this is a journal entry from earlier today. i was just re-reading it, and i began to wonder how others reflect on their trades. if you keep a journal, is yours similar? if not, how's it different? just curious... i managed to make 4 daytrades today, and 1 end of day transaction. in terms of realized profit and loss i ended the day down -20. however, i currently have an unrealized gain of 60 in my EOD trade, which i am holding overnight. this will be the first trade that i have held overnight in over 2 months. ENZ is the play and i currently hold 250 shares. i initially entered with 100, and have pyramided in 3 other times for an additional 150. this is an overbought, overextended, vertical short. it has gone up over the previous 5 days from 9.50 to 14.50. i noticed that it had stopped making new highs early in the day and i decided to trade it. i added to it once it traded in my favor. the slight pullback from today could be a direct result from the broad market decline, and it could very easily continue its price climb tomorrow and knock me out with a loss (a possible squeeze?), but the overall risk/reward was too attractive to pass up so i executed. i had considered taking profits throughout the day, but i quickly realized that there wasnt any need for that; i gotta let them run. if it turns against me tomorrow, so be it, but at least i gave myself a chance to catch the bigger move. after all, it has gone up over 38% in just the past week, and it only slid 4.5% today, so theres no reason to rush for the exits. a pullback of 10-20% would be considered normal, and even healthy at this point. my plan is to see how it reacts tomorrow and adjust fire accordingly. i had shorted both JOYG and X earlier on in the day. these trades absolutely drained me, but that was mostly my fault. i shorted JOYG because it had rallied for 3 long up bars in the context of a downtrend during a broad market down day. the catalyst for this trade was essentially the market turning down on the 3 minute chart, combined with the fact that it was relatively overbought in the short term. plus, i could simply use the high of the most recent up bar as my stop, providing me with a healthy risk/reward scenario. i shorted X because it had recently broken down from a descending triangle in the context of a downtrending market. i am grouping these 2 trades together because the management of the trade was similar and the outcomes were almost identical. heres how: 1) both had very briefly traded in my favor, 2) both then very quickly turned against me and crossed my stopping location, 3) both then came back to a breakeven point after i had held my ground in fragile territory, only a few ticks away from liquidating, 4) and both had traded nicely in my favor AFTER i had exited. the problem was the same in the both cases -- i was watching every single tick like a hawk. every transaction, every bid and offer, every little movement on the chart AND the market itself....i was watching all of it like a hawk, and i allowed myself to become influenced by the slight flucations, the NORMAL fluctuations of the up and down waves, and i eventually liquidated based off of market noise. i became overwhelmed with the idea that the market was going to trade back against me, and since i was currently sitting at a breakeven level after almost being stopped out for a decent loss, i convinced myself that the validity of the trade was no longer present. well, thats complete bullshit because the trade hadnt violated any important pre-meditated technical levels to signal to me that the risk/reward was starting to even out. i entered for a reason, i set a stop for a reason, and then i allowed myself to be whipsawed out of the trade PREMATURELY because i didnt look away. i wasnt being objective and i definitely wasnt detached from the trade. how the hell could i be? i was watching the damn thing like i had everything on it. i wasnt calm or relaxed, and i completely threw logic out the window. plus, i tried to control my risk to an extreme and attempted to be perfect with my stopping location, which is never a good mix. all of this could've been solved if i would've simply entered, set my price alerts, and looked away... thats it. theres nothing more to it than that. i cant let every trade beat my brain around every second i have it on....i need to detach and release myself from the need to know where the market is at all times. no good can come from that, only merciless worry. in these situations im losing half the battle before its even been fought, because im putting myself at a severe disadvantage from the get-go. i didnt lose any money at all on those 2 trades, but i didnt make any either. and even though i was simply trying to protect my risk and keep my losses as small as possible, i still didnt stick to the plan. i must maintain my discipline or there will be no end to this. im not trying to get rich quick; im trying to make smart trades. money becomes an after thought, not the focus.