How often have you heard that trading is a direct result of your choices and not that of the market? Well, it’s true. But a few lifestyle habits outside the market can permeate into your decision making when it’s show time. Here are a few suggestions to ensure you’re at the top of your game.
Hungry last night? Couldn’t resist that greasy bag of fries or that last slice of pizza could you? How do you feel this morning? If your P&L doesn’t hate you, then your stomach will. Whether its heart burn, a bad flu, or a code red-toilet alert, your mind will certainly be elsewhere. Focus on the stock, not how long you think you can hold it in for. Trust me, it’s a losing battle.
Go to the Gym
Going to the gym has more benefits to a trader than it may seem. Keeping in shape will definitely help you feel awake and energetic in the morning. But more importantly it gives you somewhere to go when you need to step away. I don’t know how many times I decided I was done for the day, paced my living room and sat back down in front of the screen. And c’mon, no one goes for walks in the rain.
Don’t Drink on the Weekdays
I know, we’re all awesome. We’re all Don Drapers in our own heads. (Or is it just me?) Well, it ain’t the 50s anymore. We just cannot function in the market impaired. And it might be tough, but try to avoid drinking on weeknights. Birthdays, dinner parties, keggers- save it for the weekends. It’s likely you’ll sleep through opening bell or risk a massive hangover.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
And finally, get a good night’s sleep. We’re not in college anymore. Our days of late night studying and all-nighters are behind us. (Except for you college kids of course.) But trading is a serious game, one that needs a high level of focus. Why bring a stick to a swordfight?
Honestly it all boils down to discipline. Because the truth is, if you don’t have discipline outside the market, how can you have discipline inside it?