Successful traders do a lot of work away from the charts.
Over the last five years I've been asking you to join their ranks.
I've asked you to create and use a Market Structure Journal – http://www.yourtradingcoach.com/products/ebooks/the-greatest-trading-book-ever.pdf
For YTC Price Action Trader readers, I've expanded that to include a Motivation Journal, a Lessons Learnt Journal and a Trades Journal – http://www.ytcpriceactiontrader.com/
I've asked you to approach your pre-session routines in a professional manner – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/my-pre-session-routine/
I've asked you to approach your post-session routines in a professional manner – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/my-post-session-routine/
I've asked you to drive your learning and development through the use of targeted monthly, weekly and daily focus goals – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-business/3-simple-steps-to-accelerate-your-learning/
I'll be the first to admit that this is a whole lot of work. But the fact remains… it's essential if you want to improve.
So for those of you who struggle to maintain consistency in your process and routines, the following tool may help.
** Click on the image to open or download a larger PDF copy. Be sure to save it!
This is a very simple but very effective tool that can be used to develop and maintain consistency in completing your daily tasks.
Each month you should print out a new copy. Stick it to your wall where you'll see it every day. Above or beside your monitor is ideal.
Enter the tasks that you wish to complete each day in the first column. And then simply mark off each day with a red cross when you've completed that task.
As the month progresses, the crosses should form a chain from left to right. The idea is to make sure you DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN (excluding weekends if it's a task that is only relevant from Monday to Friday!). Keep the crosses happening.
And it works!
Give it a try.
Once you get that chain started you'll be afraid to let yourself down by breaking the chain.
Here's an example (obviously the real thing is larger!!)
In this example we are monitoring three tasks for consistency each trading day (excluding the weekends which we've marked "w/e"). You can see we've been consistent with the first task, "Trading Journal Spreadsheet updated". And generally good, with a slight slip up on Wednesday and Thursday of week two, with our "Trade of the Day review and replay" and "Market Structure Journal Entry" tasks.
If you slip up… just start again! You'll be disappointed. But use that disappointment to fuel your determination to never again break that chain.
If you want to read up a little more on this method, you'll probably find information all over the internet. It's not new. I've seen it in various forms throughout the years. But I was reminded of the technique this week through the following article – http://jamesclear.com/stop-procrastinating-seinfeld-strategy. (James Clear has a great site by the way… consider subscribing!)
I've printed out my own "Don't Break the Chain" task-sheet and placed it on my wall.
If you have trouble getting your tasks completed every day, give this a try.
Click on either of the above images to open or download the PDF copy.
Don't break the chain!