7 Tips on the Right Way to Build Discipline Via Journaling
A few quick tips!
1) Be quick but accurate
2) Be honest
3) Be regular
These are my 3 B’s of journaling next up or the 3 Ds’
1) Don’t get distracted
2) Don’t discuss your entries
3) Don’t clean up your entries
Lastly I have a cardinal rule
1) Write down everything and anything. All information is useful and helpful.
Let me explain my 3 Bs first
1) Be quick but accurate. Well this is really when you have a pile of trades coming along. Don’t spend too much time thinking about what you want to write. You are not going to write a novel. The emotions are the important part you want to note down because we are using the journal as an emotional dump to help us store away our emotions when we trade. There is no need for proper spelling or grammar, as long as you can read and understand what you are writing then it’s cool.
2) Be honest!!! You know I had this problem when I first started, I used to dress up my journal. I have no idea for what! Maybe I thought that my girlfriend would like to read it someday (my current wife). It turns out that she wasn’t really interested at all (quite the crushing blow to my ego I must admit…). You want to be totally honest because only then can you analyze your emotional state correctly. Your journal has become a tool for you to help you better understand yourself. This can only be accomplished if you are completely honest with your feelings.
3) Be regular. A lot of my own students have this problem, and they only write in the journal when they fell like it. or when they remember to write in it. You got to write in your journal EACH & EVERY trade. There are no excuses, because writing in your journal is an exercise in building your discipline.
Next, my 3 D’s:
1) Don’t get distracted. When you are writing in your journal, focus on it and pour out your feelings into it. Completely unload everything into it. Do not look at your screen or do something else. You want to capture your emotional state like a photograph. If you are looking at your charts and something happens…your emotional state changes and that means you got distracted!
2) Don’t discuss your entries. I know that it is cool sometimes to talk about our trades. Your journal is quite private and if you ever have the need to discuss your entries it should be with your mentor. The reason for this is that when you post it or discusses it with others; you open yourself up a lot of comment and advice.
This is something you don’t need, you have to be focused on your own plan not let someone else who has no idea what is happening in your trading life, just come in and pop off some remark which may affect your trading confidence and judgment. If have the need to talk about it, talk to God or to your mentor…in that order. Your mentor will of course be able to point you in the right direction but if you have to tap on your mentor’s experience all the time, you will never be able to trade on your own.
3) Don’t clean up your entries!!! I can’t stress this enough! No editing at all.
You want to relive your trading not publish your journal! So stay away from creative writing and keep everything original.
Lastly my cardinal rule:
“Everything and Anything” I really mean everything and anything. Just write what is on the top of your mind. Usually you will find that you can describe your state of mind in a single word. These, keywords are called “pattern language” and are used in many fields to help create easily recognized patterns so that it shortens the time needed to describe and analyze things.
While this is a technical skill, what you can do is that you can just write based on your own vocabulary. You can use symbols (as long you understand what they mean).
It is important to note everything down as you will never know where the critical clue may have been. If you omit any thing, you may have just thrown away the most important clue!
Well, I hope this helps in your journal writing. Remember use what you have learnt follow the rules of it before branching out to evolve your own style.