January is coming to an end. It’s an ideal time to review your past achievements and set new goals. If you don’t know where to start, let’s see how you can proceed.
First, look at your achievements and goals for the previous year. The best way to do it is to review your journal.
If you haven’t started journaling yet, this year is a great time to start. Journaling is a powerful tool for self-analysis, especially for a trader. That’s where you can write down your most successful deals, strategies, useful information you have learned, as well as the primary market events.
To make a useful summary of your previous year, grab your journal or take a trip down the memory lane and answer those questions:
What were my most significant achievements?
What did I not manage to do?
What were the most important economic events? How did they influence my trading progress?
What was my most successful trading strategy? Which one didn’t work out?
What is the one thing I would change about the previous year?
It will give you a solid idea of what happened, as well as your general sentiment about those events - a great way to start!
Setting new goals
Now you have figured the strongest and weakest points of the previous year. It’s time to fix those!
Write down the key points: the highest (which you need to surpass) and the lowest (which you need to improve).
Based on these points, write down your goals. Here are a few tips on how to make it easier for you:
Think large. You can always go into details later. Think about the bigger picture now and split up the bigger goals later.
The way you word it is also important. Try using the ‘I will’ formula. For example: I will focus on my day trading strategy; I will take a course on trading indicators.
Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals.
Set priorities. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed once you proceed to achieve them.
Make a reality check once you are done. Are those goals realistic? Take all your current conditions, as well as the conditions of your environment into consideration.
Now, you are ready to reach all your goals!
Following the plan
You have a plan of action - but how do you stay on track? There are a few ways you can approach this task. Feel free to choose the method you are most comfortable with or combine them.
Time-specific: divide all your goals into smaller ones and assign each goal to a specific period. You can include them in your daily planner, leave them written in your journal, or you can set timer on your device. Here’s just a few of them you can try: Coach.me, Strides, Toodledo, Streaks. Assign a goal to the first week of February. Two goals to the second and third. In case you prefer bigger timeframes, feel free to divide your goals by the quarters of the year.
Size-specific: you can simply sort your goals by their ‘size’. Some goals won’t take many efforts compared to the others. For instance, you want to take a course on trading. The course takes a week to complete - so why don’t you start with that? You can decide which goals you would like to achieve first - bigger or smaller ones. It’s all up to you!
Sorted by relevance: this one is self-explanatory. Start with the goals that are the most relevant for your current situation.
Reaching your goals might be a difficult task, but it’s never impossible with the right mindset. Remember that your journey to the goal is just as important as reaching it. Be mindful of your own growth.