My mom asks me every New Year’s what my New Year’s Resolutions are.  I typically have a hard time setting them – even the old standbys. As I contemplate resolutions for the coming year, I’m reminded about a question that my partner, Jack Lee, asked in one of his blog series on goal-setting: “My question for you is:  ‘Do You Really Want It?’”  I have been contemplating this question and taking seriously what it is that I really want and whether I am “willing to get better, to learn from failure, to change my ways, and to do the hard work that is required.”

To help me identify my resolutions for 2014, I’ve been thinking in terms of a feedback strategy that we teach leaders to use to provide feedback to team members, obtain feedback from clients, and solicit feedback about themselves and their leadership.  The feedback strategy is keep, stop, start (KSS).  When soliciting feedback using keep, stop, start, you consider:

    • What should this person/I/our firm keep doing? (things you’re doing well or that are of great value)
    • What should this person/I/our firm stop doing that they are doing now? (things that aren’t working or things you need to give up, delegate or relinquish)
    • What should this person/I/our firm start doing that they are not yet doing? (things that will benefit them, their team or the firm if they take them on going forward)

This is a very effective method to engage in honest and open feedback.  It does require vulnerability and your willingness to talk straight, share honest and open feedback and be willing to receive open and honest feedback.  I encourage you to try this approach when delivering performance feedback about an individual’s strengths, areas for improvement and areas of growth, and invite them to provide feedback to you about what they would like to see you keep, stop or start doing in your work relationship to help you both be more effective.  Or, consider using KSS when you’re meeting with clients during this busy season to find out how they feel you and your firm are doing and learn what more they might like to see from you going forward.

Using KSS to identify what I want to keep doing, those things I want to stop doing (or maybe do less of) and what I’d like to start doing helps me create meaningful resolutions that are important to me and that I’ll be more likely to keep.  When I think about the things I want to start doing, I’m considering things I may have been dreaming about trying or know I should be doing (maybe even have done in the past, but haven’t made it a part of my regular routine or focus).  So, here are some commitments I have identified so far:

  •  I want to keep spending time with my kids at home, through their school activities, and family time; keep working with many great clients delivering training, retreat facilitation and leadership development and coaching services and keep up my health and ability to practice yoga and participate in a weight lifting class that I enjoy. 
  • I would like to stop spending money on frivolous or impulse buys; stop hanging on to things that could be better used by someone else; and stop working on my computer during “prime” family time.  As I thought about my list of things I’d like to stop doing, I ended up accepting that I must keep doing some things that I’d like to stop doing but  cannot if I want to achieve some of my keep and start commitments.   
  • And, I’d like to start going on a monthly date with just my husband; start going to a church I can call home; start an updated financial plan that contemplates two daughters in college and our son entering college as we approach retirement; and start a new physical fitness activity that excites and challenges me.

This list is the beginning of what I’d like to keep, stop and start doing.  It helps me discover areas where I could set some New Year’s resolutions and allows me to see all that I have to be grateful  for and changes I could (sometimes easily) make to have more of what I want in my life.  I will complete this list and set my New Year’s resolutions by the end of January and share them with my family and my team at Convergence.

How about you?   What would you like to keep, stop and start doing in 2014 in your personal life, at work and in your firm?  What New Year’s resolutions could you commit to based on your KSS list?  Feel free to share your KSS list or New Year’s resolutions so we can support you and potentially add to our list, too! 

Happy New Year! 


About the author

Tamera Loerzel is a partner at ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, a leadership consulting and coaching firm that helps leaders achieve success through strategic planning and retreat facilitation, coaching and leadership development and training. Tamera can be reached at or 952-226-1780. The What Will You Keep, Stop and Start in 2012 blog was originally published in ConvergenceCoaching’s blog, Inspired Ideas.

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