Still Not Making Money? Change Your Trading Habits

As a forex trader, adopting good habits is a vitally important aspect of getting on your trading feet.

With the hustle and bustle of international trades and activity all around you, getting lost and falling off course can happen frequently if you lack the dedication, skill, and determination to maintain a consistent daily and weekly trading regimen.

It’s important to keep in mind that every trader has off days, whether they have generally solid trading habits or not.

Even the most regimented traders sometimes make rash or emotional trades, and usually pay for that misstep in trading.

However, setting up a routine and practicing some basic habits when trading can help curb your losses and help you get back on the right track if you happen to fall off momentarily.

Establishing Good Habits Requires Effort

If you take a serious look at your day-to-day routine, or that of any other professional, you’ll realize that the routine didn’t form from thin air.

The reality is that any and every routine you or other professionals have requires effort to be built.

In many cases, trial and error formulates a lot of what you do and don’t do. And in some cases routines that worked before need to be switched up to fit you and your lifestyle as it evolves and changes.

One of the paradoxes of trading is that there are no rules regarding what you can do, but without some rules you’re not very likely to succeed.

You can buy or sell whenever and however you want to. The trading markets are an environment of almost complete freedom. But to be a profitable trader, you have to establish your own rules that will guide you in your trading, and then practice the necessary self-discipline to follow them.

Creating, tweaking, and changing your routine will allow you to develop the trading habits that work best for your trading style and needs, and that will ultimately help you maximize profits and cut down on costly errors.

In order to be successful, you need to establish daily routines – in and out of the trading space – that eventually transform into natural habits that lend support to your trading success.

The Power of Structured Trading

It’s important to understand one key thing before you read any further:

If you don’t have, or can’t establish and stick to, a daily routine in and out of the trading arena, you are most likely going to fail as a trader.

This isn’t merely a sentiment, a thought, or an opinion – it’s a fact, established by the experience of countless winning and losing traders.

Trading, as with any other profession, requires discipline and a consistent approach.

These are the foundational blocks on which you build your both your personal trading style and ultimate success. Without this necessary structure, your trades will likely be haphazard, emotional, and in the end, will likely lead to your financial downfall.

Create A Routine And Stick To It

Everyone is different, and so everyone’s routine will be somewhat different.

Your physical, emotional, mental, and trading needs vary – sometimes drastically – from those of others. So, the simple answer is that there is no one ideal daily routine that will fit every trader perfectly. Still, there are some key elements you should consider as a starting point.

First, keep in mind that when we talk about a daily routine, we’re not restricting ourselves to just what you should and shouldn’t be doing in terms of trading. We’re talking about the whole of your lifestyle.

Therefore, one routine to set is that regarding how much rest you need to function at the top of your game.

The average adult should get somewhere between six to eight hours of sleep every day. But you know your body better than anyone else does, and you know both how much sleep you ideally need, and when it’s best to get it.

If you’re trading at weird hours, establishing set times to eat and sleep are key habits to develop that can enable you to function well when others are sleeping, or get some badly needed sleep when others are awake.

Start Your Week Off Right

It’s a good idea to start your week by checking up on and finding the daily chart trends of the forex pairs that you frequently trade, just to refresh your memory regarding the recent price moves in various currency pairs and prevailing trends.

It’s also a good idea to refresh your charts in regard to identifying and noting significant support and resistance levels that may have developed during the previous week’s trading action.

At the beginning of each trading day, take a look at your charts of various time frames, and try to gauge market momentum and anticipate price levels where market turns might occur.

Repeat that process at the end of the day, and then reassess things the next morning to detect how any significant price movements that occurred overnight may have changed things (such as price breaking through a major support or resistance level).

Obviously, you want to check the status of any open trades you have, both at the start and end of each trading day, so that you can see if you need to make any adjustments in the placement of stop-loss or take profit orders.

One very important habit to develop is keeping and regularly reviewing a trading journal.

Your trading journal should record every trade you make, what led you to make the trade (for example, “price retracing to the 50-period moving average”), what your stop-loss and take profit levels were, your entry and exit price points, and whether you were stopped out of the trade or decided to close it out for some reason.

I guarantee that keeping and regularly reviewing your trading journal will reveal to you a lot about what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

The bottom line is that you need to establish a routine you stick to, one that works for you and one that helps make you a more profitable forex trader.

Don’t Become A Hermit

As we mentioned before, when we use the word habit, we’re not talking only about your trading process.

In your quest to become a master trader, it’s easy to shut out the rest of the world and lose sight of everything aside from making the best and most profitable trades.

Don’t turn into a reclusive trading hermit.

Make sure that your daily and weekly routine includes time for leisure activities, social events, time with friends and family, and just some quiet alone time for yourself. Exercise is a key component of a good routine, because you sure don’t get much sitting at your desk watching a computer monitor.

Whatever your activity level, lifestyle, and trading habits are, be sure that your routine has space for fun away from trading.

Trading can certainly be fun, but if it’s your sole activity and every spare minute is spent on thoughts of better strategies or used to beat yourself over poor choices or missed opportunities, that’s the sort of situation that can eventually drive you crazy. At the very least, it will probably mean living with an unhealthy level of stress.

Enjoy the variety and the whole of life, and give yourself room to indulge on the things you love doing (besides trading).

The Bottom Line

Forming good habits is a key factor in succeeding, regardless of what you do.

Build a routine for yourself that you can live with, one that supports your trading goals as well as the other things you want and need to accomplish in life. In the end, creating good habits will benefit you both in and out of the market.

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