Specialty Skills

The New Year Is an Opportunity to Direct Change

Dr. Woody Johnson

Stop what you are doing and look around you. Also, notice what is happening in your body; how you feel, your thoughts and generally what your health is like. Now, take a moment to appreciate that over the next year as many of those items are going to change. We are about to encounter a change to the New Year. It is traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions. This makes it a great opportunity to initiate real change in what you are doing in order to go to the next level in your trading and your life.

Free Trading WorkshopChange is ubiquitous, anything can and will change. What you’ll want to do is identify what kind of change you’re talking about. Change comes in all forms as in a change in residence, relationships, body size, health, finances, and changes in trading strategies – styles – goals – and markets. Additionally, with time you’ll notice changes in your surroundings, the community, changes in products and services, in demographics, in laws, and changes in the culture.

Another point that is important to consider about change is that since it is ever present you’ll want to design your change; that is, design your growth. Someone once said of institutions, “If the rate of change outside of your organization is greater than the rate of change inside your organization, then the end is in sight.” This can be applied to you and me. As we look at change, it is also essential to reflect on the “rate of change”. Most people in today’s world make more decisions affecting their lives in one year than their grandparents did in an entire lifetime.

Let’s look at a few of the concepts and principles of change and how to apply them to help you improve your sense of control and well-being.

    1. Recognize that change is not an option. It is always happening in you, to you and around you.
    2. Those who succeed and live fulfilling lives embrace change through personal leadership. They are deliberate about how and in what ways they are changing (growing). They have accepted responsibility for the results of their trading and hold themselves accountable. They practice methods, techniques, tools and strategies to handle their growth and development.
    3. You must recognize that skill-building is a necessary companion to your trading. Skills are not innate. Even if you are fortunate to be born with talent, that talent must be honed, developed and expanded. As you gain competence in your ability to manage the variables, you will gain confidence along with a positive attitude.
    4. Focus on your choices. You can either be a victor as you manage your thoughts, emotions and behaviors or you can be a victim. You must choose to be a leader and create your destiny. Take the time to assess your values and beliefs and set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals to secure your path to success.
    5. Be aware of what drives change.
      1. The information explosion is a critical factor in the increase of the rate of change. It is estimated that the total accumulated knowledge of the planet is doubling every 2 to 3 years. This means that you must also increase your knowledge each year in order to remain competitive in the markets.
      2. The technology eruption accompanies the information explosion and powers the rate of knowledge growth. Just think of your present trading platform and the number of new software changes that are making it both easier and, in many ways, more complex to use them.
      3. Competition and the globalization of the knowledge and technology blast means that you must continually hone your skills and increase your own knowledge in order to be competitive.
    6. Be flexible. Your ability to accept, adjust and respond is imperative to your ability to remain ahead of the curve. You must be adaptable to change as well recognize that your growth is a process and sometimes you must slow down to speed up. Your mistakes and your failures are lessons and opportunities.
    7. Use appreciative inquiry to continually question your choices. For example: Knowing what I know now, are there any decisions that I’ve made that I wouldn’t make over again if I had it to do again? Are there any trade strategies, knowing what I know now, that I wouldn’t get into? If you find through inquiry that you have embarked on a path that is not serving you, then you may ask: How do I get out of this situation and how fast? As you use these and other questions like them, you will re-evaluate your positions, markets, relationships and protocols. Remember, whatever has gotten you where you are today is not enough to keep you there. Getting outside of your comfort zone is a requirement for growth.
    8. Continually increase your self-awareness. It is imperative as you move forward to become aware of your issues in order for you to successfully address them.
    9. Remember that challenges are opportunities. Change can be your friend, even those changes that are stressful. You are built for adaptation and growth. This comes about as you both challenge yourself and accept the challenges you are met with.
    10. Be proactive. This will keep you poised to deal with challenges and remain preemptive as you anticipate what can go wrong and avert the issue whenever possible. As you grow in knowledge and skill, practice the tools and techniques that you have learned in order to take control of your development as a trader and as a human being.

As the New Year comes, position yourself to burst on the New Year scene with a newly crafted resolve to hone your A-Game. Your trading is a reflection of your life. If you can’t keep commitments in your life, how can you expect to keep commitments in your trading? In other words, process mastery is not just for your trading. Set your sights for a new resolve in the New Year as you affirm to master your mental game.

Happy New Year,

Dr. Woody Johnson – wjohnson@tradingacademy.com

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.