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Learn to craft trading goals that make a difference


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Learn to craft trading goals that make a difference

  1. 1. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Learn to Craft Trading Goals That Make a DifferenceEveryone knows goals are important – Everyone of us has set goals for our personallife. It should be no different for our Trading Life as well.Personal goals may include losing some weight, exercising more, quitting smoking, beingactive in our community, or spending more quality time with our family.In our Trading life, we set goals to be more organized, earn more money, grow a tradingbusiness, complete a trading course, or simplify our methodology.These are certainly all worthy goals. However, most of these goals will not beachieved. Why? Usually because they were not properly set to begin with, or the personsetting the goal was not really committed to achieving it.Your attitude is critical – To achieve anything worthwhile in life you must have a positivemental attitude no matter what other successful attributes you possess. A positive mentalattitude is the energy that when combined with your other skills and attributes, allows youto reach your goals. Success is achieved and maintained by people who work hard with apositive mental attitude.I believe trading actually becomes fun when we set and achieve specific goals. All successfulpeople have a definite purpose combined with a positive attitude. They constantly ask,“Where am I going? What do I really want? What are my goals?” When this happens,trading becomes more enjoyable and rewarding instead of an unpleasant means of payingyour bills. You become self-motivated and enthusiastic. And that enthusiasm turns intoachievement!The importance of self-management – Good self-managers enjoy their trading becausethey accomplish more and they give themselves more credit. You can increase yourperformance by improving your self-management abilities. Setting personal and businessgoals are tools that will help you improve your self-management.The Secret to Achieving Goals1. Be Positive - State what you want to do. If you want to avoid or stop doing something, state your goal in terms of what you want to do instead.2. Set a Deadline - A deadline provides you with the needed time frame for achieving your goal. It gives you something to aim for.3. Be Specific - You’ll want to measure your progress as you work toward your goal. The more specific your goal, the easier it is to measure your progress. Always quantify your goal.4. Be Realistic - Goals should be realistic and yet cause you to “stretch” to reach it. Setting unrealistically high goals will cause you or your people to feel badly for attaining only 90%, or worse, they may not even try to make it. Better to set smaller goals, meet them, and then set a higher goal.
  2. 2. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________5. Write Your Goal Down - You must be able to write your goal down. Your goal statement must answer as many of the following questions as possible.  Who?  Will do what?  When?  Where?  To what extent?  To what degree?  How much? How long? How hard? etc.Example: My goal is to improve my trading profitability 25% over last year by year end. Iwill achieve this by solidifying my trading methodology and aggressively adhering to mytrading rules.The example above emphasizes doing something. It describes what the accomplished goalwill look like.Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Specific – State exactly what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and when you want to achieve it. A specific goal that is well defined has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. I suggest you begin with a goal that you can achieve within a week to a month. It’s easy to give up on goals that take too long to reach. If you have a big goal, break it down into a series of smaller weekly or daily goals. After you achieve one of the smaller goals, move on to the next. To set a specific goal you must be able to answer these questions: Who: Who is involved? What: What do I want to accomplish? When: Establish a time frame. Which: Identify requirements and constraints. Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal. Example: A general goal would be, “I want to lose some weight.” But a specific goal would be, “I want to lose 20 pounds by joining a health club and working out 3 days a week and eating healthy meals.”  Measurable – To know if the goal is attainable you need to set the criteria for measuring your progress. Measuring your progress makes it easier to stay on track and reach your goal within the time frame you wanted. The excitement that comes from achieving your goal drives you on to set new goals. A goal doesn’t do you any good if there’s no way of telling if you’ve achieved it. “I want to feel better” isn’t a very good goal because it’s not specific and it’s difficult to measure. “I want to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes,” is a better goal because it’s specific and measurable. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as – How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?  Attainable – Once you identify the goals that are most important, you then must figure out ways to make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and desire to reach them. You will recognize opportunities to bring yourself closer to achieving your goals. Ask yourself whether the goal is within reasonable reach. For instance, completing a marathon is not an achievable goal if you’ve never run before. However, completing a 5K run an attainable goal if you take the steps required to train. History shows people can attain most any goal they set when they plan their steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows them to carry out those steps. ©Copyright 2009. Profitable Decisions, Inc dba IndicatorWarehouse.com All Rights Reserved. Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.  Realistic – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective you are both willing and able to achieve. Goals can be both high and realistic. Is the goal realistic for you? The purpose of a goal is to shift your focus from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. However you can’t ignore your limitations. Your goals need to be within your capabilities. If your business has suffered a serious setback and revenue declined 20% last year, a goal of increasing your revenue by 50% this year may not be realistic. Instead, your goal might be to get back the 20% revenue you lost and then build on that. You are the only one who can decide how high your goal should be set. A high goal is often times easier to reach than a low one because a low goal is not as valuable and creates low motivation. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplish may actually seem easy simply because you enjoyed what you were doing. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Another way to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past.  Timed – Set a specific timeframe for achieving the goal; next week, three months, by the end of March. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now. Remember, the time frame must be measurable, attainable and realistic. Not too much time, which can affect project performance.Achieving large goals through small steps – Again, lets use a tradingexample. Suppose your goal is to improve trading profitability 25% over last year by yearend.You can’t accomplish this goal or any other without first identifying what actions need to betaken and prioritizing them. In this case you won’t achieve the goal until: 1. Consistent revenue from current trading activity is estimated 2. Trading rules are identified and documented 3. A plan is created to evaluate daily trade activity 4. Revenue targets are assessed on a Weekly basis 5. An on-going education path is documented 6. Opportunities for technique improvement are identified ©Copyright 2009. Profitable Decisions, Inc dba IndicatorWarehouse.com All Rights Reserved. Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________Celebrating your victories – Keep in mind the importance of achieving each of the stepsis to help you reach your ultimate goal. The key is to know what actions you have to takeand prioritize them so they get DONE!As the saying goes “Success is the journey, not the destination.” Enjoy the experiencesalong the way and celebrate each small victory. These small celebrations will help you getthrough the certain difficult times you will encounter. Every road to achieving your goals willhave its bumps. Celebrating your victories will help you get through them.Set your goals now. Consistently review them and redefine as needed. Know what actionsto take and when to take them.Good luck!Regards,Adam HalpernIndicator Warehouse, President877-646-5249www.IndicatorWarehouse.comU.S. Government Required Disclaimer - Commodity Futures Trading Commission Futures and Optionstrading has large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and bewilling to accept them in order to invest in the futures and options markets. Dont trade with money youcant afford to lose. This is neither a solicitation nor an offer to Buy/Sell futures or options. Norepresentation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to thosediscussed on this web site. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is notnecessarily indicative of future results.CFTC RULE 4.41 - HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAINLIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOTREPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THERESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAINMARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS INGENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OFHINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TOACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.Use of any information in this document is entirely at your own risk, for which Indicator Warehouse will notbe liable. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy,timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered inthis document for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials maycontain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to thefullest extent permitted by law. All information found in this document exists for nothing other thanentertainment and general informational purposes. We are not registered trading advisors. ©Copyright 2009. Profitable Decisions, Inc dba IndicatorWarehouse.com All Rights Reserved. Page 4 of 4