Friday, January 5, 2018

6 Ways to Energize Your Trading | Trading Psychology

Today’s Trading Psychology question of the day…

“How do you have so much energy in your videos every day?  I have a hard time staying focused when I’m trading, I feel tired at my desk, and lately I seem to be taking more losses because of this problem.  Any tricks for getting higher levels of energy?”

This is a great question, and you know… one of the most common traits among long-term successful traders is that they keep their energy levels high so they can perform at the highest level.

In today’s psychology lesson, I’m going to give you six (6) ways to improve your trading results by increasing your energy levels.

But before we begin, I need to remind you that this psychology lesson is the most recent in a series of videos that I publish every week, and these videos build on the topics we’ve already discussed, so if this is the first video you’re watching, you might want to go back and start from the beginning to get the most value out of these lessons.  I’ll leave a link below…

Here’s the link to watch from the beginning

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Ok, now that we got that out of the way… let’s get into today’s lesson.

One of the most important pieces of a successful trading career is a positive mindset, and to achieve that mindset we need focus, and to maintain that focus requires quite a bit of energy.

When we have high levels of energy we’re actively searching for new trading opportunities, hunting down reliable entries and correctly managing each position.

In other words, when our energy levels are high, we take control of our destiny by actively searching for the best opportunities with a positive outlook to the future.

The opposite of this energy is fatigue. 

If you’ve ever suffered from fatigue before, you know that it’s almost impossible to stay focused, we become re-active rather than pro-active, we stop hunting down the best opportunities and take whatever the market gives us, we make poor decisions, and our trading usually suffers because of it.

Even worse… when we find ourselves exhausted, run-down and fatigued from our trading day, that usually bleeds into our personal lives, which then affects tomorrow’s trading, and we get stuck in this cycle that breeds horrible results.

How do we avoid this fatigue? 

How do we increase our levels of energy to produce the best results?

Here are six (6) ways to increase your energy so you can achieve your lofty trading goals:


The first step is to get enough quality sleep.  Sleep, in my opinion needs to be one of your top priorities if you want higher levels of energy. 

I’m not talking about the amount of sleep, I’m referring to the quality of sleep.

In my personal experience, quality of sleep is directly affected by lifestyle choices. 

In other words, the activities I do during the day, the food I eat, and most importantly, how I spend the last 2 hours of my day is going to directly affect the quality of my sleep.

For example…

·        I always make sure I get at least 20mins of high-intensity exercise each day,
·        I don’t consume any stimulants (such as caffeine) after lunch,
·        I limit the amount of alcohol I drink with dinner,
·        I try to disengage my mind of my trading strategy 2 hours before going to bed
·        I turn off all electronics within 1 hour of going to bed

The biggest impact for me was eliminating the stimulants in the afternoon. 

As a highly motivated individual, its easy to work long hours, and those long hours make it easy to drink too much coffee, but that extra caffeine is going to rob you of the quality sleep you need to be at your best the following day… which results in your being tired, so you need more caffeine to stay awake… and you wind up stuck in this cycle, all caused by the stimulants we take each day.

An easy way to kick the caffeine addiction is to set an alarm that rings a little bit earlier each day… slowly cutting-back on the caffeine and when you consume it.

I remember slowly chipping away at this until I wasn’t drinking anything besides fresh water after I ate my lunch each day.  It’s not easy, but it can be done if you make it a priority, and it will help your quality of sleep dramatically.


Let’s talk about the power-nap…

Another way to kick the stimulant habit and increase focus and energy is to take a short nap during the day, such as over the lunch time session.

I know, I used to think that naps were for lazy people too, but it turns out… if you can kick the caffeine cycle, your body will LOVE a power-nap in the middle of the day.  You’ll wake up refreshed and energized to finish your day strong.

It sounds cliché, but the secret is to sleep when you’re tired.  I know it sounds crazy, but it really works, so add a power-nap to your day and you’ll find it easy to avoid that cup of coffee late in the day.


Now at this point you’re probably thinking… Joe… If I don’t drink my afternoon cup of coffee, I’m going to be napping all day!  How do you solve that problem?

Simple... with a healthy diet. 

Proper nutrition will give your body all the energy it needs to push through a long day at your desk, so get serious about replacing that cup of coffee with some high-performance fuel.

I would recommend…

·        Drink lots of fresh water throughout the day, starting right when you wake up
·        Start eating real food, if it doesn’t grow in the ground, don’t put in your body, and if it comes in a package, learn to read the ingredients and avoid all the chemicals they use as preservatives in most of our food here in the United States… it’s not real fuel, and it’s robbing you of energy.
·        Eat a balance of Protein, Carbohydrates, and lots of healthy fats like avocados and coconut oil
·        Don’t over-eat, keep the portion sizes reasonable, a few times each day
·        Avoid those sugar stimulants at all cost… sugar is the enemy of sustainable energy

On a personal note, I noticed an extreme spike in my energy levels when I stopped eating meat a few years ago.  My diet today consists of mostly vegetables and a little bit of wild-caught fish here and there and when I do get talked-into a piece of red meat or chicken, I always feel like it weighs me down the next day.

Remember, I’m not a doctor, I just know what’s worked for me, so make sure you speak to your doctor before you make any drastic changes, and if you need any book recommendations to get your diet into shape... just leave me a comment and I would be happy to share more ideas in the comments section of this video.


Another aspect of increased energy is keeping our minds sharp.

Luckily, the financial markets are like brain puzzles, always changing, forcing us to use critical thinking skills, problem-solving, etc., so we have the benefit of working a job (as traders) that keeps our brains in top condition, but let’s not forget about the effects of drugs and alcohol on our brain.

I think most of us have seen the negative effects that drugs and alcohol can have on us, and as traders, sometimes distress and anxiety can lead to using some form of medication, whether it be from a bottle or from a doctor.

The good news is… if you follow my advice for sleep and nutrition, keeping your mind in top condition will be a whole lot easier.

And if you do find yourself in a position where this is affecting your energy levels, it’s time to take a good look in the mirror and decide if you want to let that get in your way of a successful trading career.  It comes down to a simple choice… which is more important to you?  Simple as that.  The first step is making the conscious decision to make a change.


The next step in developing high levels of energy is with exercise. 

We all know this by now, investing at least 20mins out of your day to elevate your heart rate and build muscle will produce incredible results for your energy levels.

Getting into a habit, and prioritizing exercise into your day is the key to success.

Carve out an hour of each day so you can focus on improving your body.  Whether its walking, running, yoga, swimming, biking, hiking, it doesn’t matter… just get that heart rate elevated for at least 20mins each day.

Make it a priority, just like getting to your desk for the opening-bell, making this something that you CANNOT miss is critical.  If you don’t mark this on your daily calendar you probably won’t do it because there is never a shortage of stuff to do each day.  Make exercise a top priority.

I always tell myself… “a body in motion stays in motion.  A body at rest stays at rest.”

That’s why it’s so hard to get started, and why its so easy to keep it going once you’ve developed the habit.

Also remember, that social pressure is extremely powerful, so set a goal and tell some friends.  You’ll have a much easier time reaching your goals if you worry about letting your friends down.


The last step to increasing your energy levels is to take what I call “strategic breaks” from the computer.

Research tells us that small and frequent breaks from our busy lives will make the biggest impact.

In other words, rather than taking a big long vacation once a year, its much easier and more effective to take more frequent, smaller vacations.

I recommend taking at least 3-5 days off every few months throughout the year.  Spend time with family and friends, investing in yourself and having fun with hobbies you enjoy.

This doesn’t need to be an expensive vacation… you just need to make it a priority to do something for yourself, with the people you love most.

In my opinion, we all need to remind ourselves of WHY we’re working so hard.  I’ve been in situations before where I had forgotten WHY I was killing myself at my desk all week long, and a short break to get outdoors and experience life was all it took to give me more energy to keep working hard.

Break that cycle, prioritize your breaks every few months, spend that time with the people you love most, doing the things you love most, and you’ll have higher levels of energy when you get back to your desk.

Remember, your trading career is a marathon, its not a sprint.  There’s no trophy for being a work-a-holic, no matter what our society and our culture on the internet wants us to believe.


How about some homework?  They don’t call me professor JJ for nothing…

Remember that journal you started for the new year?  Let’s start using it!

Starting tomorrow, I want you to earmark one small section of your journal to start tracking your energy levels.

On a scale of 1 to 10, start making note of how you feel at the beginning and the end of your day, and over time you’ll most likely start to notice a correlation between your energy levels and your profitability.

This is especially important for anyone who might not be convinced that this is important.  Once you see the data for yourself, it’ll be a LOT easier to make the decision to take charge of your lifestyle choices and make increasing your energy levels a top priority.

Remember, finding trading opportunities when the market is moving is one thing… but having the focus needed to capitalize on those opportunities requires high levels of energy, and now you have a plan to get you there…

Wow…We’ve covered a LOT in this psychology lesson, so let’s do a quick recap.

Today we talked about how our levels of energy directly correlate to our ability to achieve our trading goals.

When we have energy, we are actively seeking reliable and profitable trading opportunities.

When we suffer from fatigue we become passive and lazy about our trading, making poor decisions and ultimately robbing us from the success we truly want.

We discussed six (6) ways to improve our energy levels:

1.      Quality of Sleep
2.      Power Naps during the day
3.      Diet & Nutrition
4.      Keeping our Minds Sharp
5.      Benefits of Exercise
6.      Strategic Breaks from the Desk

Wrapping things up… I hope you found a ton of value in today’s trading psychology lesson…

Do me a favor…drop me a comment below this video with any topics you’d like to see me cover in my next psychology video…

…make sure to give me a thumbs-up if you found value, subscribe to the channel if you’re not already, and please don’t forget to share this video with a friend who can benefit from this information as well.

And don’t forget, you can find me every morning @ 8:00am EST working hard in my trade room with all of our members here at, I have a great free trial on the homepage of our website, I publish my Nightly Newsletter every evening on my blog before 8:00pm EST, and I’m excited to see you again soon on my next trading psychology lesson.

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