Goal setting is essential for success in trading. You wouldn’t start a business without careful planning, budgeting, and execution. Trading is no different. If you're going to be in the winning 5% of traders that does this for a living, you need to make a concrete plan. Here are 5 things you can do to achieve your 2018 trading goals.
1. Review Every Single Trade You Took This Year
What cannot be measured, cannot be improved. In order to improve your trading, you have to study every single one of your trades. Contrary to what you might see on Twitter, all the best traders work and study their ass off. No successful trader got to where they are without spending thousands of hours backtesting and analyzing their trades. Learn from every trade you took this year. Study every winning trade and figure out what they have in common. Study every losing trade and figure out what they have in common.
2. Write Out A Daily Trading Routine
A written daily routine is essential for successful trading. In order to keep yourself focused during your trading day, especially when you're not consistently profitable, you need to know what patterns of behavior make you successful. You also need to be aware of destructive patterns of behavior to your trading, and eliminate them. When you have a written routine in front of you that you know will lead to successful trading, you significantly decrease the chance of undisciplined trading. When you have it written out, you have something to keep you focused when you're losing your composure.
3. Define Your Goals At the Start of Each Month
In order to measure progress trading, you need to focus on the big picture. You should focus on monthly profit goals versus daily, since you cannot control when trading opportunities will appear. Writing out your monthly trading goals will allow you to focus on the bigger picture. Having concrete goals written out will allow you to define the exact courses of action you need to take to achieve them. You also want to define goals in terms of forming new habits or breaking habits. For example, you might include in your monthly goals that you will stop over trading, and limit yourself to 3 trades a day.
4. Reflect on Your Trades At the End of Each Week
You cannot get caught up with the day to day results of trading. In order to keep yourself on track for your monthly goals and to measure progress, you need to do a trading reflection every week. This involves logging and studying all of your trades. You need to figure out if your trading losses are because of simple random chance (no trading system has 100% win rate), or cause of systematic flaws and indiscipline. Once you can identify the sources of your failures in trading you can figure out what to change to make you a successful trader.
5. Surround Yourself With Successful Traders
Trading is one of the hardest things you will ever try to do in your life. It's even harder if you try to do it alone without learning from successful traders who are already a few steps ahead of you. You can learn from mistakes they made instead of making them yourself. This will exponentially shorten your learning curve. It also helps to have trading buddies who are on the same level as you are. This will give you someone to hold yourself accountable everyday, and give you someone to support you on a red day.
Our trading community has hundreds of traders of all levels of experience. It's an intensive 60 day course that teaches you exactly how we trade and why. To learn more or to signup, email Maribeth@bullson.ws.