With a new year comes new resolutions for us to pursue. Better fitness levels, weight loss, a new career perhaps, and of course, making more money are some of the more common resolutions made at the beginning of every year. I think it’s great that a change in the calendar provides an impetus for many people to set new goals. But though they may start off with the best of intentions and enthusiasm, the reality is that very few actually fulfill their new year’s resolutions. This is not to be pessimistic, but rather to be realistic. Let’s face it: staying in denial will not accomplish anything. On the other hand, accepting our shortcomings and working to make changes, as well as conquering our fears, is the only way we grow as individuals.
Part of the challenge people face in fulfilling their goals is that it will take a strong desire and commitment to see these goals achieved. Another aspect to this is that for many, the goals set forth in any new year are usually recycled and thus have been tried before with little success. If this is true for the majority, then shouldn’t we be asking what will be different this time? If we begin the year by focusing on what we will do differently, I believe our goals can be more achievable. As human beings we resist change and the fact is, without meaningful change, little will be accomplished.
This is certainly applicable to trading. Most of us that speculate in the financial markets have to assess how we have done at the end of every year. Some of it has to do with taxes and the rest of it is just how we keep score. If the results haven’t met our expectations we then have to re-examine not only the process but our own actions and behaviors. In trading, the first “fix” is always in looking for a different strategy, trading platform or broker (as if these changes would be a big difference in our results). More often than not however, it’s not the strategy, trading platform or broker that’s flawed, but the operator that needs the tweaking.
To this end, we need to ask questions like: Will I be more patient in waiting for the right setups this new year? Will I be more focused? Will I truly begin to embrace risk? By this I mean, will I truly be accepting of the outcome of every trade, win, lose or draw? This will help me stay in trades longer without fearing a loss. Will I work hard on eliminating bad habits, which include impulsive trades and not following my rules? Will I strive to be consistent in the way I trade (as long as it’s a proven strategy)? And lastly, will I seek impartial, unbiased help from professionals when I can’t figure it out? The obvious and simple answer to all these questions is “yes,” of course. Doing all of the above entails hard work and discipline, which as we all know is easier said than done.
If you recall from previous newsletters, the markets don’t change much, regardless of what date happens to be on the calendar. It’s we as traders who have to change. In this regard, if last year’s results were not up to your expectations, then focus on what you will do differently this year to make those better. After all, it’s just crazy to expect different results from doing the same thing.
Until next time, I hope everyone has a great week.