I know this should be in another forum BUT I also know there are a number of professional and retail option traders who specifically hang out here and I'm just hoping for a few who might wish to share on what I believe is a common problem for traders. I've been trading long enough to know what works and doesn't for me. However I have found in the past few years I start off with a bang...great returns for the first few months. I either get bored, careless, content or curious and somehow manage to lose what I've made and more by the end of the year. Example last year... Stuck with trading ES..both the cash and options. I had set a specific daily goal with the cash and was doing swimmingly. Tsunami happened volatility spiked and of course CL went crazy. Thought I was doing so well with ES I started trading CL and its options....oops after a few months begin to realize my trading account doesn't have the margin required to trade and quit trading it...small net loss. Summer my life got busy and I didn't want to have to be 24/7 trading and had the brilliant idea that I could just buy the ES and sell calls...you know covered calls and sit back and not pay attention. oops...we droped 150ES pts in 6 weeks or so and I could see the margin call coming my way so got out before I got closed out.....but not before losing about %60 of my trading capital. Took stock..went back to what works and very slowly started grinding my way back. What an F*&^ing idot. So here we are in March. I'm up %44 YTD...looking at the next 10 months with absolute dread...how am I going to screw this up this year? I've traded in high volatility...low vol definitely do better in lower vol.. I'm a net seller of premium but certainly will buy when vol is low..IOW I DO know HOW to trade..I just need a few rules of the road so to speak. My question is simple. How do you protect your gains without completely stopping trading. Should I be taking a regular amount of money out of the account so I won't have "extra" sitting around begging to be spent on the next new idea? Should I open a separate account to try new strategies? And why the hell should I even try a new strategy when what I'm doing IS working? I did read Mark Douglass on money management and am trying to work up a few guidelines that could keep me on the straight and narrow. However when you do trade options its not always easy or simple to close out all your trades and you don't really know when/if the wind will change direction so... Anyone out there with just one or two good tips you would care to share on how you stay focused and profitable?