I remember the first real discussion I had with a manager whom I was coaching some time ago. We had agreed that one of the personal projects that he would undertake was about setting goals. Initially I thought this would be a straight forward, simple personal project but after a bit of thought I figured how to build it into something bigger, something more meaningful to him & his organisation.
Besides the obvious benefits that would be delivered from the goals he set & then achieved, there was the additional, and I would argue more important benefit of the routine of regularly setting goals, setting out plans to achieve them & then following through. Sure, it is obvious now, but initially I felt a bit as if he were unwilling to push himself.
What he got was the opposite of course, pushing for each new goal created a habit. Just like solving problems repeatedly not only removes the problems but it also increases your ability & thus your willingness to tackle them. Setting goals and then achieving them creates both the improvement from the goals and the increased ability to set & achieve goals.
And just like solving problems, we can use PDCA to reach our goals. The goal itself is set which then requires a plan for achieving it, we implement that plan, check our results & act on the outcome.
The habit of continuous improvement can apply only to your operation, the processes you undertake, your business; but it can (and should) also apply to yourself. By setting goals (I prefer HARD goals to SMART goals) and achieving them regularly you are establishing a habit that can provide a lifetime of personal improvement.