"This year I’m going to do all the things. I’m going to get healthy, fix my eating, get in the best shape of my life, and have the best trading year ever. I’m going to learn five new skills, track every trade, stick to all my rules and by December 31, 2023 I won’t even recognize myself.
I’m also not going to be a statistic. Just because 99% of people can’t stick to all their New Year’s resolutions, and burn out after the first two weeks, doesn’t mean I can’t be the 1% to do it all."
We all tell ourselves this. Every year.
It’s amazing how our minds work for motivation. It’s always all or nothing. Same with trading sometimes. Every trade needs to be the home run or is it even worth playing the game? Of course it is. We talk all the time about compounding gains. How small incremental movements over time add up in fantastic ways. And yet it’s still the hardest thing to learn, because ultimately when we’re ready to do it, in the words of Culture Beat - I (we) know what we want, and I (we) want it now.
In the Northern communities, above the Arctic circle, the whole community comes together twice a year to catch a bowhead whale. Bowhead whales grow up to 60 feet long and 120,000lbs in weight. But they can only catch two per year, and it takes the whole community. During the rest of the year, they need to fish. The same with trading, and the same with resolutions.
Twice a year, in January and perhaps one other time per year, (I believe that is more person dependent, for me it’s usually September) we find tremendous motivation to tackle all the things we want to at once. But that extraordinary feeling cannot last, and most of the things we do during that time will not stick as regular habits.
So for this year, I introduce to you the 12 months of resolutions. The idea is simple, rather than tackling all the things at once, we are going to create our list of things we would like to do better, and then one by one, month by month we are going to introduce them. It takes three weeks to form a new habit, so by doing each task for one month, we have enough time to enforce the new habit before bringing the next one in.
Write down the things you would like to work on this year. It could be major things to start, “health”, “trading”. Then divide that into several actionable items. “I would like to start walking 20 minutes every day”, or “I would like to start tracking my trades every day”. At first, there will be a long list of things you want to accomplish. Perhaps with trading you want to improve your morning routine, improve your tracking, improve your risk management, etc. The goal is to keep delving deeper until you have a list of several small actionable items.
Now you prioritize. Put your order of importance on your actionable items. Now, we still have 3 weeks until January, the perfect amount of time to implement your first actionable item. Since it’s only one thing, there is literally no reason to wait for January. Then, on your calendar, on the first day of each month, put down your next actionable item that you want to turn into a habit.
Voila - the 12 months of resolutions. Actionable items that compounded over the course of the year will improve your trading, life, and whatever else you choose to work on.
What’s on your list?