What are your personal Mission Statement and Strategic Plan for your trading? If you have them, my guess is you have tasks and goals with specific dates.
Professional traders also have Emotional Plans to take into account the Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) of their feelings about what they do during the day. Our psychology and emotional makeup dictate how we act and behave during the day.
How do you plan to feel good? If “I feel good when I make money and I feel bad when I lose money” is the ethos, we need to rework this a little. All you can do is follow your backtested rules. If you have the discipline to do so, define “happy” as “I followed my rules today which was the best I could do, therefore my thoughts, feelings, and behavior are in alignment and that alignment will lead to superior performance over the next year.”
We can’t predict when the profits will show up, so having a monthly goal of 5%, for example, might provide you with the goal of frustration because that is the result. [Intentions equal results.]
Rely on “Trading Best Practices”
Best Practices in trading does not include day trading, intraday trading, or anything short term. Behavior predicts where we end up in life. What we do today provides us with the trajectory to where we want to go. We need to be mindful of the quantity and quality of the work we do.
Go through your activity with a fine-tooth comb. How do each of the points add up to profitability? Or, what 2 or 3 items in combination add up to to a positive slope on your trajectory.
What do you want trading to do for you in your life? What does it fulfill?
What do you want your money to do for you?
Making money is the end result of a big technical and emotional system.
“Discipline Equals Freedom” – from the book Extreme Ownership
We need to work hard, but also work smartly. If we focus on bad habits, we will be working hard, but not smartly. That’s what day trading is to me: hard work for no money and a great expense of time.
Notice where your behavior breaks down and diverges from what your Mission Statement delineates.
Building Your Trading Plan
If it’s technical, take a class and read up. If it’s emotional, take a yoga class, learn to meditate, or join a Trading Tribe.
We are all students over the entire duration of our trading. The best traders are mindful of everything they do and don’t do. Everything they want to feel and not want to feel.
Keep in mind that the feelings that you don’t want to feel have as much power over your behavior as the feelings that you actively seek out.
Don’t judge your feelings, seek the wisdom that they are trying to teach you. If the feeling of public Pride is the “heads” side of the coin, realize that “tails” is public, abject humility. Use this rule to help target the feelings you want in your emotional system.
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