crosswalk button with sticker above it saying "push to reset the world"

By this point in the year, if you’re like most people, the resolve you had for your resolutions in January has probably long since faded. To paraphrase Scottish poet Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” 

So, if you know me, you likely see this coming: Assessment Time!!!

It’s the beginning of March. We’re almost a quarter of the way into the new year. Can you believe it? When’s the last time you considered your resolutions or did anything with them? Back in December and January, I called out a method I turn to again and again — personally and professionally — called stop-start-keep. Let’s bring that forward.

It’s one of my favorite ways to help clients evaluate the things in their lives and businesses that are working, what is no longer serving them, and what new practices, priorities, and values can help them reach their goals. And it’s as useful for teams in business settings as it is for individuals in their personal lives.

With this method, you ask three questions:

  1. What’s working that we want to keep?
  2. What’s not working that is harming us (or keeping us from our goal) that we want to stop?
  3. What are we not yet doing that if we were to start doing would have the greatest positive impact? 

As I’ve said before, I like using this method with teams (and individuals, too) because it helps us to approach decision making with our future situation in mind. Stop-start-keep holds us accountable to the self-assessment we’re going to do about those decisions not too far down the road. We’re great at making decisions, declarations, and resolutions, but I find that we are generally pretty sucky at ever going back and assessing those decisions to see if they worked or need tweaking. We’re too busy moving on to the next decision. As a result, our decisions don’t really have any power. They’re momentary. Expendable. Hell, another one will be along any minute.

Now is the perfect time to revisit stop-start-keep. Rather than wait until the end of the year, when so many of us look back on all the things we didn’t accomplish, let’s adopt a different mindset.

Right now, you have a terrific opportunity for a reset. I firmly believe in giving yourself second chances. So be gracious with yourself. Realize that yes, sometimes it’s a matter of two steps forward and one step back. But if you can strive for continual, incremental progress, you are already succeeding. The commitment to self-assessment, alone, is a huge step in the right direction. If you make time and space to check in throughout the year — on what to stop, what to start, and what to keep — I promise you’ll end the year stronger than you started it. 

If you’d like one-on-one guidance with the stop-start-keep method — or if you think it would benefit your team — I would love to help you. To get started, contact me today.


Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash