Why Do Most New Years Resolutions Fail?

By now many of you are in full swing with the new year, and at least 6 days removed from creating your new year resolutions. Below are some interesting statistics about new years resolutions, some of which I think will not shock you.

1) About 8% of people are successful in achieving their new years resolutions (not far off from trading)

2) 25% of those who make them don’t even make it past the first week

3) 34% of those resolutions are related to money

Source: Betterment.com

Do these numbers above surprise you? My guess is if I surveyed 1000 people, the majority would not be surprised.

We’ve all made resolutions and failed to keep them (including yours truly).

Have you ever asked yourself why is that? I certainly did.

new years resolutions why they fail chris capre 2ndskiesforex
Why do so many people consistently make new years resolutions, yet fail to really nail them? Made a resolution to always fill out your trading journal each day without fail, only to a few weeks/months later finding yourself not filling it out? Why?

The reason you did not fill out your journal, or consistently risk a fixed % of equity per trade, or whatever resolution you made is the same underpinning reason all resolutions fail.

In this article, I will briefly share a far better method for making consistent change, then ask the critical question as to why most fail.

far better model for new years resolutions

A Far Better Model For Consistent Change
One of my yoga students Mark Gonzales eventually went on to become a great yoga teacher himself. In 2012 he was given the Yoga Journal’s Talent Search Winner Award, and has one of the most influential power yoga channels on youtube. He still humors me in letting me know my classes were some of his hardest ever. I appreciate that sentiment as I wanted him to push his body and mind to become more than what he thought he could do.

One brilliant insight Mark recently shared captures a far better model to consistent change. Here is what he said below;

New Years Resolutions are for those who didn’t work hard enough or look after themselves the year before. Self improvement can start now, all year round, from this moment forward.”

Indeed, for those who are constantly working on themselves all year round, there is no need for a new year resolution. It is far easier to work on yourself month-in-month-out then to rev up the change engine once a year. If you have not been working on removing your limiting beliefs throughout the year, then a new year’s resolution is most likely to fail.

It is like not running all year, then all of sudden taking yourself out for a long run when your lungs and legs are not ready for the task. You are most likely to fail, and then imprint negatively on your self-image ‘it is not like me to make the changes I need/want to‘.

This only hinders your confidence and decreases your likelihood of making lasting change in the future. Every negative imprint from failing to keep a commitment or resolution only adds on to the difficulty of changing your trading mindset in the future.

Daily affirmations by themselves will not make lasting change, especially since most are done improperly. Their is an underlying flaw in daily affirmations most fail to see. Also making those trading resolutions at the beginning of the year creates the idea you can only change once a year. This is also a fateful idea.

It is far easier to work on smaller goals throughout the year, that eventually build up your self-image and confidence to make the big changes. When you have seen yourself do the work earlier, it becomes more ‘like you‘ to do the work later. This is a far superior model for consistent improvement and hitting your target.

hitting the target in trading 2ndskiesforex.com

Why Do Most Resolutions Fail?
Understanding this one thing would help unlock many of the critical reasons why you make the same trading mistakes, why you have a streak of winners and lose them all in one trade. It is the same reason why you follow your trading plan for a few weeks/months, but then go off the reservation.

The reason why a trader fails to make consistent change and build a successful trading mindset is the same reason why most resolutions fail.

With that being said, before I share the answer – why do you think most traders make the same mistakes over and over again? Why do you think you fail to keep your risk management? Why do you think you succumb to the same emotions you know are toxic to your trading?

Many of you are smart people and can certainly figure out most of what you are doing isn’t helpful. Yet you still do it anyways. Why do you think you continue to do things which you know will only hurt your trading performance?

Please make sure to share and comment below. Your answers will be incredibly revealing as to where you are in your trading process, how much you understand about the trading mindset, and what you have to build mentally to become a successful trader.

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

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  • Santosh Kanekar

    Following a “new year” resolution means habit change. At one level, most don’t have the discipline to do it. At a deeper level, traders particularly get the performance which they desire deep down and this could be even losses. If the limiting beliefs,as you say it, are not addressed, no matter how many hoops the conscious mind jumps, no change will happen. Thanks Chris for the article and particularly like the comment that change does not have to wait for year end/beginning. Today is the always the first day of the rest of our life.

  • Itu

    I think most resolutions fail because the person that makes the new resolution does not all the brain a long enough time to develop the strong neurological pathway. They don’t stick to it long enough to let the brain develop the behavior they want.

    One thing I learned late last year is that success or being great at what you do is a habit. Failures have the same habits as each other and successful people have the same habits as each other.

    So if the person who seeks to have a new years resolution fulfilled they need to be willing to persevere through the tough moments until the brain does the resolution they desire on some level of autopilot.

    But if I had to answer your question in one word I think that most people fail to achieve their resolution because they lack resilience to develop the new habit which is the resolution.

  • Rey

    New Year resolutions often fail because most are not absolutely serious about the resolution thinking that if they cannot make do of their promise they still have next year to make the same pledge and then next year and then next year…

    You hit it right Chris. When you want something to be done why wait for the new year? This inappropriate attitude or flawed mindset leads to New Year’s resolution failing year after year.

  • arun

    Most resolutions fail because the very reason they are started either is not big enough or not properly planned or written. It is important to remember always why we want to change things and if the ‘why’ is big enough.and constantly prioritised and persevered, then only change will take place.

  • Gary

    Don’t know about others but for me, my resolutions fail because I didn’t have a plan on how to achieve it, got overwhelmed trying to do it all in one go and basically too much time spent on learning how to do it rather than actually doing it until it becomes a habit. This became apparent to me the past few years, however last year was a little different.

    Last year I wanted to start running and lose weight. This time rather than going full throttle at first, I used an app which has a detailed plan on how to run 5K in a few weeks. It started simple, run for few minutes then walk most of the session with the run duration increasing every coming session, and it worked, 4 months in I could run 30mins non stop and lost a lot of weight (combined with proper diet of course). I realized that having a plan and taking it a little at a time really helped in not being overwhelmed and getting burnt out early. Oh and taking action is also key.

    I regards to my trading, I decided to take it slow this time and apply what I learnt from last year. I keep reminding myself that trading is a marathon and there is a lot to learn (Don’t consume too much at first). I’m trying to stick to just one system and try to follow it as much as possible (Pretty hard to do for a newbie). I also realize that mistakes will happen and it is ok as long as I learn from it to become better in the future.

  • Petra

    Hm, I would say,first reason this resolution fail because people are not serious about them. I asked few people who set resolutions “So how are you going to achieve it, what is your plan?” The most funny answer was: ” Oh, it is a New Year resolution, I do not need a plan!” :)

    Second reason, I think, its because people do not think about the possibility that the plan will be not achieved in one straight line, the way to achieve the goal will have obstacles. For example, I did set NY resolution (trading related) and the plan says “In case you take revenge trade, watch Chris video – any from the course, because it simply calms me down and show me, how the trading should be done by profi trader). So.. yes, I did watch the 1000th member webinar on Friday 10th January 2014, after NFP, yeah I took revenge trade! But the great think about it is,I found so much new helpful informations (I attended the life webinar, but simply didnt catch everything that time).. so, at the end of a day, I had the felling, that I learned from my failure. And I simply keep going and not giving up the resolution.
    Thank you for the article and yoga channel, I think I need a yoga to give a try!