The majority of businesses start each year with a long hard look at what they want to achieve in the next 12 months. Trading, be it full time or part time, should be no different.
In this blog we’re focusing on helping traders and investors do just that. We’ve put together a downloadable worksheet for you to complete so you can assess the factors that feed into your trading success and a successful trading mindset, focus your mind and hold yourself accountable.
The first section
Where goals come in
It’s always important to select the right type of goal. You want it to be stretching but not so unrealistic that you are crushed when it isn’t achieved. It’s also important to remember that progress is non-linear, otherwise this becomes another place where we might lose hope, give up or reinforce any pre-existing limiting beliefs we have.
So set some realistic trading goals and then break them down into daily goals and small steps.
Life is always presenting the unexpected so it’s good to be prepared for how you’ll deal with unforeseen obstacles as well as those you can predict given your previous experience and self-awareness.
Plug into some help
If you need to write a trading plan but keep procrastinating on it, consider getting an accountability partner. There is a great community of traders in the Live Trading Room so consider joining that and find your trading family.
If you find it hard to assess your strengths and weaknesses whether in terms of practical help or mindset factors, we offer mentorship both in terms of an archive of mentorship courses as well as one-to-one and group sessions that can help you get an outside perspective on your trading.
Every professional needs continuing professional development so make sure you’re getting yours.
Technology tools and physical setup
Don’t underestimate the role that physical discomfort (through for example inadequate ergonomics or a visually distracting environment) plays into mental distress and distraction. Nor how physical tension gets reflected in the mind. And who doesn’t know the frustration of a technology failure impeding our progress. These practical details are an essential part of your success so don’t rush past them or ignore signals your body is sending you. We talked about some of the issues around technical set up in this blog.
Learn to uncover your blind spots
It is a facet of the human mind that we can neither always see our own behaviour in a full 360-degree view nor avoid cognitive distortions that mean we don’t accurately assess ourselves. The human mind is notorious for turning away from objective truths because they are uncomfortable.
It’s really important not to get too wedded to what you really like about yourself because this could be the very thing that is your downfall. In fact we want to practice non-attachment to all parts of ourselves: the parts we like, the parts we don’t like. We want to get comfortable with knowing we have blind spots that are in the full view of others.
Only in this way can we perfect our execution.
So whatever you need to do to know yourself better when you are trading, or indeed in life, just do it. Whether it’s through your trading journal, videoing yourself and your facial expressions…whatever means you use, turn into the discomfort of being honest with yourself. It’s the best way to better yourself and very quickly becomes empowering and the seat of true confidence.
Behaviour and emotion are part of a system
It’s best to think of your ability to trade as the hub of a wheel being supported by many spokes. On one spoke we have sleep – regular sleeping hours as well as sufficient sleep prompts better decision making, emotional regulation and impulse control. An overuse of intoxicants and stimulants does the opposite, as well as blocking self-awareness. Exercise is essential for shifting state as well as shaking off tension in addition to its well-known benefits to physical health. And don’t underestimate the role of drinking enough water for optimum brain function.
Yet it’s all about balance and not requiring perfection from yourself: as long as you’re doing the good things more often than not, then that’s good enough.
So download our worksheet, see how you get on, and if you decide you need help fine-tuning any aspect of it, get in touch.
Tradeguider is the home of Wyckoff VSA. In addition to setting your goals for the next 12 months, you should also revisit your trading plan and journal. Check out the `Creating your VSA Trading Plan` mentorship course that covers this very topic.
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