GMan and I revamped our trading journals and the SMB trading journal on a 9 1/2 hour car ride home from the Outerbanks. And this has helped.
For me my trading journal helps me to focus on my monthly and daily trading goals. I start each morning writing down my goal for the day. So my day is just a scavenger hunt to gather data from the market to accomplish my daily goal. My P&L is forgotten. My goal for the day is not to make money but to become better.
This mindset reduces my stress. A reduced stress level while trading helps me intake the data the market is offering unfiltered with my biases. The data the market is offering is not colored with a hope that the data is confirming my position. Now I am searching for data that will help me with my goal for the day and my positions are just a side note to my primary goal.
For example, if my goal is to control my emotions for the day, then a loss on the Open because “the (expletive deleted) NASD orders were not working” (obviously this was not a random hypothetical) is a learning experience. I was unable to control my emotions when my orders were not working. Now I have another example of the things that may set me off. For the next week I will insert visualization exercises replaying this event which set me off.
And what is most interesting is that after I got pissed because of the stuck NASD orders I entered this into my journal. I more quickly recognized my present state of mind. And this relaxed me. Quickly I was able to reenter the proper trading mindset and look for good trading opportunities.
And here is what I did not do. I did not sit at my trading desk and continue to trade while pissed and turn a rip due to some dopey stuck orders (this happens) into five more rips that would have ruined my week. I wrote in my trading journal, recognized my state of mind, calmed down, and went back to work. I did not sabotage my trading results going forward with data saturated in frustration.
This is just one thing that I learn from my trading journal. I’m curious: what do you learn?
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