One of the biggest obstacles I have seen new investors come up against is an inability to follow a trading plan.
As novices, we often question why we can’t stick to it and after a while, many of us come up with a whole host of reasons. Maybe we think that we aren’t worthy of being successful or that there is something we are doing unconsciously to undermine our success.
The Small Things That Get In Our Way As Investors / Traders
However, what I see most often is that investors don’t give much thought to the small things that are in our way. For example:
- Some of us don’t realise that it requires a great deal of physical and emotional energy to trade.
- Some underestimate the amount of practice that is required to begin to consistently stay with a trading plan.
- Then there are those of us who believe we have set achievable goals, when in reality, they are unrealistic.
There’s no deep underlying reason why we don’t stick to our plans, its just that we don’t always recognise the small things that are right in front of our faces.
This is why it is important for us to consider what small obstacles are before us that could be interfering with our trading success.
For instance, how many of us get enough sleep?
I bet most of us would say we don’t get enough. What does that have to do with trading? A lot.
Lack of sleep will affect how well we can remain focused, alert and energised. Without focus and energy, our trading plan will go by the wayside.
Try getting an adequate amount of sleep and see how much easier sticking to a plan becomes.
Stress is another big one.
If we are so busy tending to our fragile emotional state and we are feeling angry, disappointed or frustrated, when do we have the time or energy to do what we need to adhere to our trading plan? Everything we have is being directed elsewhere.
Stress is exhausting and as I said, being tired leads to lack of focus and energy. We may not even realise how worn out we are from all of the stress until we realise we have strayed from out plan. We must learn to rest not only our body, but our mind.
One thing I cannot stress enough is the need to practice. Getting a grip on our emotions so that we can focus on our plan isn’t an easy task.
After all, we have our money and our pride on the line and it can be unnerving. However, if we keep at it and do it over and over, we can get there.
Great Discipline Comes From Maintaining The Little Things
So, when we find ourselves scratching our heads wondering why we haven’t been able to stick to our trading plan, we should remind ourselves that most likely, the answer is right in front of us and it can be overcome with some hard work and practice.
There isn’t some deep, unconscious force that is making us stray from our plan.
Sometimes, all it takes is taking care of ourselves by managing stress, getting a good night’s rest and practice, practice and more practice.