Whether you are just getting started on your trading journey or 2017 has already been a great trading year for you, December is the time to reflect on what has happened, and what you can do to improve yourself as a trader for the next year.
Now during the upcoming holiday season, when markets are quiet and everyone are taking their holidays, it is a perfect time to prepare for the new trading year. You don’t want to find yourself at the end of 2018 regretting that you didn’t fully commit to trading and took it seriously.
In this article, we will show you exactly what you need to do to be sure you make 2018 count!
1. Explore what works and what doesn’t in your current trading
Go back and review your trades from the past year. Numbers never lie, so if you take an objective look at this you are sure to find something useful. If you have recorded all your trades in a trading journal (as you should have), then that’s great! All you need to do is go back and review your trades in the journal.
Look up the charts of the instruments you traded and check your entries and exits. Personally, I like to keep a screenshot of the charts in my trading journal where I indicate entries and exits directly on the charts. If you do that, it can potentially save you lots of time when reviewing your trades, which also makes it much more likely that you will learn something from your own mistakes.
Now, did your entries and exits exactly match your trading plan? If not, what was different? How can you make sure you follow your plan to the point next time?
2. Time for some self-examination
Just as with athletes or any other type of high performer, as a trader you need to be honest with yourself in order to improve. Some questions to ask might be:
- Do you constantly change your trading strategy?
- Do you keep an up-to-data trading journal?
- Are you following your trading plan and rules?
- Are you following a structured daily routine or are you just sitting down at your desk and making trades randomly as you see them?
- What did you learn this past year and how did you implement your new knowledge?
Taking the time to go through and answer all these questions, preferably in writing, will help you tremendously on your way to improved self-awareness, which is an extremely important characteristic for traders.
3. Set attainable goals for 2018
Year-end is always the time to come up with New Year’s resolutions. The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they’re really easy to come up with, but so hard to follow through with. And the fact that most people set completely unrealistic expectations to themselves doesn’t help either.
Start by being realistic about your expectations. Many traders have very unrealistic expectations about how quickly their life is going to be turned around by trading. The truth is that trading is like any other high-skilled profession; it takes time and effort to master it.
Good goals for the New Year should follow the SMART criteria:
One thing to consider as a New Year’s resolution for new traders could be to pick a trading strategy, learn the ins and outs of it, develop confidence in it, and stick with it over an extended period of time.
The importance of having a system or methodology that you have full confidence in cannot be overstated. This is exactly what the legendary stock trader Jesse Livermore referred to when he said:
“Without faith in his own judgment, no man can go very far at this game.”
Another suggested goal for the next year would be to develop a daily and weekly trading routine that you actually follow. This will help you stay organized and focused on the task ahead of you, and ultimately help you become the successful independent trader that you always wanted to be.
With this, we hope you are ready to seize the opportunity ahead of you and take concrete steps to move you in the right direction in your trading journey. Feel free to reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you get one step closer to achieving your goal of becoming a profitable independent forex trader.
We wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!