Why Every Trader Should Journal
Journaling is a very essential part of a trader’s journey.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, journaling has changed my business and personal life.
In addition to journaling about my thoughts, ideas, aspirations, to-do lists and other aspects of my business, I also journal every single trade I take.
Below you can see the exact journal I created and use based on what myself and many other traders found most useful.
I’ll do one of these journal write ups every day, and if there are no trades that day I will use the space for my trade ideas.
For me, this has made it so I can go back and have more than just a chart mark-up to look at and evaluate. I can see my results and what I did during the day that resulted in that. I can do a thorough evaluation of each trade and have that recorded to look back on at any time.
When you consistently journal your trades, you start to see patterns. Being able to identify patterns in your trading and patterns in your habits are extremely beneficial.
The next step in utilizing journaling in your trading career is to reflect on your notes. Do not just write it down and forget it.
Write it down and reflect on your trades.
When you trade, you forget how you feel. Your brain tries to push the anxiousness or other feelings during your trade outside of your head, so journaling helps you remember and reflect. You can track your emotions alongside your trade information.
When trading, journal before, during and after.
Journaling allows you to put your thoughts and emotions to paper. Whether the thoughts/emotions are within your trading or removed completely, it is pertinent to get these thoughts down on paper.
This journal has a priority list to help keep your day’s tasks organized. Seeing what you have to do for the day creates more motivation for action, which ultimately leads to goals being accomplished.
Regardless of your brain type or how you trade, journaling gathers your ideas and brings them to earth and into a reality. Linking your journaling with your trading will fine tune your trades and fine tune your process.
Reflection turns to growth when a trader looks back on their trades and analyzes what happened and why.
You will also want to keep a detailed track of your trades. Thankfully, there is an automated and very convenient application that links to your brokerage account and tracks your trading statistics. It is called Myfxbook. I’m sure there are others, but this is what I personally use.
The fact that Myfxbook is automated is very important because there are no emotions involved and the numbers are exact. It is not possible to fudge your numbers and make your trading look like something it’s not – the numbers HAVE to match up with your trading journal statistics. Your Myfxbook then lines up with your Trading Journal and everything comes full circle.
Document, reflect, analyze and grow.
“But Austin, journaling isn’t for me! I don’t know what to write about.”
We’ve heard this hundreds of times and if you’re saying these words, chances are you are fearful of the thoughts in your head and what you’re actually feeling/thinking. That is even more reason to journal because you should want to work through your thoughts. It’s your safe space within trading regardless of how your day went.
Win or lose a trade, journal about it because you’re only going to learn from it.
Just imagine a counsellor that doesn’t take notes during their sessions with clients and then the next time they see their client, they have to go off of just their memory…
It doesn’t work like that.
We are humans and we forget a lot of information all the time.
If you are unsure, ask for accountability, ask us and we can help you. Surround yourself with people who will keep you accountable and keep you journaling.