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February 3, 2014

Start, Stop, Continue

In a recent post at Black and Married With Kids, Jay Hurt describes Start, Stop, Continue, a performance-improvement concept that can be applied to relationships with colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

The idea is to start doing things that will improve the situation, stop doing things that are harmful or ineffective, and continue doing things that work.

We're all different, so each person needs to do a little self-evaluation to determine what needs changing and what is worth keeping. One person's suggested list might look something like this.

Start
  • Be more appreciative
  • Take out the trash
  • Compliment your partner
  • Shave on weekends
Stop
  • Harsh criticism
  • Dropping clothes on the floor
  • Being habitually late
  • Going over budget
Continue
  • Weekly dates
  • Car pool schedule
  • Having breakfast together
  • Flirty texts

As I was inventing this list, I realized that very often the same behavior could be listed as either a start or a stop. For example, "Stop dropping clothes on the floor" could be rephrased as "Start putting clothes in the hamper". Starting seems more positive (and somehow easier to do) than stopping, so whenever possible it's probably better to consider starts more than stops. In fact, Hurt suggests stopping just one thing right away and starting three. The improvement will be felt immediately.

Making changes can be difficult, so don't try to do too much at once. Listing things that we want to continue is important because it reminds us of how much we are already doing right. It is encouraging to know that some things don't need to be changed, and that soon the changes we make will be added to the "continue" list.
 

1 smart person said something:

  1. I like this idea and although it might be easier to start something than stop, at least you'll be doing more positives than negatives in the meantime. Relationships can be very tricky at times but if two people communicate and make a fresh start, things can improve greatly.

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