Caroline Bolderston: Use hindsight for a head start 

You know the feeling towards the end of the year when you are tired, depleted and ‘over it’?

When you just want to wrap up and go to your break, stop thinking about work and come back refreshed!

While this is natural, it’s also a vulnerable time if you simply let the year lapse and roll into the new one, repeating the same patterns and habits that may not be serving you to reach your goals and aspirations.

This is where you can finally realise the benefits of hindsight.

Hindsight is defined as an understanding of a situation or event, only after it has happened, with the benefit of wisdom.

With all that you have experienced over the past year in the industry, what have you noticed, what have you observed and what have you learnt?

Before we just ‘leave 2023 behind’ and look ahead, it’s important to recognise the opportunity that the dawning of the new year brings.

It’s the potential for growth and renewal and to take advantage of this, let’s use the hindsight to look back in a conscious and observant way.

What can 2023 teach you?

How can you use your observations in a constructive way to ensure you have meaningful progress and a greater sense of fulfilment in 2024? 

There are many ways to set goals and plan for a new year, and none more simple than the ‘Start, Stop, Continue’ model created by Phil Daniels, an American psychology professor.

It is a three-part retrospective, or process that gives you a framework for reflection.

It determines what you should start doing, what you should stop doing, and what you should continue to do to build and maintain momentum. 

This exercise is a perfect reflection piece for you as an individual agent or if you are part of a team.

Use this model with open questions to self-assess or brainstorm ideas across these three simple steps:

Start: What do I/We need to start doing?

This step addresses specific actions that could improve your current performance, efficiency, or wellbeing. In other words, what should you start doing that you aren’t already, that will contribute to better outcomes? Try some of these questions:

  • How can I/We streamline the sales process?
  • What could be better accounted for?
  • What skills, opportunities or strategies are not being fully leveraged?
  • What is needed to enjoy the work more?
  • How can energy levels be improved?

Stop: What do I/We need to stop doing?

This is the time to find out what needs to go. It may be tough to take accountability for habits or behaviours that are not serving you or the team. Often the best decisions are the hardest. It’s about raising awareness and revealing what’s having a negative impact that you want to leave behind. Some sample questions are:

  • What prevented a consistent flow of business?
  • What behaviours are wasting time?
  • What mistakes are being repeated?
  • What contributed to difficult situations with clients?
  • What unresourceful habits are present that undermine productivity?

Continue: What do I/We need to continue doing?

The third step is acknowledging the importance of recognising the things you’re already doing right! After assessing some harsh truths, ending on a positive note will reaffirm your strengths and what you have achieved. You may even discover some strategies and actions that can become a core staple of your approach, where you can double down for greater success. Ask some of these questions:

  • What strategies made the listing and selling process easier?
  • Which goals are consistently being achieved?
  • What habits supported focus and productivity?
  • What behaviours do clients appreciate and value?
  • What actions led to being energised and in the ‘zone’?

The Start, Stop, Continue retrospective model is invaluable for assessing performance, structure and workflow.

Use this simple model to implement into your business at least once a year and to fuel future growth.

Having the hindsight of your past performance will give you the head start you need to make meaningful change, be your best and to have one of your most rewarding years ahead!

Show More

Caroline Bolderston

Caroline Bolderston heads up Being Bold Coaching and training, which provides coaching and support for Sales Agents, Sales Teams and Principals. For more information visit