So today I want to talk to you about the silent architect of long-term, sustainable success- and that is routine. Whether it’s in trading or in life, having a solid routine is what will shape your actions, make habits stick, and guide you to towards your goals.
Lets walk through a day in the life of a trader. Let’s call him Henry. He wakes up 5 minutes before the 6am candle and rushes to his laptop to take a trade, sitting there for a couple hours without having showered or even brushed his teeth. After that he goes downstairs and makes himself a cup of tea and has some breakfast. Before he knows it, he’s back at the laptop trading the New York session. More than half the day has gone by and now he wants to relax so he begins doom scrolling through endless videos on Instagram and YouTube. The evening arrives and after eating a takeaway, he decides to back test a new strategy. At night he decides to watch a movie or play videogames and before he realises, it’s 2am. He lays in bed wondering why things aren’t working out for him. “When will I be successful?” he asks himself before falling sleep and waking up to repeat the cycle all over again.
Does this sound like someone who has their life together? Does it sound like someone who is deserving of success? Or does it sound like someone who is sleep-walking through life? Before I connect the dots between routine in life to routine in trading, let me tell you the significance of having routine in your life. A well structured routine is more than just a schedule of things to do. It’s a tool that instills discipline, allows you to manage your time effectively, empowers you to take control of your life. By automating tasks and forming daily habits you free up the mental capacity to do the things you’re missing out on.
You might have a routine in trading. You may take 2 trades a day with a maximum risk of 2%. You may only sit at your charts during London open and New York open. But to be successful in trading, your discipline and consistency has to extend beyond the charts and into your everyday life. Having a chaotic personal routine will automatically translate to chaos in trading.
Now consider a day in the life of another trader. Let’s call him Jason. Jason wakes up at 5:30am, spends 15 minutes meditating, 10 minutes doing his personal business, and get to the charts 5 minutes before the 6 am candle open to mark up his charts. After scanning the markets and deciding not to enter a trade, he heads off to the gym for a workout. He gets back home around 8am to have breakfast with his family. After breakfast he works on a side business for a couple of hours. 12pm he goes back to the charts to trade the New York Session, and he’s done by 3pm. He goes out to see his friends for a couple of hours and returns to spend more quality time with his family. He helps his wife with the dinner and they wash the dishes together. 9pm he gets ready for bed, reads a book and goes to sleep by 10pm.
Consider the contrast between Henry and Jason. One prioritises rest, looks after his mental and physical health, approaches each day with clarity, allocates time toward doing the things he loves. Ultimately, Jason is better equipped to make informed decisions, stick to his plan and effectively deal with the highs and lows of trading.
If you want to start getting the most out of yourself, your trading and your daily life; then here’s 3 steps you can take immediately to bring about change in your trading and your life:
1.Set the Tone in the Morning:
Create a morning routine that incorporates some form of exercise and meditation. By meditation, I don’t mean you have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed, incense stick burning and soothing music playing in the background. It can be as simple as spending 10 minutes in silence thinking about yourself and what you want in life. By starting your day positively, you set the stage for the rest of the day and are more likely to be focused and organised. This positive mindset will carry through to your trading, and allow you to remain disciplined and make better decisions.
2.Embrace Time Blocking:
Time blocking is a really effective technique and it’s used by some of the most successful and high performance people in the world. It’s as simple as allocating specific times slots for different activities. Just fill your schedule with activities that promote personal development, relationships, business, physical health, mental health etc. By having a structured approach like this, you will be able to make the most out of your daily life and you will start to take control of your life, as opposed to sleep walking through life.
3.Review and Reflect:
Once a month, sit down and reflect on your routine, what things went well, what you missed out on, and make adjustments to the routine if required. Evaluate your performance and set a target for next months review. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and make time in your routine to work on the weaknesses. Use all of this information to constantly update and improve your daily routine, making sure that it remains a powerful tool that continuously guides you towards success.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy sticking to a routine, it has it’s challenges. But the benefits I get from having a powerful routine – such as effective time management, better decision making, discipline, clarity, better relationships, gratitude for what I have – far outweigh the challenges I face. So commit to a routine for your long term goals. By bringing structure into your daily life, you will automatically bring structure into your trading and you will start to see real results.
Until next time, continue to TRUST THE PROCESS!
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