The Stop Start and Continue Model

The Stop, Start and Continue Model by Pat E. Perkins

Stop Start and Continue My project and program management background taught me a lot over the years. One exercise that I consistently did during my corporate years was a “Lesson Learned”. Often, one will move forward from project to project not reflecting or just asking “how did that go“? You know how it turned out; but, what if the outcomes were reviewed for improvement? What if, as you are developing the process manual, a few things were literally tweaked before going forward?

So, during this time each year, I actually perform a Lessons Learned in my life and in my business. I use an exercise called: Stop, Start and Continue. This model was not created by me as it’s been around for some time and used by many.

Here are a few simple steps to help you incorporate this model before you move into 2013:

#1: Stop What will you stop doing? – What’s simply not working? What under-performing or dis-empowering habits are you willing to reduce, let go of or eliminate completely in your life, your business or career.  What’s been unproductive for you or your team and/or what can be delegated to someone else.  This new thinking can generate more time, more freedom and less stress.  In what ways did you learn from these activities or scenarios that caused you to elevate and yet they have served their purpose.  Also, what relationships will you ultimately put to rest…this is a big one!

#2: Start What will you start doing? – What new idea’s time has come to incorporate? Where do you now what to shift your energy and focus to fulfill on a dream or outcome?  What’s important to provide to your audience, clients or customers in the coming year?  Who do you desire to include in your life or how will you start to expand your network? And, are there new areas of training and development you want to begin to add to your toolkit.

#3: Continue What will you continue doing? – What’s really working well and where have you been successful?  Are there processes, systems and structures that continuously make a difference for you?  Who are the people in your life including friends and connections that actually serve you, celebrate and lift you up?  What could you not do without?

Use this model individually, in partnership or in a group discussion format.  You’ll reap the benefits of consistent process improvement overall.

The bottom-line: It’s critically important to reflect on your outcomes throughout the year and review opportunities for transformation.

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~Margaret J. Wheatley

To learn more and take the first step to discover how Pat’s transformational coaching programs can assist you, go here or to stay connected and receive tips and strategies on how to advance your career and life, go here.


  1. Donna DuMouchel says:

    What a fabulous way to keep yourself on track! The new year is a time when many of us tend to reflect on the past year and make new goals, but this will keep me consistently on track throughout the year! Why wait for Dec. 31?

    Many thanks!

  2. It’s so important to make time for this process – even on small projects. It’s a powerful way to get clarity on what may not be working. And yes – it’s a great tool to use throughout the year.

  3. I love the elegance and simplicity of your suggested categories, Pat. Keep it simple. Life is simple. When things get complicated, it is a sign that you are off track. Love, Katherine

    Katherine C. H. E.
    Author, Be True Rich

  4. Pat, this is a great time to help us stop and reflect. I am particularly struck by the “What will you stop” question. It is powerful and I am reminded that Warren Buffet said that his success was due to the 98% of things he said “no” to.

    I am inspired to think harder about what I will stop. Thank you!

  5. I love the traffic light model and use it with many corporates and teams always with great effect – and yes it is the what shall we stop doing that is often most powerful!

  6. Great exercise! I think after I evaluate what I want to start doing this year, I will turn one of them into a theme. Usually by the end of December I know what my theme for the new year will be, but this year it hasn’t hit me yet. I think your exercise is just what I need!

  7. This is a great model to improve productivity and even your profitability, if you’re a business owner. This model really simplifies the process.

  8. Pat,

    Thanks for sharing this model. It gives me a new way to assess the past year. I’m making lots of changes and this will help move that forward .

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

  9. This is a powerful exercise because it’s so simple and it works! I use this exact exercise myself and with my clients to help them really think about things that have been working that they should continue, what important steps they might be missing and what didn’t work so well. I love using this as a feedback exercise too. It’s such a a great way to ask people for feedback on your performance and makes it easy for them to deliver information that you can use. Thanks Pat!

  10. The thing that I like about your model is that you ask flat out what isn’t working, and question whether to continue it. I’ve worked with soooooo many self-employed folks who just keep doing what they are doing and think that they can’t change their mix of products or services. This alone is a great, useful point.

  11. Pat,
    An easy way to get people moving in the New Year, in fact, at any time.
    This is a fine way to review and make changes where necessary.

  12. SO true, Pat! Always need to be evaluating and re-directing!

  13. Pat
    I always do lessons learned but had never looked at them like this. This is great and is a new concept for me – and I like it a lot! I’m certainly going to use this technique.

  14. Pat – What a brilliantly simple exercise. Thanks for sharing it with us. Often we make planning and course correcting so difficult … but this is simple and effective. In fact … I may just take a break and do this right now.

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