Something different today. One principle I live by is CANI: constant and never ending improvement. In this blog, I want to tell you about a process I have found invaluable.
I think it may have been Anthony Robbins who said that the quality of our lives depends on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. This is certainly true in trading.
Below are questions I ask myself when I do my monthly review:
- What worked for my trading this past month? What did not work?
- What do the metrics tell me – in what instruments did I make money? In which did I lose? Is there a pattern?
- Did I keep to my exercise and meditation schedules?
- Was there a correlation between my trading and how I felt for that day?
- Did I monitor the Ebb & Flow position sizing or did I persist with too large or too small a size even after market conditions changed?
- What were my greatest challenges/lessons?
- Of what am I most proud? What do I most regret?
- What attitudes and actions will I take with me into the new month? What lessons have I learned this month?
- What limiting beliefs did I shift? What negative emotions did I shift?
- How did I grow, improve, and expand myself?
I started using this process on the recommendation of Dr. George Lianos. At the time, our aim was to identify self-destructive behaviour that came from limiting beliefs. It worked so well that I adapted it to trading. Behavioural patterns are easy to identify; they are what my wife, Chris, calls ‘the tail of the rat’. From there I can trace the emotions and the circumstances that gave rise to the behaviour. Once I have done that, it’s only a short hop to identifying the limiting beliefs or what Denise Shull calls ‘the echoes of perception’ (www.traderpsyches.com).
The one resource you need to keep for this exercise is, of course, a journal. Here are some ideas for newbies who are asking: ‘What I do write in my journal’?
- Denise Shull: http://www.cbot.com/cbot/docs/70432.pdf
- Dr. Brett Steenbarger: http://www.brettsteenbarger.com/articles.htm.
(For Dr. Steenbarger’s article go to “Articles on Trading Techniques'”(4th Heading down from the top of the page, following “Psychology Articles”. The article is about the 17th article from the bottom in the section “Articles on Trading Techniques”).