Maintaining Self Discipline

Discussion in 'Journals' started by studentofthemarkets, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. 5 trades today broke major rules in my plan and never should have been taken.
    1 trade was fine but I didn't stick with my plan to trail because it didn't move as fast as I expected. 100% of my trades today had "me" problems even though I was determined to follow my plan. And I had the same kind of struggles when trading the NQ.

    It's kind of hard emotionally to realize this. It's much easier to blame the price action for being difficult to read and stop out my trades. However, I was the one that made the decision to take trades in that environment and not wait for what I was looking for. Seems like I keep repeating this, like a broken record.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, because, even though I'd rather not think it's me that's the problem, it is the truth and I'd rather be aware of my lack of self-control so I can work on it.

    Occasionally, I do learn to control a really bad trading habit. One was a while ago, to never move a stop loss farther away. That took some work, but I don't struggle with it the way I used to. The other is reducing the number of my losing trades per day. I have to write this, not to be boastful, but because I need some hope that I can change and develop self-discipline to follow my trading plan if I make the choice to and develop the habit of it. If I don't (or won't)....that's a road I don't want to go down.
    #291     May 13, 2020
  2. Pivotas


    " follow my trading plan if I make the choice to and develop the habit of it."

    The decision to follow a trading plan is not optional. You either do it and at least be pointed in the direction where success can be found or don't do it and continue along your current path of constant disappointment, frustration and denial. Making decisions based on intuition is not a trading plan but that seems to be what drives your trading. Although there may be a place for intuition in decision making, for it to be valid it needs to come out of the experience of years of successful trading decisions. That is not where you are at.

    "...but I didn't stick with my plan to trail because it didn't move as fast as I expected."

    This is an example of your intuition getting in the way of your success. Whenever you trust in your intuition you are trusting in the judgement of someone who so far is a failed trader. This is why a good trading plan will be one that is structured to take the "me" (as you put it) out of the equation.
    #292     May 13, 2020
    Evgeniy and studentofthemarkets like this.
  3. "Making decisions based on intuition is not a trading plan but that seems to be what drives your trading." Now that I've been examining why I'm not following my plan, and in light of what you've shared, it's clear to me also that I'm letting my intuition get in the way of following my plan.

    "This is why a good trading plan will be one that is structured to take the "me" (as you put it) out of the equation." I have a plan, but the charts take on an infinite (I think) amount of variations in their movement each day and identifying the same set ups on each new day's price movement has been challenging. What I need to do is what I said before: finish going through my trades and refine my plan by learning when it works and when it doesn't and how it looks in different trading environments. I'll try to not leave any room for my intuition.

    I'll work on this tomorrow and Friday and won't trade again until Monday. Maybe Monday will be the start of following a clearly defined plan and I'll turn the corner and start doing better. If not, well, I'll keep working at the discipline of following my rules and keep trying to figure out why the trades aren't working.

    Really appreciate your insight!! Thank you.
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
    #293     May 13, 2020
    Sekiyo likes this.
  4. I took a few days off from trading to work on making a detailed trading plan. It's something I plan to keep working on. It showed a few areas I'm struggling in that I need to work on. One thing was clear, I have been taking trades based off of watching the smaller timeframes and not basing them off of the larger ones. So, I changed my rules so that I'll only be taking trades based off of the direction of the 15 min chart.

    Last night I had a feeling I wouldn't take a trade today. It's because I didn't want to be disappointed. I have a plan I like, and losing so much in the last month has shaken my confidence and I didn't want to take a few trades that didn't work and lose hope that I can trade my plan.

    So, instead of taking demo trades in my demo account, I marked where I wanted to trade. I wasn't planning on posting them, I did it for myself, but since I didn't take any actual trades today, I figured I might as well share them. Is this called paper trading a demo account? 2 of the trades I show did not align with my system and I would not have actually taken them, I just marked them because I "felt" they were good trades and wanted to see if I was right. The other 3 were aligned, for the most part, with my system. Not sure if I would have taken the same setups live, because for each one I thought I saw reasons why they might not have worked. However, it does make me feel good that the 3 paper trades that were in alignment with my system actually worked. I didn't remove any "trades" or add to them, they are the same on each chart as when I originally placed them.

    15 min 5 min 1 min blank charts.jpg
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
    #294     May 20, 2020
  5. Lost 42 ticks on 3 demo trades.

    There's definitely something seriously wrong with my trading. For the last month, stopping after 3 losing trades has revealed that I'm not making winning trades. Even when giving the trades enough wiggle room, they are being stopped out because the trades are all wrong.

    To get a good trade I have to get the trend direction right and time the entry right. I'm failing in both areas.

    A trading plan should have rules that are working. Mine aren't. I thought every trade was within the rules of my plan. I already wrote out why I thought my plan allowed for each trade...don't really feel like posting it here. And maybe here's a plan "allowed" each trade.....maybe it isn't specific enough to filter out wrong trades, and to show exact entries to right trades.

    The awful thing about trading so poorly is that I look at the chart after the day is done, and the Euro looks like it has price action that I should be able to trade. It would be one thing if the Euro moved in an unpredictable way, but it seems like there is order to the chart at least in some areas, and I just don't understand why I'm not seeing and trading those areas.

    I do have a plan. Scott Barkley has pattern training recognition software. I've never been his student, someone told me about it and it's free from his website. I've used it occasionally. It's very simple: his software pulls up a chart and tell you to find and trace a certain pattern, such as a head and shoulders. When you have traced it, it will reveal if you did it right. Then you are suppose to go find hundreds of head and shoulder patterns on your own charts and trace them. After finding so many of these patterns, you are suppose to have an easier time finding them as you trade. I haven't worked through these patterns as much as I should have...did it with a few of the patterns a while ago. However, I don't see why the same idea can't be used for finding specific setups.

    So, what I plan to do for at least today and if it seems to help, keep at it, is to find a hundred of the easiest of my set ups....and trace them on Euro charts. When I did this with the head and shoulders pattern, it helped because sometimes things that were almost a head and shoulders still worked and and sometimes patterns that were a clear head and shoulders didn't follow through as expected. So, if the same thing happens with my set up pattern, I should start recognizing the set up faster as well as the different scenarios of how it usually plays out.

    I'm also hoping that by finding and tracing my setup over and over again that I'll start to establish clearer rules for when to use it and when not to use it. Then I plan to add those rules to my trading plan.

    15 min and 5 min blank charts.jpg
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
    #295     May 21, 2020
  6. So far I've found 17 set ups going through 9 days on the 15 minute chart. I'm only seeing 1 to 3 of them each day.

    For tomorrow, I'm gonna try something a little different. I'm just going to trade off the 15 minute chart and not even open the smaller timeframes, or larger time frames. I think jumping around so many different chart timeframes messes me up. A 15 min chart will have a bigger stop loss than I like, but at this point, I'm losing all the time anyways, so I don't really care. I just want to see if I can find trends using a 15 min chart only.
    #296     May 21, 2020
  7. easymon1


    can't say whether this will resonate with you or not but..

    for the rare trader having a well done trading plan
    it gets just this simple:

    +Can I trade 100% Inline With My Plan And Rules On The Next Trade I Take?

    for the Non-intuitional, the Non-seat-of-the-pants trader, A well done trading plan is reasonably more difficult than execution.
    one of those 'duty now for the future' dealios. break a leg holmes.

    #297     May 21, 2020
    studentofthemarkets likes this.

  8. That thread on what belongs in a trading plan is really good!

    "A well done trading plan is reasonably more difficult than execution."

    Well said.

    #298     May 21, 2020
  9. Earlier today I wrote this about my losing trades: " plan "allowed" each trade.....maybe it isn't specific enough to filter out wrong trades, and to show exact entries to right trades"

    I think my mind plays tricks on me when trading. I reworked today's trades several times and the errors of the first 2 trades became much clearer. They both did break rules. There are some times when I allow exceptions but neither qualified. They were simply badly taken as well as not following my rules.

    It's so frustrating to realize that. Makes me even wonder if I have the right temperament to be a trader. It seems like I struggle with discerning what I want price to do versus what it actually is doing. And I struggle with accepting when I'm wrong.

    I worked on the appearance of the 15 min chart to emphasize what I ignored today. I also did a lot of reworking other days on the 15 min chart and I think I understand better how it moves but I don't feel like I'm close to being profitable trading from the 15 min alone. I'm not profitable on any other time frame either, so this is a good one to start with.
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
    #299     May 22, 2020
    eRESULTS likes this.
  10. I definitely have the ability to see things on the charts!!!! I see EXACTLY where to place trades that don't go into profit but wll most definitely lose 10 to 20 ticks. No problems at all with that. I have an almost 100% accuracy rate with this.

    It doesn't make any sense that I can always get a large stop loss hit but I can't go into profit.

    There's got to be a switch somewhere in my brain that I can turn on that will suddenly take trades that will be exactly reverse of what I'm doing. Then I can make $.

    All I can think of is that I'm placing to much emphasis on the direction of 1 candle, thinking a break of support or resistance means HH and LL should keep going. Well, maybe I need to adjust my thinking. HH and LL work in a strong trend. HH and LL mean take a reversal trade if it's ranging. Or just stay out. Wish I had just stayed out today. There was no movement....except in the direction of my stop losses.

    If anyone needs free trade calls....message me and I'll message you my trades live and you can take the opposite direction....guaranteed to work!!!!

    As far as following my plan goes, I didn't do very well. I did try to, but just the simpleness of following the directions of the indicators I didn't do well in. Maybe it was because I treated the strength of an individual candle as representing a possible breakout. The last trade was in line with my indicators...and was still stopped out. I need to make more specific rules for getting into trades but right now I'm not sure what they should be.

    15 min chart.jpg
    #300     May 22, 2020