Stop start keep

As the year closes a business lesson I learnt a couple of years ago for team meetings, strategic goal setting and implementation came to mind and I thought: Hang on – this would be a brilliant, super simple framework for doing a little introspective work towards a new year on a personal level and helping us have goals that are more than wishes and days that amount to something significant that we want to make manifest. So, if you’re sick of seeing your wishes go by like watching a tree pass by out the window of a train, then stick with me.

It’s one of the Rockefeller habits that he instilled in his companies where employees would be asked to all contribute to how the company was going / what they thought of how things were being done and it’s called the “stop, start, keep” traffic lights system. This was then attached to daily, weekly, quarterly and annual goals as well as a BHAG (Big, hairy audacious goal) so that everyone knew where they were headed and had a clear, chunked down pathway to get there. When we’re crystal clear we find it easier to say no to things that don’t serve the purpose, too and that means more energy and focus for what we want to make happen, how we want to live and all that good stuff.

So… what would it look like if you were to do a ‘stop start keep’ on your 2018 / 2019? 


 I’ll be adding to this blog with a few of my inclusions that I’m happy to share in the next couple of days, as the full cancer moon a few days ago was a whopper for me and almost felt like the new year came early. Did anyone else feel like that?

So, in this finally few days of the year, a couple of pointers to get things going: 

  1. Before you make definitive lists, do a whole bunch of pages of words and ideas… If you’re someone who likes the neat and orderly vibes, you can do this already under headings of stop/start/keep. Be totally spontaneous and let it all pour out of your heart and brain. Brutal honesty. Nothing to small nor too big to articulate.  This is effectively your ‘planning’ phase. 
  2. Attach some goals to your upcoming year. Do some introspective work (My podcast with the one and only Jonathan Fields last week will definitely help you there) Rockefeller once said “Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless.”  If you need some goal achieving support I can’t recommend my talented friend Julia’s ​​”100 Day Goal” project which kicks off January 1 and is completely free, no strings attached.
  3. Spend time visualising the possibility of stepping into a life you want to ‘keep / keep / keep’ more of – where are you? what does your day to day look like? What’s your relationship with your family like? What goal did you knock over? We can’t head for what we can’t believe is possible, so make it possible in your mind. The granular work of ‘stop/start/keep’ will then form your blueprint for stepping towards that possibility. 

So this is how the exercise can look in steps…

What do you really believe a great life by your own definition is? 

What are some tangible goals you have for the next year and smaller goals that fit with any big picture goals that are longer term? 

What are some of the things that brought you the most joy in doing / people in seeing / sense of achievement and what are some of the things that frustrated you, saddened you or made you want to revolt against (“WHYYYY did I say yes to that, I hate this!” Hmmm.. sound familiar?)


What are you going to STOP doing?   (ie things you know that didn’t serve you / prevented happiness  and goal achievement / self sabotaging language / being on the phone around the kids etc)

What are you going to KEEP doing?  (Stuff that’s working in your life that you want to build on / changes you’ve made that you want to stick with… things you changed from last year that you’re loving and you want to remind yourself those changes are worth sticking to etc)

What are you going to START doing? ​​​​​​(What’s on your list? Finally making Yoga a routine practice? Or leaving your phone at home when you go to lunch or for a walk with the family – amazingly, not every pretty flower we walk past needs to be instagrammed – the harsh reality, hey? Or maybe take a course in rewiring your brain or start actively seeking a mentor to go to the next level of your career?)

I’d love to heard how you go or what this might spark in you to move forward into 2019 in a grateful and powerful way.

Here’s to the beautiful new energy the new year brings.

Low tox. Healthy people. Happy planet.


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