Sometime each month, I encourage you to take some time to reflect. I want you to really dig deep and become as self-aware as possible. This is important now more than ever.

To do so successfully, I highly recommend you totally unplug, fully focus and actually jot down notes. This doesn’t need to be an all day personal retreat… but it definitely warrants a few hours of your undivided attention.

And I want you to reflect both personally and professionally. Leave no stone unturned.

Over the past year, what were your biggest successes? What made you happiest? What are you most proud of? What did you learn?

What were your most difficult challenges? What would you do differently knowing what you know now?

Please dig deeper than the surface. Really get to roots. Remember, you can lie to others, but you can’t lie to yourself.

After you’ve generated some true introspection, I want you to try an exercise called Start-Stop-Continue.

And there are two levels. For the first level, I want you to ask yourself the following 3 questions:

  1. What is something I should START doing that will help me grow, develop and improve?
  2. What is something I should STOP doing because it hinders my happiness and success?
  3. What is something I should CONTINUE doing that currently serves me well?

And you certainly don’t have to limit yourself to one of each… but the goal is dig for quality over quantity.

The second level is asking the same 3 questions to your inner circle — your spouse, your children, your co-workers.

Let them know how much you care about them and appreciate them and how much you would value their honest feedback and suggestions. Set the table by letting them know that in order for this to truly benefit you, they need to tell you what you need to hear… not what you want to hear. Encourage them to give you the straight dope. Be sincere when you tell them they can speak openly and honestly without you dismissing or becoming defensive. Let them know you are completely open.

You should customize the questions to best fit your relationship them.

  1. What is something I could START doing to help me better serve you?
  2. What is something you’d recommend I STOP doing to improve as a leader of this team?
  3. What is something I should CONTINUE doing to keep our program’s culture thriving?

Make similar tweaks if you are asking your spouse, your best friend or a co-worker.

Start-Stop-Continue is a very powerful and impactful tool if, and only if, you can provide your inner circle with a safe atmosphere where they feel comfortable telling you the truth.

You can completely transform your entire life by simply STARTING one positive habit, STOPPING one debilitating habit and CONTINUING to improve on something that has been super successful for you.