Every January 1, my Twitter and Facebook streams are filled with the same quotes: “Good riddance 20xx…This is going to be my year…So glad that year is behind me…I’m gonna kick ass this year…etc…etc.” You know what I think? It’s all bullshit. So many people think some magical turn of the calendar is going to kick start their lives, but usually, nothing ever changes. In fact, studies show that 95% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken by January 10th.

So the big question is: Why do we get all fired up for such a short period of time, but have trouble MAINTAINING that level of focus and motivation? I wish I had the answer. My guess is our goals aren’t compelling enough, or that the change we say we’re going to make really isn’t THAT important to us. The purpose of this blog post is to keep people motivated, inspired and focused. There’s no better time than NOW to create a compelling vision that excites you, and to make the necessary changes that will lead to progress in your life.

One trait of highly successful people is that they are always looking to improve. Instead of getting complacent, they constantly seek ways to enrich everything in their lives: health, relationships, spirituality, financial goals, etc. Seeing that we are halfway through the year, RIGHT NOW is a great time to assess your progress and to see if you are on track towards achieving the resolutions you made on January 1. If you forgot them, why not make new ones RIGHT NOW?

Since this is mostly a financial blog, I would like to focus on some trading suggestions:

1) If you are unhappy with your results in the first half of this year, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! One quote that comes to mind is: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you are repeating the same patterns in your trading and losing money, then make changes!!! One suggestion is to mimic success. Find a trading style that you like and then study someone who is successful at it. For example, if you are a value investor, study Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, and David Dodd, etc.

2) Keep a journal. The most successful traders do post-analysis of their work. For example, look at the trades you made so far this year and find out your average gain, average loss, percent of winning trades, etc. Why are these statistics important? Because even the best traders are only right 50% of the time. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to take a $1 gain on one trade and take a $1 loss on the second trade. You’ll never make progress! Go back and do post analysis of your numbers; it can help you improve tremendously.

3) Stock selection. I always say: “Wall Street wants to see growth!” Make sure you are buying companies with strong earnings and sales growth. After you find these companies, do your best to buy them when the market is healthy, take profits into strength, and cut your losses when you are wrong. Loss cutting is the most important part of this equation. Have the courage to take losses and accept that it is part of the game.

Trading is an intense business for me and it is important to always protect your confidence. If the first half of this year was a struggle for you, now is NOT the time to hide your head in the sand! Keep your head up and learn from your mistakes. If you are doing well so far this year, don’t get complacent! Continue to stay focused and constantly look to improve.

Since we are halfway through the year, RIGHT NOW is a great time to evaluate your progress and make the necessary changes in order to finish the year strong. Deep down inside, we all know what we need to do to improve. The key right now is having the discipline and the courage to actually do it!

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