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A Successful Trading Mindset – Setting Goals

In a great study by Thomas Corley on the daily habits of successful wealthy business people vs. the poor, some fascinating statistics were unearthed. Here are several below:

  • 76% of wealthy people exercise aerobically at least 4 days a week vs. 23% for the poor
  • Those same wealthy people eat over 30% less junk food
  • 65% watch less than 1hr of TV a day, and almost never watch reality TV
  • 88% of those same wealthy people read 30 minutes or more each day¬† vs 2% of the poor
  • and lastly, 67% of those successful business people write down their goals vs. 11%

It should be noted almost 70% of these now successful people started off in poverty.

One statistic this study really dug into was that of setting goals, and the discrepancy was overwhelming across the board. Here they are below:

  1. 67% of successful business people write down their goals vs. 17% of the unsuccessful
  2. 80% focus on accomplishing a specific goal vs. 12% for those struggling
  3. 86% believe in continual self-improvement and education vs 5%
  4. 84% believe good habits create opportunities vs. 4% for the poor people
  5. 76% believe bad habits have a negative impact vs. 9%

Successful Trading Mindset - Setting Goals 1

Hence, highly successful people write down their goals, focus intensely on accomplishing a specific goal, continually train and work on themselves, are super confident good habits create more opportunities, and avoid negative habits and limiting beliefs.

Now ask yourself, have you written down your trading goals, or are they just in your head?

When you are training, are you working on a specific skill, and doing deliberate practice?

Or are you just going through the motions waiting till the market opens?

Do you just think between your two ears you should write in your trading journal, or are you writing in it each day you trade and train?

Where are you at in this spectrum of habits and in setting goals?

It’s one thing to say, ‘I want to make 10% a month‘, or ‘I want to be a professional trader’.

But do you follow it up with action?

Do you set goals, build a specific plan of action to accomplish that goal, and then put hours into that plan of action every day?

If so, then you have a key piece in place towards trading successfully.

But if not, spend about 1 minute asking yourself why you haven’t set any trading goals, then the next 30 minutes discovering what those goals are, and what you need to do to accomplish them. From there, you have to take action.

In reality, the largest portion behind your success is the choice to think successfully. What you think and do has the greatest impact on your success or failure. I meet a ton of people who were highly successful (at something) before they came to trading. Yet they get stumped on how to trade successfully and become frustrated.

That frustration is a type of amnesia. It’s forgetting you weren’t always successful at what you are now. It took time, likely hundreds of hours, you made an ocean of mistakes, worked hard when it wasn’t convenient, and kept going when problems hit you for a loop.
How Trading really Works out
Where is that wisdom now? Where is that experience now when you are experiencing your frustration? Rely upon that, and use it to keep moving forward. Tune your mind to what you want to accomplish, understand what it takes to achieve that, continually work on building a successful mindset, and then get to work.

Nothing about this will be easy, but nothing great ever is.

11 thoughts on “A Successful Trading Mindset – Setting Goals”

  1. Thierry Villechenoux

    Hi, I see those comments which are quite old but still from a daily actuality which it’s happens to all of us. Ok, writing goals, yeap not so easy when you know them by heart and their are in you head turning around. But it’s ok, myself my goals are simple and straight forward as I am already in my 60’s, I just want to be good in what I am learning on daily basis and try to be more focus and discipline in trading Forex… And do so, will be a achievement, but nothing impossible, I remember few years back learning Vipassana meditation, it took me few try on 2/3 years to simply achieve the 10 days silence retreat of that Vipassana meditation teaching… Then I guess spending few months learning Forex cannot be more difficult than that….

  2. “-88% of those same wealthy people read 30 minutes or more each day vs 2% of the poor”
    What do you recommend to read? Anything you’d recommend?

    1. Yah – very good question. One answer would be to read something which you are passionate about.
      For every 100 books I read, 95 of them are on the following subjects;
      1) Trading
      2) Buddhism
      3) Neuroscience
      Hence one is skill based, one helps build my applicable knowledge base (neuroscience) and one is for developing clarity of mind (buddhism).
      But that is just me – I think having one of each which stimulates the skill, knowledge base, and clarity of mind is always a good trifecta

  3. Great article Chris. I need to make sure I write down my goals as I just kept them in my head. I like how your article points out the successful people have a completely different mindset towards goals, TV, and habits.
    Am going to make some adjustments in my life.
    Thank you for the great article and joining your course soon

    1. Hello Jun,
      Yes, writing down goals are critical. They do something to us in our brain and make it more tactile and real. And yes, successful people have a completely different mindset around goals, TV, and habits. This is something most people seem to miss, so glad you are noticing it and will make adjustments.
      Thanks for the positive comments and look forward to working with you soon.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

      1. Hi Chris,
        How do you set your trading goals? Should we set outcome goals in trading? Or only process goal? Do you mind to share your goal setting in trading?

          1. Hi Chris, thanks for the reply.
            Off course, we couldn’t control the trading outcome, we only can control the process… so is that means we only can set process goal? If yes, can you give some example of process goals?

          2. Hello Jacob,
            So I just don’t hand out answers to people. I want to teach people how to think.
            So answer the following questions:
            1) What is the benefit of focusing on what you can control?
            2) What is the potential downside of having a goal for something you cannot control?
            3) What do you think having a process for trading means?

          3. 1) What is the benefit of focusing on what you can control?
            -Easier to plan it out to achieve it
            2) What is the potential downside of having a goal for something you cannot control?
            -Feel no motivation to chase the goal
            3) What do you think having a process for trading means
            -In my opinion, the process of trading is something likes: follow trading plan, reduce trading mistake, read trading books…

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