Six Steps for Setting Daily Goals

May 27, 2008: 11:27 AM CST

We tend to perform better when we set concrete goals, so that we can create a pathway of action to achieving these goals. Here is a quick list of steps to take to set and to achieve daily goals. Here are six steps to set effective daily goals to help guide your routine each day.

Without goals, it can become very difficult to focus on the task at hand, and during the trading day, we’re likely to be tossed around from different tasks to the next without a unifying direction. We’re simply drifting from one activity to the next and likely not spending quality time on any one aspect of our day.

1. Establish your Main Objectives for the day

Do this ‘first thing in the morning.’ A calendar or day-planner is helpful for this activity. What #1 and #2 things do you want to accomplish by the end of the day? Set deadlines if need be.

2. List Smaller Steps to help Achieve these Goals

If you want to read and take notes on two chapters on a book on trading that day, set aside a specified time to do so. If you want to make three ‘good’ trades that day, identify the time of day that you’re most likely to find a set-up that you understand. Whatever your larger goal is for the day, establish smaller steps and set aside specific time during the day to achieve it.

3. Review your Longer-Term Goals Daily

You may have trading account goals, or educational goals, but it is essential to have longer term goals from which you build shorter-term goals to accomplish in the interim, which boosts confidence and progresses you further down your pathway to these goals.

4. Post Visual Reminders of Long-Term Goals

You need to keep reinforcing to yourself what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Seeing it once is not as effective as seeing it repeatedly in a day. You want the goal to become ingrained within you so that you work in tandem to fulfill the goal day by day – little by little, so as not to be overwhelmed.

5. Cross out Goals as You Complete Them

There is a satisfaction we get from physically crossing out goals, knowing that we have achieved them. Give yourself this satisfaction when you have accomplished any of your daily goals, weekly goals, or monthly goals. It will help boost confidence to keep you going.

6. Set Deadlines and Rewards for Completed Goals

If you achieved more than you expected for the week, treat yourself with a good weekend. If you were particularly successful in a day, treat yourself or your family that evening. Don’t behave like a robot – indulge your passions and keep motivation high. Set deadlines for goals to achieve so that you can have expectations of potential reward. Deadlines can structure your actions in ways mere goals cannot.

As new traders, it may be best not to set monetary or percentage goals at first, because our trading results (especially short-term) are out of our direct control. It is best to focus your efforts on achievements that you can control, such as educational goals, performance goals, or other specific activities that don’t depend on ‘chance.’ You can read a book in a week; you can study a new chart pattern; you can read 5 economic reports per day; you can annotate chart patterns each night, etc.

Take time to envision what you want to accomplish and then start taking steps immediately to do so!

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Six Steps for Setting Daily Goals”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    excellent article for daily planning

  2. laura_pini Says:

    Interesting blog, thank you for posting this, and please keep up the good work