Successful trading, ESPECIALLY at this time of year, can come down to not losing focus!
As I write this we are just about to hit December, which is the time of year many people tend to lose focus, chill out more and let things slide. They very often feel more OK with themselves about making excuses for not doing the things they have wanted to do all year!
So why does this happen and what has this to do with successful trading??
For me it comes down to three main reasons……
Firstly, others around them are often taking it easy, so it can easier in that moment to fall into of the trap of believing it’s OK to do the same and also fool yourself into feeling less guilty for doing so, simply because others are in that mindset.
Secondly, very often there is much more going on socially at this time of year which causes diaries to be fuller. A lack of planning means firstly, less gets done and secondly that coupled with a few too many (drinks etc) a few too many times can be a recipe for low productivity.
Lastly, it’s easy to put the important things off until next year! Let yourself off the hook by saying or thinking such things as “ I won’t do it now as it’s nearly the end of the year but I WILL be full on after Christmas!” or “I am going to give it 110% focus as soon as we hit New Year!”
The challenge with excuses like this is that, at this time of year, many people end up eating, drinking and relaxing A LOT! Now that is not a bad thing but that cocktail of eating drinking and chilling can often mean it’s much harder to get going again. For many they then try and move Mount Everest in the first three weeks of January, straight off the back of ruining themselves through the whole of December. They then end up tired and sometimes ill and can then become demotivated and before they know it, it’s two or three months on from early December where they first started making the excuses in the first place!
So three questions I hear you cry……
Should I now be a saint before and during Christmas time?
Not at all! I love this time of year and I have plenty of fun and chill out time. Part of successful trading for me is not being tied to your screens all day everyday! However, what I don’t do is treat December as an entire month of wind down! I actually have one of my only full weeks off in late December early Jan. Despite that, I want to be hitting the ground running in January not trying to fire up from my reserves of will power and energy simply just to get going!
So why does this happen for so many people so many years in a row?
Very simply, it comes down to their habits!
A very wise mine once said to me (this is the takeaway!)
“The habits you have in place now will form the basis of your results in six months to a year from now!”
OK great Ali, what does it all have to do with successful trading?
Well firstly, successful trading has a huge amount to with the habits you have. Firstly around your daily trading routine, processes and analysis but also how you operate outside the habits of how you specifically trade. Also if you wind down too early in other areas, does that then have a knock on effect to your focus around your trading??
Secondly, you could be missing very good trade opportunities, simply by not being there or being focussed. Interestingly if you look at our last five years of swing trading results for November and December each year, we have always had successful trading periods both from a win loss and a risk to reward perspective. Now that may not continue this year but it may well be even better and that’s the exact reason why I always push this point hard at this time of year.
So don’t lose focus, especially at this time of the year, as a large chunk of your successful swing trades could depend on it!”
So this December is there of course time to have fun and relax? Oh yes! But why not re-sharpen your focus and commit to upping your game first. Or even take the time to properly review your years trading results, from all aspects of the Traders Triad and see how you can improve next year!
So use that time to relax and have fun and take your foot gas and enjoy it! All knowing you kept pushing hard right up to that point, rather than wasting a whole month beforehand because of a bad habit!
And remember, having the December month off mentality, for the whole month, loses you nearly a whole year over a ten-year period!
Keep pushing !
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