Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” as Want to Read:
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  7,061 ratings  ·  661 reviews
Introducing the practical and inspirational guide to incorporating Kaizen and its powerful principles into one's daily life. Rooted in the two thousand-year-old wisdom of the Tao Te Ching--"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"--Kaizen is the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady increments. Kaizen is the tortoise versus the hare ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Workman Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Small Step Can Change Your Life, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Divyanshu Shende Actually, it talks about both these things. It uses real life stories and examples to both suggest kaizen practices for daily life and convince you of…moreActually, it talks about both these things. It uses real life stories and examples to both suggest kaizen practices for daily life and convince you of its importance.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,061 ratings  ·  661 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Last fall Megan McArdle wrote a piece for The Daily Beast titled "What's Wrong with Self-Help Books?" We all read them, and why not? As she says: "I have not noticed that the people who surround me at conferences and social gatherings are so perfect as to require no futher improvement." Yet for most people there is some shame involved in admitting they get useful advice from these kinds of books.

But it can. And it did.

I think I read about Maurer's book in Elle magazine, right when it was publish
Second read:

4.5 stars. If you're looking to make any type of change in your personal or work life, this is a great book to get hold of. It is a fast read and is filled with practical examples of kaizen, which is small changes put in place to bring about big changes down the line. This is my second read, and this time I've taken notes. I wouldn't be surprised if I read this book yet again in the future.

The concept here is that small, painless steps toward a goal are so easy that the mind gives n
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to 7jane by: Karen Chung
Rating: somewhere between 3.5 and 4, but leaning towards the latter.

This book introduces us to the Kaizen way of changing your life through small steps: small questions, small thoughts, small actions, solving small problems and giving small rewards. This works if it's about you as much it's about a group of people in a business. By doing so small steps it's almost ridiculous, we override the brain's natural resistance and fear of changes. It's true that there has been recommendations of breaking
Brandon Tom
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
In "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way," Robert Maurer, Ph.D., makes the case that, because people are resistant to dramatic changes, trying to improve your life through drastic measures (such as giving up smoking cold-turkey or going on a crash diet) usually leads to failure (although the author admits this is not always the case). Instead he recommends that we take small, almost insignificant steps towards our goals. In doing so, we lessen our resistance to change and therefor ...more
Neil R. Coulter
It may be a little unfair to be negative about One Small Step Can Change Your Life. After all, I don’t disagree with the book’s main point. For me, though, there are two hindrances. One is that I’ve recently read a completely fantastic book about mental health (Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score) and a completely fantastic book about small changes (Atomic Habits, by James Clear). Robert Maurer’s book is in those areas too, but without the excellent research presentation that makes th ...more
Karen Witzler
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: textbooks, kindle
Kaizen has taken over my workplace. I do find it somewhat intriguing and more realistic than the self-improvement books I read in my youth.

I read this for Book Riot Challenge 2019.
George Rodriguez
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: success
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way is a nice little book. It clocks in at under 200 pages and has a somewhat interesting premise. Based on the Japanese technique of Kaizen, or continuous improvement through small steps, the author lays out a plan that follows that logic.

I would classify this book as a Twitter book because you can sum it up in 140 characters or less. ”Start small and celebrate every improvement you make on the road to success.”

And when the author says small, he m
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Kaizen Way to deal with problems is to start with very simple steps that are very easy to accomplish and continuously improve in simple increments. This is especially applicable when the problems to be solved appear so daunting that we try to avoid taking any action at all. The author gives many examples where Kaizen way has helped individuals, organizations and societies solve seemingly difficult problems.
The advice offered by the author is very simple and practical. This is applicable in a
Andrey S
Sep 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: meh, non-fiction
Why is this a book and not a two-page booklet?
Hey, kids, let me tell you a secret. It is much easier to finish small tasks than big ones... whaaaat?! БДЫЩЩЩЩ! MIND BLOWN!!! This practice... no... philosophy! This philosophy is so awesome that it has its own name. And it works all the time except when it doesn't. And we know it is cool because the Japanese use it.
Ruth Kamau
May 29, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This was a good read, but for some reason all the patient examples he gave kept irritating me.

Would definitely read this one again .
Sep 25, 2008 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Good books inspire, soothe, excite, amaze, motivate, confound, delight, intrigue—or do any number of other good things—maybe not all at once, but without fail they bring something extra to the table. I would argue that every really good book will get you thinking, and some will even get you acting differently. By this measure, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way is a good book.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that refers to "achieving great and lasting success through small,
Karen Chung
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title is no exaggeration - this book really can change your life, in teeny-tiny baby steps that build up into something big and paradigm-shifting.

An easy and enjoyable read that I finished in a few hours. Highly recommended, especially for teachers, but for anybody in pursuit of any kind of improvement in anything or anybody, most especially oneself.

Here's a great summary of the book's main points – I now use this in my teaching:
Wafa Foufa
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eng, me, pdf-epub, non-fiction, 2019
I've really enjoyed this book. It's simple, real and relatable.
I made a new year resolution list, and I'm planning to use this method for some of my goals. I also noticed I've been practicing it in some aspects of my life, so I'm sure it would be beneficial to use it for other aspects.
Highly recommended.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Back in the nineties
when I was Deming fan
Kaizen was my favorite word
I read a lot about it
I approved of continuous improvement
How in the world
did I overlook the philosophy
of small affordable changes
rather than revolution?
Deyvessh Kumar
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback, completed
The book presents an amazing way to look at CHANGE. It challenges the old saying, "Change is hard!" and presents a simpler, arguably better way to incorporate change without relying too much on motivation and willpower.

Great Change is made through small Steps -

* Ask Small questions
* Think Small thoughts
* Take small actions
* Solve small problems

and the science is irrefutable: "Small steps circumvent the brain's built-in resistance to new behavior"
So, no matter what the goat - losing weigh
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I actually really enjoyed this book, although I don't generally read self-help books I didn't have any trouble getting through it.

It isn't the best book, certainly. The author likes to pat himself on the back a lot (there is a lot of mention of Christmas cards he receives from past patients and mistakes multi-million dollar corporations have made that could have been avoided if they had only listened to him) which can be kind of irritating, and there were parts that I thought that the writing w
Srikanth Krishnamurthy
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the interesting books to read. The core concept is to focus on small things be it small thoughts, small actions, small problems, small rewards and so forth which will help everyone to achieve big. If there are moments for one to worry that there are plenty of big things that we have on our plate, there is always a momentum with series of small steps in all big things to pay attention to and the author introduces the wonderful approach named "Kaizen" that entirely helps us to crack the sma ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this audio book in the library, I was a little skeptical, as it seemed like a kind of hokey self-improvement book. However, I was really impressed by both the general ideas and the specific actions suggested throughout.

Very often, we (particularly we in America or we in a "Western" culture) think of change in grand terms. We make New Year's resolutions that are hugely ambitious in scope--how we will go to the gym every day, while also strictly adhering to a perfect diet, and treating
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start each day with the question "What small step can I take today to make an improvement in the quality of my life?" It can be as trivial as walking up and down a few steps, flossing a tooth, reading one page of a book, spending five minutes to clean an area of the house, saving a dollar, or going to bed five minutes earlier. It is better to spend two minutes every day on improving something than trying to motivate yourself to spend 30 minutes a week for a bigger goal. These small, trivial step ...more
This book made me cry. Dr Robert Maurer is a physiologist and consultant. He weaves intimate stories of personal transformation, with case studies in organisational transformation. In doing so he links individuals' personal perspectives and feelings with the choices and actions we may take to benefit ourselves, our families and our organisations.
The 'Kaizen' and 'continuous improvement' information is provided in a gentle that supports the narratives of people overcoming their own difficulties
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. It's simple and quick, but very insightful and life changing. I feel so empowered, like I can actually make the millions of changes in my life that I want and need to make. This book teaches Kaizen principles -- the concept that small steps have a much longer lasting effect in our lives than when we try to make big leaps. One small step truly can change our lives. I loved it. I'm not one for self help books, and I would consider this in that category, but it reall ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the good books to be read. The author (Robert) introduces to the concept of ''Kaizen'' which means that taking small, steady steps in life can help us to achieve long term goals. Starting the day with a question 'What small step can I take to improve the quality of my life?' will help us to boost the thinking power of brain & to progress towards the goal. Such small steps diminishes the fear in mind & allows us to think in a slow incremental way to make on to the road to success as it's s ...more
Derek Emerson
Mar 28, 2009 rated it liked it
A good, quick ready. Skimming would be fine. The idea is to focus on small goals in life instead of the large one which you give up on. I've heard the same idea in different ways, but this is a clear attempt at formulating a way of life based on the idea. At times the ideas seem like a stretch -- he addresses the idea of radical change just a bit and that really needs to be addressed. Chap. 2 was especially good. ...more
Jin Kok
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An awesome book, it just shows that one small step per day can really shape some one's life, the author mentioned that humans brain are designed such a way to resist change, that's why even though we know going for exercise and continuously studying or even typing when your hands are tired can be good, but the body and mind would just resist it, but by doing small things that matters and gradually can lead to a big change for everyone. ...more
Scott Miles
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
It seems simple. Take things one step at a time. Some of the ways this philosophy can be implemented are counter-intuitive, however. This book does a pretty good job of showing how the Kaizen way of small, incremental steps toward improvement applies to much more in life than one might imagine. Just get started. Do something, anything, and this will help establish a habit of activity and progress toward a goal.
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
I'm always reluctant to rate this type of book before giving the process a complete try, but this just sounds like it can't not work. And apparently I've been using a bit of a modified Kaizen method while reorganizing and it's been helpful.

Based off a Japanese method which they originally learned from us it entails starting a desired change by making the tiniest most insignificant steps possible.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good, for a self-help book. Nothing shocking (small changes are easier to implement than large ones!) but it's all laid out in a reasonable manner and I did find it a worth-while read. I like how the author really encourages you to keep your brain working at all times, even if it's only in tiny increments. (The "Ask Small Questions" chapter was one of my favorites.) ...more
Narinder  Bhatia
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting, simple and practical book on how kaizen principles could be applied to solve problems not only in our professional(business) life but in personal life too. The simple approach of the book is commendable and the tips/ techniques mentioned in the book are indeed simple enough to be put to practice.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was fantastic for those looking to achieve goals of all sizes. I will definitely come back to this book in the future to read again.
Mattheus Guttenberg
One Small Step Can Change Your Life is a book about a continuous improvement methodology called Kaizen. Developed by American manufacturers and business experts in the 1940s, and famously refined by Toyota and other post WWII-Japanese firms, Kaizen is a system for implementing change on a very small scale. Instead of approaching change (behavioral, procedural, emotional, etc.) on a large scale - what Maurer calls innovation: the idea that big changes come from big ideas and big actions - Kaizen ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Small steps work 1 6 Oct 29, 2017 03:51PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions of a Robert Maurer's book 3 148 Aug 22, 2016 11:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional
  • The Procrastination Cure: 21 Proven Tactics For Conquering Your Inner Procrastinator, Mastering Your Time, And Boosting Your Productivity!
  • The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning
  • Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
  • Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything
  • Domina tu mente - Cómo usar el pensamiento crítico, el escepticismo y la lógica para pensar con claridad y evitar ser manipulado: Técnicas probadas para ... del pensamiento)
  • Sztuka spania i wstawania. Jak spać mniej a mieć więcej energii w ciągu dnia
  • Haker umysłów
  • One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of
  • The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
  • Pełna MOC możliwości
  • Master Your Emotions: A Practical Guide to Overcome Negativity and Better Manage Your Feelings
  • Lean. Droga do minimalizmu
  • The Art of Persuasion: The Language of Influence and Manipulation
  • Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine
  • Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results (Mini Habits, #1)
  • Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less
  • Jak pisać, żeby chcieli czytać (i kupować). Copywriting & Webwriting
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
73 likes · 11 comments
“Small things with great love. . . . It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing. And it is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving. To God there is nothing small.” 8 likes
“One of the study’s major findings was that in the successful relationships, positive attention outweighed negative on a daily basis by a factor of five to one. This positive attention wasn’t about dramatic actions like throwing over-the-top birthday parties or purchasing a dream home. It took the form of small gestures, such as: using a pleased tone of voice when receiving a phone call from the partner, as opposed to an exasperated tone or a rushed pace that implied the partner’s call was interrupting important tasks inquiring about dentist appointments or other details of the other person’s day putting down the remote control, newspaper, or telephone when the other partner walked through the door arriving home at the promised time—or at least calling if there was a delay These small moments turned out to be more predictive of a loving, trusting relationship than were the more innovative steps of romantic vacations and expensive presents. Possibly, that’s because small moments provide consistent tending and nurturing.” 8 likes
More quotes…