Breaking old habit patterns

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Monthly Newsletter – Forex Psychology with Saira Khalid

You have a mega month ahead to end the financial year on a high. Even better let us learn a few fun ways to create new good habits and to break the old ones that no longer serve us.

Breaking an old habit pattern is not easy and we would all agree. Daily actions lead to habits and the best way to create a new habit is to do it daily for 21 days without taking a break. You will feel empowered and you will feel a sense of accomplishment that is simply a boost to the good old ego!

Most of us have habits that we love and some we detest. Consciously we tend to not even take notice of habits that we love because we take them for granted or as normal. For example brushing teeth before going to bed as a habit is taken for granted by people and some people take flossing as a habit for granted (after every main meal!). Habit is just a habit formed by repetitive action and as a good habit is formed similarly a bad habit can be broken.

Cue :                      The trigger that starts the action. This reminds you of automatically doing something.

Consistency:      Behaviour – the specific action you take repeatedly

Consequence:   Benefit you gain from doing the behaviour; or benefits you miss out on as a result of not following the routine action.

Most people find routine boring. Therefore they tend to break the routine. The question is then why bad habits which are routines are so difficult to break?

2 Ideas to create a new habit and improve your skill set

  • DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN – Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret

If you have ever felt overwhelmed by a wide list of tasks to complete her is an idea Seinfeld was famous to apply to accomplish results. The concept is to spend some amount of time doing the (to do) activity every day and when you do cross off that day on a calendar. This creates a chain of Xs showing progress and if you don’t do the activity one day it breaks the chain. I would do it for 21 days for a new habit formation. As soon as you complete the short simple task mark a cross on the calendar (buy a calendar or a white board and write 1,2,3,4 …., 21 days).

Start with a simple task and do only a small amount of allocated time towards it but do it daily for example stretching for health and flexibility. Do only 5 minutes daily and cross on the calendar, the key is not to break this cycle any day. Combine that with 5 minutes of eye movement and facial muscle exercise. Total just 10 minutes – secret again is to do it daily and don’t break the chain. Viola, new habit is formed effortlessly and now you don’t need to motivate yourself to do this exercise infact you will miss it when you don’t do it.

Cue: AS soon as you get out of bed the first thing you do is? Combine the above (or your target task with the morning action.

Consistency: do it daily without a break

Consequence: if you finish over 21 days set a reward and if you break the chain set a punishment plus you will need to start the chain from 1 again!

2 – Practice Multiple skills at a time instead of focusing on One for Greater Results. This is a concept that I am exploring right now. I have always thought that to master 1 thing you need to just do one thing at a time but according to Robert Bjork (director of UCLA’s Learning and Forgetting Lab) it is best to pack things in your brain in a way that keeps them from leaking out. According to this theory for example in sports instead of improving one aspect of your game say improve serve in Tennis, you are better off working on improving your entire game. This is an interesting concept to apply when trading so instead of just working on figuring out how to use one strategy at a time the beginner can focus on 4 strategies but divide only 10 minutes each per strategy per day. In 40 minutes the 4 strategies are revised.

Based on this theory the skill learned needs to be related in some higher–order rather than one unrelated completely to other ie learning trading while learning guitar will not produce the accelerated learning result for trading.  Learn the smart chart software 10 minutes, focus on 1 strategy 10 minutes, check the news 10 minutes (this is a 30 minute work out for the busy person who has just started to learn to trade). Do this daily without fail preferably at the same time. Don’t think just do it. Just be a robot for 21 days just 30 minutes/ day for a new skill that can actually pay you….Priceless!

To your Prosperity,


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