Find my kaizen.
March 29, 2011 1:40 PM   Subscribe

What are some books or other resources that will help me make small, daily, incremental changes? Looking to overcome shyness, build self-confidence, self-discipline, and a few other skills.

I've realized that most of my goals for 2011 don't have a specific last step: Building self-confidence, reducing my procrastination, feeling more attractive, and so on aren't the same as "Visit Europe." And I've realized I do best when there are small, actionable steps I can take to get there. Finding self-improvement resources with actionable steps has been difficult -- I'm shocked at how vague a lot of it is. Please let me know what books or websites have specific daily exercises, daily missions, or end-of-chapter homework assignments in these fields: overcoming shyness, building self-confidence, building self-discipline, practicing creativity/becoming more creative, building sex appeal, improving writing skills, learning to write music. I know this is a pretty broad list, but hey, this is a big year for me. I'm a 30yo female. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
building self-discipline

Fly-Lady. She's aimed at helping people organize their life and becoming liberated from slobland. However, if you read through her materials you'll likely pick up on her themes of how to build habits, and the process applies to any are. Small steps, routine and consistency. She's a big advocate of list making, note-taking and journal-keeping. You can relate those activities to tracking any other self-improvement changes as well.
posted by motsque at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2011

I had fun playing Health Month in March, on the MetaFilter team. You can set as many or as few goals as you want, and participate in on-line support/chat if that helps you. I don't know that it would help with what you're asking about defining the specific daily goals, but maybe just the process of thinking about what they might be would help.

A lot of people like The Artist's Way for exploring creativity.
posted by not that girl at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Finding a toastmasters club near where you live will help a lot. External accountability, incremental improvement & a big payout
posted by exois at 2:02 PM on March 29, 2011

May I suggest the popular MeFi topic

Despite this being a guy, there's some good lessons in here that I think you could apply the same principals to some of your personal areas of self improvement.
posted by straight_razor at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2011

I strongly second Flylady. I use the iPhone app Home Routines and that helps too.

Feeling attractive: tune out of popular culture and ads. Seriously.
posted by Salamandrous at 4:38 PM on March 29, 2011

I love "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck for this purpose. You set RIDICULOUSLY a small, manageable goal that you do for four days. After 4 days in a row, you get a small treat. There are workpages for writing your goals and rewards. The book is focused on losing weight/getting a healthy attitude toward food, but the concept could easily be applied to any small goal.

I loaned the copy to my sister, but I will mail it to you if you want, if you don't have it at your library and/or funds are short. You will see that one reward I gave myself is "celebratory dance in the mirror" and seeing the Star Trek movie in the theater. (Nerd)
posted by shortyJBot at 5:03 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

building self-confidence

Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever's Ask For It
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:29 PM on March 29, 2011

First I would like to say as an IE and hearing Kaizen in askme thread brings a smile to my day.

Some workouts that are meant to help from a slob/couch potato in actionable milestones
Programs similar from Couch to 5K

In addition search for "things to do everyday" projects and start blogging them.
posted by radsqd at 9:07 AM on March 31, 2011

Oooh Oooh! Habit Judo! Here's the spreadsheet!

shameless self-link
posted by leotrotsky at 5:13 PM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]

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