Monday, February 5, 2018

10 Trading Goals for Maximum Impact | Trading Psychology

In today’s Psychology lesson I’m going to give you a strategy for setting specific, highly-targeted trading goals to take your trading career to the next level.

In my previous lessons, we’ve been talking about the importance of using a trading journal to identify patterns, and those patterns are going to tell us where we need to improve, and what we’re already doing well.

Taking this one step further, now we need to set some goals.  My goal is to do MORE of what I’m already doing well, and do LESS of the things I need to avoid.

So, where do we start?  What’s the most effective strategy for your trading goals?  That’s the topic of today’s trading psychology lesson, and I have 10 trading goals that are going to take your trading to next level!

Before I go into the lesson for today, I want to remind you…

·        This lesson is the most recent in a series of videos that I publish every week on this YouTube Channel, and these videos build on the previous topics, so if this is the first video you’re watching, it’s great to have you with me, but you might want to go back and start from the beginning to get the most value out of THIS lesson. 
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Ok, now that we got that out of the way… let’s get into today’s lesson.

Today we’re talking about the most effective strategy for using trading goals.

One of the most common things I see among traders using their journal is that they bounce all over the place… in other words, they don’t focus on one aspect of improvement for very long.  They go from one goal to the next, without ever really mastering the skills they need to be successful.

For example, they go from “letting winners run” then to worrying about their “emotional-score”, then they focus on “following rules”, back and forth, always changing, but learning doesn’t work that way.

You don’t just say “I’m going to be better at THIS tomorrow” and because you invested one day in that aspect of your trading, you expect things to be changed forever?  Not going to happen.

Learning new skills, building new habits, breaking old habits, they all take consistency over an extended period of time, and they can’t be learned by just saying them, you have to do them, you have to take action.

Think of swimming, I can’t just say I’m going to be a swimmer, I need to take action to swim consistently for a few weeks before I can truly have the long-term skills that will last.

If you’ve ever tried learning to swim, you know that it’s a combination of different things.  Head down, breathing, body rotation, arm positive, it’s a whole process… not something you can learn all at once.

Trading is the SAME as swimming!

In swimming, I need to program my mind to think like a swimmer, and then my body will act like a swimmer, and soon my mind-body connection will start to BE a swimmer.

The same goes for trading. 

I know my strategy, I know my rules, I’ve developed the skills, my MIND knows what to do, but I need to execute that strategy correctly, for an extended period of time so that my MIND will get synced with my BODY. 

When that comes together, we have the “mind-body connection” that makes successful trading feel somewhat “automatic” (just like brushing your teeth or tying your shoes), or swimming laps in the pool.

So how do we use the information from our trading journal, to set goals, and make them automatic?

The most effective way to learn something is to do it consistently every day, modeling your actions after someone who’s already learned the same skills, asking them to provide feedback as often as possible, and keep sanding down all the edges until you’ve mastered that skill.

For trading, the most effective way to learn skills, is to find a mentor, someone you can “model” your actions, just like when you were a child and you modeled after your parents… that mentor will show you what the right skills look like, which will make it easy for you to learn.

Once you find a mentor, then you need to work closely with them, every day if possible, asking for feedback as often as possible, and using that feedback to keep refining your approach.

The opposite of this would be doing something only once a week, without someone to provide quick feedback.  That doesn’t work very well.  It takes a LOT longer, and it’s painful!

The key here is finding someone to model, and do it as often as possible.  Find a coach, someone who’s already mastered the skills you want, work with them consistently as often as possible, and have them give feedback so you can keep developing at a faster pace.

Once you find someone to model your actions… now let’s dig into the strategy of your goals.

Goals are a target, goals act as our “north star”.  Small goals keep us on track to reach large goals, and the process is always evolving.

If you remember from my last video…your journal is going to provide the data (the patterns) that will tell you what to change.  Visualizing the results of those changes motivates us to take action...

The challenge with this, is to be disciplined not to try to change everything at the same time.

Have you ever read a new book, or attended a seminar, and when you finished, you had all these ideas and it seemed overwhelming to try and get it all done? 

It’s the same thing with your journal.  Your journal is going to identify a LOT of patterns (areas for improvement), and we need a methodical approach to making all of those changes happen.

There needs to be a strategy for knowing which patterns you want to change first, and which patterns you should change last.

We need to prioritize our list of improvements, but more importantly, find the one or two things you can change in the short-term, that when done correctly, will have the biggest impact on your results.

This reminds me of a book I read last year, called The One Thing by Gary Keller, and in that book he talks about the discipline of identifying those specific improvements, then when done correctly, will make everything else a lot easier.

The reality is… we’re all human, we all have only 24-hours in a day.  We all need to sleep, most of us need to work another job (at first) to provide for our families….we can’t do everything, and most importantly, there’s an opportunity-cost to everything.  While I’m investing time in one thing, I’m NOT investing time in something else.

So, I need to be strategic with this.  I need to identify which patterns I need to change first, and when I change those patterns, they will make everything else a lot easier.

You won’t be able to change more than 2-3 things at the same time, so those need to be the most important.

For example, in trading, it’s more important for me to use the proper entry rules before using proper trade-management.  If I’m entering the wrong trades, worrying about the trade-management is a waste of my time.

So, let’s prioritize our goals into broad categories that have the most impact:

Here are ten categories that our goals will likely fit into:

1.      Lifestyle
2.      Journaling
3.      Morning routine
4.      Technical analysis
5.      Market Psychology
6.      Identifying Zones
7.      Price Patterns for Entry
8.      Entry Rules
9.      Entry trigger & Entry Technique
10.   Trade Management / Targets for the Day

As you can see by this list, they’re in order of priority.

I start with “lifestyle” because if my lifestyle choices aren’t getting me closer to my goals, that makes everything else harder.  If I start making more productive lifestyle choices (diet, sleep, friends, etc.)  which we’ve covered in previous lessons (Trading in the Zone) then everything else on this list becomes easier.

Once I have my lifestyle choices on the right track, then let’s focus on a productive morning routine. 

Once I have my morning routine dialed-in, then I can focus on mastering the skills of technical analysis.

Once I learn the skills of drawing trend-lines, finding channels, identifying ranges, using a moving-average to define sentiment, etc., etc., then I can use those technical analysis skills in combination with market psychology to identify high-percentage trading “zones”

Now we’re rolling!  We’re making good decisions, using our time wisely, building the right skills first, which are going to make everything else easier as you go.

You’d be amazed how many people I speak to each week that do the OPPOSITE of this.  They send me emails asking where their profit target should be… but yet they haven’t a clue about using a measured-move.  Do you see how counter-productive that is?  Now you know why, don’t make that mistake.

Remember this…

A successful trading career is built on the PROCESS, because some days are great, some days are not, but in the end, the PROCESS of your trading is what brings long-term success.

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

Today we talked about the most effective strategy for using your journal to identify patterns, using those patterns to identify opportunities of improvement, setting specific goals, which are then prioritized into categories, so that as you accomplish each goal, it’ll be easier to accomplish the next goal in the list.

I gave you guys 10 categories to focus on, in order: 

11.   Lifestyle
12.   Journaling
13.   Morning routine
14.   Technical analysis
15.   Market Psychology
16.   Identifying Zones
17.   Price Patterns for Entry
18.   Entry Rules
19.   Entry trigger & Entry Technique
20.   Trade Management / Targets for the Day

Those categories, when used in this order, will prioritize your efforts so that each goal makes the next goal easier to achieve.

We also talked about how important it is to “model” your behavior after someone who’s already achieved the skills and results that you desire.

We talked about the danger of trying to do everything at once, bouncing around from one topic to the next. 

We now understand the importance of highly-focused and consistent effort, combined with feedback to achieve each goal.

In other words, we know it’s best to work closely with a mentor, modeling our actions after theirs, asking for feedback as often as possible, so we can improve at a much faster rate.

And please don’t forget, I would love the opportunity to be your mentor, working with you each day in my trade room, making sure you master the PROCESS of trading, because some days are awesome, some days are not, but in the end, it’s the PROCESS that makes us successful in the long-term.

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 additional 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.

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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