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Saying goodbye to 2008 – With a bit of trader psychology

For this blog post we welcome a guest writer, Stephen Desborough, who has worked in the Futures industry for many years as a trader and is now a Performance Coach. He has helped many traders with his in depth knowledge of methods like NLP, approached from a traders point of view. is his e-mail address if you wish to contact him.

Thanks for your contribution, Steve, and Season Greetings to you all!




As the nights and the year draw in, it is a perfect time to reflect back on 2008. As you look back, hopefully you will be able to relish in your accomplishments and the growth that you have made both professionally and personally.

Did you set any goals for 2008? Did you achieve all of the goals that you set for yourself? If for some reason you’ve fallen short, then ask yourself, “why?”. Is there something that you could have done differently, or is there something that you should have done, but for whatever reason you didn’t?

During this special time of festivities, and a well deserved break, spend some time brainstorming the past year and the year ahead. What do you want to achieve in 2009? What is important to you? What are your goals? How are you going to achieve them?

In 1953, researchers surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. The answer: 3%. Twenty years later, researchers polled the surviving members of the Class of 1953 — and found that the 3% with goals had accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% of the class combined.

Some of the reasons that many of us do not set goals:

  • Not being serious about your goals. Until you become completely serious about your goals, your chances of success are limited.
  • I don’t know how to clearly set out my goals. “As I don’t know how to do it or what I really want. I wont bother”
  • The fear of failure. “What happens if I do not achieve my goals?”
  • The fear of success. “How will I cope with success and will other peoples perception of me change”

If you have no goals, you are not going anywhere. This is a key reason why people do not achieve their full potential.


Even people who do set goals, do not always get the result that they intended. Here is a technique that will help you towards setting and achieving your goals. The SMART criteria.

  • S. The more SPECIFIC, that you make your goals the more chance you have of it happening.
  • M. What has to happen ? what do you have to see, feel, to know, so that you can MEASURE your success ? Make sure that your goals are MEANINGFUL to you.
  • A. State your goal in the present tense. AS IF you are already living the ACHIEVEMENT of the goal.
  • R. Make sure that your goal is REALISTIC to you. What degree of certainty do you have to make this goal happen.
  • T. Have a precise TIME of when you will have achieved the goal. Make sure that your goal is what you do want as opposed to what you don’t want. eg. “I don’t want my business to struggle next year”. change to “I want my business to flourish next year”. This is stating your goal TOWARD what you want to achieve.As your coach, it is my goal to help you achieve your goals. If you are serious about what you want in 2009 please contact me.