for walks every day though, including the downtown of a new city with my husband.
  • Doing my weekly 5S house activities  Result: Done - actually split it into two days after I got tired after having to do some extra work the first day. Worked fine.
  • Completing 1-2 projects from my household project pipeline Result: None done, but I'm okay with that.
  • Replacing lid switch on the washing machine  Result: Part did not arrive, so could not do this. Resulted in a trip to the Laundromat.
  • Weeding / yardwork Result: Done on Thursday when it wasn't too hot. It's starting to look good out there.
  • Reading books mentioned above Result: Done, during one afternoon and at bedtime. Gave me some good food for thought.
  • Napping. Result: 30 minute power nap on Saturday was all I needed.
  • Newcomer's group at church. Result: Done, with good relationship-building and learning about the church, culminating with our membership applications and an invite to a Bible study.
Overall it was a good week.  I really enjoyed the time visiting another plant and helping them with a brainstorming session. However, I'm looking forward to the next two weeks at home. 

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