New Year’s Resolutions – The way to make them work

Have you ever wondered why your New Year’s resolutions rarely come to fruition?  Here are some thoughts that should help.

You have to do some ‘doing’.  You get nothing for nothing because hoping and wishing are ineffective strategies – just like when learning to trade.

You have to understand that doing the same old things will keep giving you your same old results.  You have to do DIFFERENT. Learning from someone who has done 'different' with success should fast track your efforts.

Step 1.  DECIDE to ‘DO what it takes’ to make the change. Without this commitment you are just pretending - not resolving.

Step 2.  DECIDE on your ‘resolution’. What matters first are you DECIDING to make the change and really meaning it.  Typically the resolution will be a goal to improve an aspect of your life – more on that later.

Step 3.  DO a plan.  If you are serious about your resolution then the secret is to WRITE DOWN your resolution and your plan to make it happen – more on that later.  Leaving out this writing part almost guarantees you will fail again. Research shows that people who write down their resolution are over ten times more likely to implement it than those who don't write theirs down.

Step 4.  DO the DOING but be prepared to reconsider your goal and your plan as you go.  Remember that every marathon starts with one step so get into your DOING.  Get started today.  DO something.  DO anything that moves you towards your goal.

Step 5.  DO something EVERY DAY towards your goal. Do what it takes.  This requires self-discipline – more on that later.

Step 6.  Please understand that most people turn their mind to ‘resolutions’ at New Year and don’t really make significant changes even once a year.  If you want to get ahead of the rest, please consider that you can make a resolution ANYTIME.  BUT you need to FOLLOW the above steps. If you have missed doing the work required for getting ready for 01January there is always the 1st of any coming month! Beyond this you can use the natural energy times of the year (equinoxes and solstices) or your personal energy times (like your birthday).

Here is the ‘LATER’:

Goal Setting:
The best goals are S.M.A.R.T.

Note that the concentration here is on a single goal or resolution. If you have a list of things you want to change then you have to do some serious work to bubble up the most important. Consider the consequences of making, or not making, the changes you are proposing for each thing on your list. Make sure your ladder will be leaning against the right wall by thinking through what these changes should bring and the range of costs along the way (time, money, relationships, etc). The thing that will make the greatest change to the most aspects of your life should be your most important resolution and this should be what you work on first. You can work on multiple resolutions once you have this process working for you.

Set out in writing each of the SMART aspects. To attain any goal you need to work out what has to be done and in what order.  Write these down too. All that you have written constitutes your plan. Then you need to follow your plan. DO the first thing first, then the next thing, and so on.

Question: “How do you eat an elephant?”  Answer: “One bite at a time!”
If your goal is a big goal then you might need to break it down into smaller goals.

This is why most people fail.  Self-discipline is as rare as common sense.  This is a huge topic and there is simply not enough room in this article to do justice to it.  Suffice to say you need the following key personality characteristics:  Dedication, courage and persistence.  Again, just like trading really.


I expect that you found this article based in common sense. It contains action steps as pointers. You have to make the commitment to make a difference in those parts of your life you want to improve. Then YOU have to DO the doing.

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