Have you ever started one of your trading sessions by jumping into a trade as soon as you open your charts? 

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I see this from traders all the time mainly new traders who aren't experienced. For many, it is these trades that end up being rushed, forced and ultimately being the type of trades they later come to regret and have a to take a big loss, especially when combined with ignorance or disbelief.

It's almost as if they're making up for the lost time between the end of their last trading session and this one. Revenge trading for missed opportunities they weren't even around for and so now they rush trades to feel the excitement of having a trade placed. 

I think, to a certain extent, we are all guilty of doing this from time to time - or at least we would be, but the thing that stops some people from making it a reoccurring theme are the routines, habits and principles that are firmly in place to help instil better trading habits which lead to profitable traders. 

This doesn't just occur in trading either; it's also a factor in other areas of our lives.

How many times have you rushed a decision in your life that you have later come to regret? Situations you would have avoided if you had taken the time to think things over fully. 

Well, it's the same thing for trading.

By setting simple routines, habits or principles for all essential aspects of our trading, we can prepare ourselves mentally and physically, giving us an advantage in critical moments.

Don't Over Complicate It.

As humans, we tend to over-complicate things. But what results if you over-complicate a morning routine? It might work well for a few days and feel great, but it will soon become a chore and be challenging to sustain before eventually being abandoned.

Instead, keep things manageable. Find a few things that nicely slot into your trading routine That can be replicated. Things that don't ultimately take you in a different direction but subtly shift your mind, body and resources towards where they need to be to best prepare yourself for a successful day of learning and observing the markets.

Likewise remember, a good daily routine starts the night before. How you fix yourself for the next day and the time you go to bed will be significant parts of your overall performance.

Of course, if you can keep up the basics, you can add more things overtime to make it even better, and before long it may be something more difficult if that's what's right for you - but it will be in a flexible way to keep you on track with a system that is manageable.

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Setting goals for yourself when it comes to your performance in the financial markets might not be as straightforward and simple as you may imagine. 

It's essential to set a goal whenever you're working towards something in life, otherwise how will you ever know if you've achieved it? Goals can be motivating and are often really helpful in keeping you on the right track to achieving success.

However, it's just as important to spend time ensuring the goals are meaningful rather than purely inspirational and spur of the moment thoughts. Things that are actually going to help you reach a desired outcome and monitor your progress towards achieving it.

For example, when you set goals for your trading/investing progress, have you ever relied on statements along the lines of "I want to become more profitable" or "I want to open more great trades?".

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I have to hold my hands up to that one, I've used goals like that in the past - most traders have! Unfortunately, these sort of blanket statements just fall into the category of 'easier said than done'.

We need to get more specific. We all set these blank goals in life. We set ourselves these vague goals often. Saying I want to be a profitable trader is just like saying I want to be able to run a marathon or I want to get all A’s in university. 

To be able to truly achieve your trading and personal goals you need to get specific and consistent with your goal setting.

Setting the right goals

Each of us has different strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences that affect our trading. Some may be highly risky traders as they have not yet encountered a reality check by Mr. Market others may be risk averse. We all have different areas we need to work on in our trading approach if we want to progress and succeed in the markets to become profitable traders.

By using a blank statements about our overall trading, we're not really going to be measuring progress in the areas that really matter to us individually.

Rather than setting goals and measuring our success based on improvements only in our P&L, we should be identifying points that are holding us back and find an appropriate measure that shows progress in that specific area. 

Many traders need to focus on their risk management (which I believe is the key to a long career in the markets) setting specific goals such as no more than 2% per trade or after 3 losing trades walking away from the screens. Stopping to trade when you feel that you will over trade or start revenge trading. If this is something you struggle with get some help! Invest in your education here with A1 Trading

Other traders may need to focus on not jumping the gun! Not entering into trades too fast, not checking macro-economic data or not looking at the economic calendar to see if there is high volatility news due, as we all know trading before major news releases is very risky.

By doing that, it will help us to focus our development plan in a way that's meaningful and encourage trading in a way that's more sustainable. Things that avoid us being tempted into risky approaches in an attempt to hit profit targets, without any improvements actually being made to our ability.

What's your ratio ?

To help put this in to practical terms, there's a quote from the book 'Good to Great' by Jim Collins that has always resonated with me. It's intended to apply to business, but I think it can also be adapted to apply to trading or any other area of your life you're hoping to improve.

"If you could pick one & only one ratio - profit per _____ - to systematically increase over time, what _____ would have the greatest and most sustainable impact on your economic engine?"

That's definitely something to really focus when making realistic goals regarding your trading. The word 'sustainable' is key here - we don't want to hit a profit target for the sake of it, but instead we want to see an improvement in our approach to the financial markets in a steady & sustainable way. Improvements that lead to dependable and repeatable returns in the market, not a one-hit wonder. 

If you want to check out one of the best one hit wonders where one Forex trade generated over $300Million profit click here a1trading.com300-million-one-forex-trade

Have a think about you ratios as a trader - what would your ratio be that you want to improve? What would show that your performance as a trader / Investor is moving in the correct direction?

If you're an A1 member, let's discuss and share our specific trading goals in the discord server 

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