The Art of Strengths Coaching

D is for Deciding What You Want To Keep Doing, Start Doing And Stop Doing

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Imagine that you want to explore how to shape your future. One approach is to start by focusing on your life goals.

You can then consider how to work towards these aims by clarifying what you want to keep doing, start doing and stop doing. Let’s explore these steps.

Focusing on your life goals

There are many ways to clarify your life goals. One approach is to clarify your picture of success.

Imagine you are looking back in future years. What are the things you want to have done by then that for you will mean you have had a successful life? People often cover three themes when doing this exercise.

Positive Relationships

They focus on how they want to be remembered as a parent, partner, friend or whatever.

Positive Contribution

They focus on how they want to follow their vocation, do good work or make a positive contribution to the world.

Positive Memories

They focus on how they want to enjoy life, pursue experiences and have no regrets.

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You may prefer to clarify your life goals in another way. Whatever approach you take, clarifying these goals can act as a long-term compass.

You can bear in mind these aims when making decisions. When given the opportunity to take a new job, for example, you can ask yourself:

“Will taking this step help me to achieve my picture of success?”

You can also explore how the things you are doing now are helping to achieve these aims. One approach is to clarify the things you want to keep doing, start doing and stop doing. Let’s explore the first of these themes.

Keep doing

People who are healthy and happy often follow good habits. They do things to take care of their bodies and souls.

Looking at the things you do in your life now, what do you want to keep doing? Here are some of the answers given by other people.

The specific things I
want to keep doing are:

Eating healthy food … Walking for an hour each day … Spending time with people who give me positive energy … Encouraging our dyslexic son to use his other talents … Doing stimulating projects at work.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you want to keep doing in your life.

Describe the specific benefits of continuing to do these things.

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Start doing

Looking at your life, are there any things you want to start doing? If so, it is important to make sure you are serious about doing these things. Otherwise it may simply be a wish list.

How to ensure you are serious? One approach is to go through the following stages.

Begin by brainstorming the things you would like to start doing. These can be in your personal or professional life.

Looking at each item in turn, clarify the potential pluses and minuses involved in doing the activity. Are there enough benefits?

Decide on the specific things you want to start doing. Looking at each item in turn, rate how serious you are about really doing it. Make sure the rating is at least 8+/10.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you want to start doing in your life.

Describe the specific benefits of doing these things.

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Stop doing

Looking at your life, are there any things you want to stop doing? If so, what do you want to do instead? What will be the benefits?

Sometimes it can be more motivating to focus on pursuing a positive alternative, rather than simply trying to stop something. You are then saying “Yes,” to the new activity, rather then “No,” to the old one.

A person may say, for example: “I want to be calmer at critical moments,” rather than: “I want to stop getting flustered.”

Bearing this in mind, you may wish to clarify the things you want to stop doing in your life. You can then transfer these into things you want to start doing instead. These can then become part of your action plan.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you want to stop doing in your life.

Describe the specific things you want to start doing instead.

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Take time to reflect on the ideas you have generated. If appropriate, you can then move on to making an action plan. You will have your own way of translating ideas into action.

If you wish, however, you can tackle the following exercise. This invites you to describe what you want to keep doing, start doing and stop doing. It also invites you to describe the benefits of doing these things.

You can then take these steps to keep working towards achieving your life goals.

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