Happy New Year Rookie Bloggers! The end of the year is always an interesting time. We have renewed hope for what is to come and we also spend some time reflecting on what was. This is a very normal reflection process and it can be very healthy if we view it as a new opportunity. From a trading perspective, this is definitely an opportunity for us to build a new plan for continued trading success.
To have that continued trading success that we crave we must strap on our boots and go to work. We need to dive deep into what we did this past year and take those lessons and put them into what we are trying to accomplish for the new year. So with today’s blog, we are going to go through some ideas that you can use to help organize the next steps in your trading journey.
The first thing we need to do is take the time to reflect on our past successes and more importantly the things that didn’t work out the way we expected them to. Just looking at our profit and loss for the year is not going to help us really understand what we did wrong and right. The reason the P&L is not enough is that having winning trades is only helpful if one can repeat the process. This is where we need to delve into our trading journals. In our journals, we can better understand what the market conditions are and what types of strategies that we used and whether they worked as intended or whether some other process may have been better. These notes that we create can give us a nice road map to success if we put some effort into creating them. Once you have taken the wisdom from your journals then it is time to revisit the goals one set for the current year. At this moment we get to see what we accomplished and what still needs working on. This is a little reward for the work that was done on our goals over the course of the year. Just seeing that one accomplished something that one sets out to do gives us a little dopamine boost and spurs on further accomplishment by giving that little extra motivation. One needs not worry that perhaps not all the goals that were set may not have been cleared as the process of goal setting and achieving have an innate way of pushing the most important goals to the front and center. If you find goals that were not achieved but still have importance then this is an opportunity to begin anew by refocusing energies in the direction of that new goal.
In this reflection part, we are trying to discern what went well and what went wrong and we are doing so so that we can improve our processes. One such process would be a traders daily routine. This process should be reviewed as well to see that it still provides value to the trader and that perhaps there are more efficient ways to gain the market perspective. Over the years my own daily routine has changed slightly due to finding better tools and also finding some obsolete tools were no longer available and thus being forced to rework the process. I believe this is a very important part of our growth as traders and if you give this the attention that it requires then you may find that it helps you get “in tune” with the markets which in turn makes trading much easier and much more enjoyable as well.
Now, that we have done our reflection on the past and hopefully gained some much-needed trading wisdom from our own efforts and endeavors we can now focus on the future. This also requires work and effort on our part but it almost ensures success if proper planning and action are taken in this regard.
Looking forward can be quite exciting and gives us hope that we can achieve a higher level of success than in our past. We need to organize that hope into a plan that we can build and track over the next year and for many years after. We need a roadmap to get where we want to go and the mile markers on our roadmap tell us if we are going in the right direction.
So, we have to start with our new goals. We need to have concrete goals that have deadlines and ways to measure our progress. We need to have SMART goals.
The above picture is the blueprint for setting meaningful goals and if you are not doing this then you are missing out on a key ingredient of success. In trading, we need to set different types of goals. The two different types that come to my mind are income goals and activity goals. The income goals are really quite simple, “I will make 10% ROI on my portfolio before June 30th, 2020” I believe most folks are familiar with these types of goals. Setting income goals is excellent but the real secret sauce is the activity goals! We need to take our income goals and marry them with our activities. For example, if we are to achieve our 10% ROI on my portfolio before June 30th, 2020 then we must do the activities required to achieve this. One such activity goal might be “I will spend 1 hour per day, 5 days per week learning on Tackletrading.com” Doing this activity will help to make you a better trader and get you more in tune with the markets and thus will assist you to reach the above-stated income goal. There may be many activities that are required to get you to your stated goal and therefore one should spend the time to think through all the activities that could be useful in achieving your goals.
The final key to success is this, goals must be written down and reviewed on a regular basis. This is the process of giving energy to your goals. A goal without energy is merely a wish and has little chance of turning into a success.
So, to all the folks in the Tackle community, I wish you the happiest of new years and I hope that you will heed the suggestions we have placed here and that next year at this time you will have conquered all your important goals.