Knowing When to Start, Stop or Continue

work stress

If you have ever worked in Corporate America, you may be familiar with the popular Start-Stop-Continue exercise used in decision making and planning. Corporations are successful for a reason and many of the tools used can also be extremely effective in your personal life.  The Start-Stop-Continue exercise is the process of breaking a subject down into the activities you want to Start doing, Stop doing, and Continue doing.  How to use it for:


For each adult in your household who has a say in the family budget, grab a piece of paper and draw three columns labeled Start – Stop – Continue (or print out our free download). Working individually, list every budget item you currently have or wish you had accordingly. For instance:

Start: 401K, Kids college fund, Purchase life insurance, etc.
Stop: Premium Movie Channels, eating out at lunch, etc.
Continue: Additional $200 towards mortgage each month, Maxing out Roth IRA, $50 pocket money each month.

Once you’ve complete your list, take a moment to discuss each others outcomes and create a new plan for your money. Beginning with the Start column, have each person share their own list and continue this until you have covered everything on the sheet. Once completed, copy all agreed upon items over to a master sheet for a completed road map of your household money tasks.

Calendar / Activity Management

The same process could be used to evaluate your time commitments and those of your family.  Think through everything on your calendar and everything you wish could be.  Maybe you want to Start volunteering more, or you realize you should Stop attending that time wasting  meeting each month.  Whatever the case may be, take control of your schedule by determining what is important to you.

Are there other ways you could use this in your life? What about in your marriage?


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