Updated: Jun 19
The importance of a trading routine
A routine is one of the most important aspects of trading in my opinion and will set you up for long-term success. But you must make sure it is done right and what I mean by this is it must be sustainable in the long run.
In this post, I am going to go over some important aspects of a routine and what is needed.
A solid routine is implemented Before, During, and After. Each phase has its own benefits to help you trade well or improve. Some important mentions of what to include in a routine are as follows…
A routine needs to:
1. Get you in a calm state to trade pre trading
2. Have a process in place to track trades, emotions, reviews, and goal set
3. It must avoid burnout
4. Have methods to destress you at the end of the trading day
5. Be sustainable in the long run
Important requirements to have in the routine:
- Sleep, Diet, Exercise
- Optimal trading hours
- Mindfulness exercises to get into a calm state 10-15m
- Eat breakfast, get changed
- Review trading plan and goals
What the pre-market routine is about is making sure I am fresh, focused, and most importantly in a calm and relaxed state before I trade. I don’t want to be carrying over any emotions or stress from the day before. Mindfulness exercises help me to do that.
I also make sure to eat as this is proven to reduce anxiety and increase energy and focus. I then make sure to review my trading plan and review the goals I have set from yesterday’s review. As well as check for any high-impact news events.
- Trading hours 7-9 am and 12-2 pm = 4hrs total
- Enter trades, straight after entering recording them plus emotions, and any body signals.
How I organized my process during trading is I made sure my trading hours are optimal for me. I trade 2hrs in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon this will avoid me getting burnt out by looking at the screens all day as well as prevent emotional trading and is sustainable in the long term.
I find the longer you stare at the charts the more likely you will lose focus and fiddle with trades. And once I have entered a trade the first thing, I do is record my trades and record my emotions and any cues in my body that preceded.
What this does is slows me down and bring my focus on myself and my emotions which then in turn helps me create greater awareness and stops me from thinking about the trade I have just put on.
As well as that these hours are also when the most liquidity is in the market so I will not be wasting my time during slow hours when the markets are not moving so it makes sense to trade only then.
- Exercise e.g., walking outside in nature, gym (Remove stress)
- Create tomorrow’s plan based on what happened and recorded during the day
- Visualisations, imagine accomplishing the goals set for the next day
- Diet and sleep: Make sure to eat healthily and get a good sleep ready for tomorrow.
The post-trading part of the day is about 2 things, the first is to destress and get rid of any stress hormones still in my body. The best way to remove it is by doing some exercise or getting out into nature for some fresh air.
Once I have brought myself back to a calm state, I can move on to the 2nd important part which is reviewing and goal setting for the next day. I review journals where I recorded my emotions and anything else that day.
And from the information gathered I can then set goals for the next day. Once this is done. I move on to visualizations and imagine myself completing these goals I set for myself the next day.
This is the trading routine that I follow day in and day out. What you first must understand is trading is a way of life this is the reality of trading despite what you might see on social media where the influencers are partying, drinking, taking drugs, and trading from a beach.
That is not a trader, there is no way you can do that and be consistent in trading. The actual truth of the matter is that most successful traders have a boring and habitual routine they follow day in and day out like the one you have just read.
So, to finish up I'd advise you to come up with a routine that fits you and that you can sustain in the long run. It may take some trial and error but once you get the optimal routine, your trading will grow 10x
Alan aka The Divergent Trader
'If you are looking to have an edge in the market or just starting out in FOREX, then you are in the right place. All important aspects are covered from Strategy to Risk Management to Psychology. I really recommend The Divergent Trader to everyone.
- Jason Lee