If you're anything like me, this pandemic has thrown your routine through the ringer. You probably struggle with some frustrating circular emotions of disappointment and forgiveness regarding things you should be doing to better yourself with your newly found free time. All those things you said you’d do if your calendar just wasn’t so full remain incomplete as you boot up Netflix to passively watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother for the hundredth time, while scrolling through Instagram obsessing over the lives people pretend to lead. What is there to be done when the world feels so heavy and we feel more isolated than ever?
The Japanese have a process for continual improvement called Kaizen. The practice is to implement small changes, almost imperceptible, that can be enacted immediately and lead to much larger future improvements. Continual growth spurred not by the moving of mountains, or even the building of mole hills, but by simply picking up a shovel.
Developing anti-fragile habits requires them to become part of our identity, they are set apart by the fact that when we discuss them with others, we say “I am a (runner/cook/whatever)”. These habits aren’t set in the foundation of your personality by jumping straight into them from nothing. They start from a tiny, miniscule, almost silly beginning that leads to a lifetime of constant improvement and fulfillment. Burnout from over exposure becomes difficult as the baby steps always leave room for future growth.
Take for example, running. You wouldn’t get off the couch and run a marathon without any training. That would be ridiculous and you’d probably get hurt! Instead, you’d start by making sure you have a sturdy pair of sneakers, lacing them up, and going for a short run around the neighborhood. You gradually increase your distance over a long period of time, and then one day, you lace up those shoes and toe the start line of your marathon. You didn’t start on race day, you started many miles before by lacing up your shoes.
If you’re anything like me, this pandemic has got you down like the world never has before. Don’t beat yourself up, lean on your support groups, smile often, and please…put on your running shoes. We all have to start somewhere!
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Jon: Jon Vaughn is a Technical Solutions Consultant with Advoco and enjoys creatively solving maintenance issues with technical aptitude. He is a graduate of ECPI University with a Bachelor’s in Database Programming. When he is not working he enjoys cooking, gaming, and playing disc golf. Questions? Send Jon an email!