157- Stop, Just Stop!
Updated: Jan 15
Written by: Michele Burkholder, Founder of The Burkholder Team
Way back when….When I was in the Corporate World, we had a mandatory reading list for all Senior Leaders. One of the books we read was Good to Great, by Jim Collins. He introduced me to the concept of the “stop doing” list. He argues, we all have a “to do” list, but good-to-great companies have a “stop doing” list. That concept completely changed the way I do my annual planning. Both for work and at home.
Each year, as a family, we would gather on New Year’s Day, have our traditional pork and sauerkraut to bring good luck and prosperity for the year to come. I would also go around the table and ask each family member to name a New Year’s Resolution. Basically, the year’s “to do” list for major goals. That year, we changed our tradition, and we started the family “stop doing” list. We still set goals, but we also include something we are going to discontinue because it no longer makes sense.
We all have them. Things we just keep doing, spending time or money, but it no longer brings value. Our first year, which will date me, we decided to give up all newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The newspaper went from the driveway, directly to the recycle bin, never read unless someone was featured on the sports page. Magazines, well that was a little harder for me. I loved to page through the magazines, but I gave them up, and look forward to my time in a waiting room to get my fix. People are now moving to electronic subscriptions. Perhaps we were ahead of our time?
As the years passed, it has been amazing to me. While each year we give something up, the following year, more things just pile up. At the beginning of 2020, we decided to give up our Gym membership. We paid consistently each month, but seldom made it to the gym, we prefer to run or walk outside. Turns out, it was a good predictor of 2020 since COVID made it difficult to go to our gym anyway.
This year, I turn to my most guilty pleasure. Streaming Services and Apps. I know I’m not alone; you sign up to see a show you can’t resist, and 2 years later, you are still being automatically billed and stopped watching that premium channel or streaming service. Or the time I downloaded an App on my phone because I wanted to learn Spanish. Paid for it for 6 months – still don’t know how to speak Spanish. Don’t even get me started on dieting & exercising Apps.
This year has challenged us all to evaluate our priorities, how we spend our time, who is in our small social circle. I challenge you to evaluate how you spend your disposable income or even what you consider a necessity. Review your bank statements. Review your credit cards statements. Check the apps on your phone. What are you still paying for that you no longer need or use? What can you “Stop Doing?”
For Educational Purposes Only – Not to be relied on as financial, tax, or legal advice. All investing involves risk and no investment strategy can assure a profit or protect against a loss in a down market. Life Insurance is subject to certain costs, limitations, terms, and conditions not outlined here. All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.