Among the most difficult parts of becoming an independent trader is are being able to work on your own, follow a schedule, and constantly make progress towards your goals without having a boss to tell you what to do.
The problem here is that most people who have always been working as employees for others just think of being independent as a luxury. They imagine how amazing it must be to be able to make your own schedule, work when you want, and snooze the alarm clock in the mornings. Then, what almost always happens is that these things that are so crucial in order to succeed on your own, don’t get done.
Let’s face it: Most of us are quite lazy, and if given a choice we will take the easy way out. Pretty much like a stream of water which always follows the path of least resistance. But as independent traders, this is a hopeless way to live our lives, and it will lead to financial ruin in the forex market.
The question then becomes; what can we do about it? How can we make sure we stay motivated and keep progressing towards our goals as independent traders?
The answer I will propose here is that you need to turn your good habits and trading routine into something you enjoy doing on a daily basis.
As a first step, you need to go from having no routine to following a simple daily routine. By just doing this, you are likely to improve your trading dramatically since you now take a much more professional approach to it. Trading is no longer your hobby. It is your job.
However, a routine will not only improve your trading, but will also improve on your personal sense of clarity, happiness, and satisfaction because you then know that you have done what you should have done every single day.
Form a routine you enjoy
A tip for creating routines that can last is to create them around things you enjoy doing. Let’s say for example that you do a market analysis session for the week ahead every Monday. Perhaps you then spend 3-4 hours to go through all the charts, create trading plans, and decide on which forex pairs will be on your watch list for the week.
Instead of working unproductively and let those 3-4 hours of work take up your whole day, a great way to do this would be to for example start your day with a nice breakfast at home with your family before you head over to the gym (or the park) for an hour work-out. Once you’re done with that, bring your laptop over to your favourite coffee shop to get your work done with a nice cup of cappuccino.
You then know that you have set four hours aside to get your weekly market analysis done, and you will be there in the coffee shop until you are finished with that. This way, you will get your task done productively while being in a place you enjoy. Over time, this develops into a habit that you would never want to be without.
Similarly, you should form routines for your daily work. We have talked about this before on this blog when we covered the ideal daily trading routine. Here we will give you the basics again:
Get up early!
Rule number one for any serious trader is to get up early in the morning, or at least make sure you get about at the same time every day. Whether that is at 7 or 9 is less important, but it is very important that you are consistent with when you get up and when your trading day starts.
Once you’re up it’s time for some breakfast before you head to your trading office. Some people like to trade from home, while others like to go to an office somewhere else. What the best solution is can be the topic for another time, but the most important thing is that you go to the same place at the same time every day.
Daily market scan
You are now ready to work. It’s also important to develop a good routine for your work sessions. What do you do, and when do you do it? Allocate as much time as you think you need for news, market scans, and technical analysis, and keep your work within these time slots.
Once you are done with the news you may want to go over the markets to see how the forex pairs on your weekly watchlist are looking. Here it’s also important to be organised so you don’t end up randomly looking through charts. Do what you planned to do, and nothing else. This may also be the time to place trades if all your entry criteria are met.
After you have taken the trades, go ahead and make your journal entries. Many traders wait with this and do it whenever they have “free time,” but I would advise against this. It’s best to do right away what can be done right away. Everything you postpone for later will stay with you and clutter your thinking unnecessarily.
I think by now you get the idea and understand the importance of establishing a routine. By taking a professional approach to everything you do in trading, chances are you will sooner or later become one of the professionals. On the other hand, taking a random and hobby-like approach will most likely get you nowhere.
If this all sounds interesting to you, you are welcome to learn more about forex trading basics at our free forex workshops that are regularly hosted around Australia. We look forward to seeing you there!