You are no doubt aware of the fact that the most successful traders in the world have a consistent daily routine and a series of habits they do each trading day to give them the greatest chance of success.
As John C. Maxwell, author of How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, stated:
But it isn’t just successful traders who adopt consistent daily habits that prime their body and mind for success.
People from all walks of life attribute much of the success to the specific habits they have cultivated over time.
While daily habits won’t guarantee your success, they can help point the trajectory of your day, week, month, and year, in a strong upward direction. No different to the equity curve you are dreaming of, that starts at the bottom left and moves consistently to the top right.
In all the interviews we have done with past Trading Cup champions, here are the top 7 habits we have found are consistent among the best traders.
Efficiency, structure, and killing procrastination.
The benefits of having a consistent daily routine are numerous.
If you are one to diddle around in the mornings, with no clear structure and unable to focus on the critical tasks for the day, then a consistent daily routine will be a game-changer for you.
At least one point in your life, you have drifted mindlessly through days, weeks, and months.
Well, the opposite of that is much better.
By getting your morning off to a consistent start, you will build momentum throughout your day, reduce stress, and accomplish way more than those without a daily routine.
Steve Jobs and many other successful entrepreneurs started dressing in the same clothes every day, so that they can reduce another unnecessary decision.
Traders need to focus on trading ideas.
Develop a consistent daily routine that allows you to focus your time and energy on those skills you excel at, not the little things.
To perform at your best each day, you need the energy to carry you from when you wake up to when you close your computer down to finish each trading day.
According to Science Daily, in a recent study they performed they showed that exercise improves memory and boosts blood flow to the brain.
The best traders can identify patterns in the market and correlations that help them build better trade ideas consistently.
If your memory is off, then you have a far greater chance of making mistakes than connecting a few ideas that help you identify a solid risk-reward trading opportunity for the day ahead.
A funny meme suggests, ‘A day without coffee is like…just kidding, I have no idea.’
Coffee is well regarded the world over as a performance enhancer for people from all walks of life.
Whether you are trying to kick start your morning for work or you are a high-performance athlete, coffee has some incredible benefits.
Several months back, Dr. Chopra, who has spent a good deal of his life studying the health benefits of coffee, confirmed the vast number of benefits of drinking coffee in this video.
According to healthline, coffee can improve your energy levels, make you smarter, make you happier, and is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the Western diet.
When it comes to intraday day, you want to be alert, focused, dialed in, and ready to take action as needed.
Coffee can help with all of that, especially towards the end of the trading day. Often our alertness drops after lunch, and we all know how important the end of the session is for traders.
Grabbing a coffee as you head into the final trading window of your day may make the difference between a good day and a handful of unnecessary mistakes.
The best education tool you will ever have as a trader is your trading journal, capturing your thoughts and ideas at the end of each trading day.
You are no doubt aware of the fact that your biggest lessons often come from your greatest mistakes.
Journaling helps get your thoughts down on paper, sort of like a personal therapy session.
The best traders regularly keep extensive notes, to keep their thinking organised, to set goals, and jot down all their new trading ideas.
As you know, trading is one of the most stressful things you can do.
Elizabeth Scott has noted many positive benefits to keeping a daily journal, especially when it comes to stress management.
Try journaling today and see what effect it has on your mood, stress levels, and bottom-line results.
Markets are constantly evolving. The trader who stays still and believes they have the Holy Grail is often a handful of trades away from taking a big hit.
The best traders we see on top of the leaderboard are continually tweaking their system based on current market conditions.
There are three main types of markets, which are:
· Volatile breakouts
As a trader, you want to work towards having trading systems that work best in one of those three types of markets.
It is extremely rare to find a trading system that works in all market types across all time frames.
As a result, successful traders are continually tweaking their systems, making modifications based on what they see in front of them.
Your job as a trader is to trade your best system right now.
Then, continue creating ideas around the market, writing them down, then backtesting them to see if they have a positive expectancy (an edge).
You then continue to trade your best system(s) to help you achieve your financial goals.
You need to know your strategy for the day ahead.
What are the high impact news events for the session ahead, and will that impact the markets you are trading?
The best traders always have a focus for the day.
Many will internalise their trading day by meditating before the market open, getting clarity around what they need to do for the day ahead.
Professional traders don’t rely on luck to get through the day.
They have clearly defined goals, they know exactly what to expect from their trading system, and they have a range of contingencies mapped out across the preferred markets they trade.
When the market opens, professional traders don’t hesitate. They know their plan well and can execute their plan with incredible accuracy.
Trading throws all sorts of challenges at us each day.
Most of all, trading can be highly stressful. So having a daily routine that enables you to close off your trading day, stay refreshed and engage in other activities away from trading is critical.
Rest and recovery are critical for high performance across all professions.
You cannot hit the gym hard twice a day, seven days a week. Your body needs to rest and recover.
Dr Michael Walker, a neuroscientist who has extensively studied the power of sleep, notes the critical function sleep has on recovery and memory recall.
As a trader, you are often dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars, so you need to be fresh and fully recovered from the day before.
One of the best habits traders have is the ability to close off their trading day in a positive frame of mind.
Reviewing your goals at the end of each day will help you gain focus and clarity as to why you are doing what you are doing.
Creating this review of your goals as you wind-down for the evening is a powerful 1-2 punch that is hard to beat.
You then hit the bed with clarity, a positive frame of mind, and can allow your body to fully rest and recover, ready to battle it out for another day in the markets.
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Ashley Jessen is the author of CFDs Made Simple and Chief Operating Officer at ACY Securities. He has been in the financial services industry since the year 2000 and worked for some of the leading companies in the CFD, Forex and Online Trading space.