Weekly Trading Review 17-22 April

What did I do best this week and how I did I do it?

I followed my trading process and my hypos from the trade plan. I took only Grade A and B setups that fitted within my hypo and my mini plans.

This was helped by focusing on the R potential of each possible trade, which helped focus my mind on the better trades, as some trades I skipped, were good setups in all aspects expect the potential RR.

What did I do badly this week and what lead me to do it?

I was not very well on Thursday afternoon and Friday. I would not say I was ill as that is being over dramatic, but let’s just say, I was very under the weather. So I did not trade for these sessions and used the time to clean up the charts and update my stats and do some research.

Why?

Too many consecutive 14 hrs days, along with doing 8 hour days at the weekends, no exercise, not sleeping well and not eating. From Monday to Thursday, I had a plate of chips, 4 slices of toast, a chicken sandwich and a bag of mints. This is not what I had every day, that was the total food consumption for the 4 days. The previous 4 weeks have followed a very similar pattern.

In summary, I have totally fucked up the work / life balance and looking after ones’ health. The importance of this is very well explained by @breakingoutbad in this excellent post.

Why did I neglect this work / life balance?

This is an old habit resurfacing, of trying to brute force my way to success.

It has happened before, I start to see better and better results in my processes, and part of mind goes, this is working, so fuck it, more of this can only be good, and I ramp up the intensity and my progress starts to slow, so I ramp it up more until something breaks.

The good news, from lessons learnt when it has happened in the past, that this is normally just when I am close to making a step up in my performance. I have also have learnt from past experience, that whether I actually make that step up, is 100% dependent on how I manage my behaviour from this point of onwards.

I can carry on pushing on so hard that I actually start going backwards in my progress and then do something stupid that sets me back months and miss the set up, or I can slack off so much that I lose the momentum and do not make the step up.

What am I going to do?

I am going to limit my working hours for each day, during the week to 10 hours, max 12 hrs.

I am going to limit my working hours for each day at the weekend to 4 hours max 5 hrs.

I am going to eat at 2 meals a day.

I am going to restart my exercise programme.

I am going to start doing my prep for the sailing season.

I am going to allow myself to actually go out and have a few beers now and again. Be slightly more social.

And the most importantly, I am going to spend a bit of the time at the weekend with the missus, rather sitting at my computer working from 1100 to 1900 every Sat and Sun.

On the trading side, I am focusing on the following

Implementing my processes during the trading day

Doing the end of day reviews and it is okay to miss one or two without feeling guilty

Working on my improving my C game.

At the weekend,

End of week review

Update Stats

2 Hours of deliberate practice on Sunday

Weekly Trading Prep.

It time to really focus on the core aspects that will help me make that step up.

I am finishing this post and the one on Why we should do our own stats, and then I am fucking off, going to go to a BBQ with the wife and drink some cider.

Have a good weekend.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Trading Review 17-22 April

  • 23/04/2016 at 14:52
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    Wanted to comment on your tweet, but reacting to your post seems more straightforward.

    Firstly great post/review, with to the point solutions which are attainable. I (and I think many more readers) have struggled with likewise situations, were you focus too much on a part of your overall process. As you become almost obsessed with this part of the process you unintentionally forget the other drivers of your succes (among others, a healthy diet, working out, enough sleep / rest), which ultimately leads to destruction of the great flow you were in.

    Couple of things which helped me in this struggle:
    * Look for pre-meltdown red flags that might have warned you in the past and could warn you next time;
    * Ask yourself whether you could reasonably be expected to do anything different; In the end all your suggested changes are great, but doing all of them in 1 go from tomorrow onwards seems like a big overhaul to me which would require a shitload of (mental) energy.
    * Rate yourself for work effort, honesty, and the value of your priorities and also reward yourself for achieving your newly set goals (every day!).

    I really like the post of FT71 on his basis high level routines. You could fit almost all of your newly set goals into a change of morning routine (which had worked for me in the past):
    1) Wake up without hitting snooze button;
    2) Medication exercise (mindfull breathing) 5 to 10 minutes;
    3) Either a morning-run (5-8km) with 10 minute stretch or 2 sets of a 7-minute work-out;
    4) Drink 1.2 liters of water and eat breakfast within ½ hour of end of workout (yoghurt with fruit and cereal);
    5) Get to ‘office’;

    Keep up the great work, and cheers to the cider!

    Reply
    • 24/04/2016 at 12:25
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      Hi

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Yes, I need to get better at looking for red flags for these moments. Overall I have got better, as some of my past meltdowns (in my previous career), have been pretty spectacular. Whilst the driver of this was the same, the result was different and did not cost me money, or give me any other incidental problems. But you are right in would be better for me to head this off before it arrived.

      The list of what I focusing on is a reduced list of what I am already doing. So in reality this means a reduction in work load.

      I was exercising 5 times a week up to March, so it is only been a relatively short break, but I will not be going back into at full pelt. I am aim for 3 sessions during the first week of about 60% intensity. The slowly ramp up from there.

      The only really new thing on the list is the sailing prep, which whilst is more work, is a hobby and I count that towards the work life balance. But due to the shorten time scale, I will be doing the essentials and not my full prep that I wanted to do.

      Yes, FT71 is very good resource for inspiration on process and routines, and I have full and mini routines for the start of the day and end of the day. The only real difference between my morning routine and FT71, is that I exercise in the break between sessions and I don’t eat breakfast. I had been exercising in some form or other, and I know that morning are not the best time for me to get the most from my exercise routine.

      I had a nice time at the BBQ, had a few beers, talked shit with my mates and had the best nights sleep since I stopped exercising.

      Thanks again, it has certainly given me food for thought.

      Good luck with next week.

      Adey

      Reply
      • 24/04/2016 at 13:07
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        Thanks for the quick and thorough reply!

        I got the red flag bit from the book: F*ck Feelings; one shrink’s practical advice for managing all life’s impossible problems – by Bennett. Bennett gives his take on a whole lot of different issues one can have via a quick diagnosis per problem, stating what you wish for and can’t have, what can aim for and actually achieve, and how you can do it. I particularly liked the first 3 chapters which are named: ‘fuck self-improvement’ and ‘fuck self-esteem’ and ‘fuck fairness’. Besides all the nuggets with advice it’s also a fun read, I quote a nugget on fucking up: ‘If you had a problem with, say, constant barfing, you wouldn’t settle for feeling like a loser while resigning yourself to a life spent within ten feet of a toilet or in reach of a paper bag; you’d see a specialist, quit gluten if you had to, or at least become a master of puke jokes. That’s why the first job as a chronic fuckup is to put aside shame and blame and find out if part of the trouble is a weakness in your mental equipment.’

        Keep up the great work and I also wish you a great next week!

        Reply
        • 24/04/2016 at 13:18
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          Hi

          Sounds an interesting book and I will put it on my reading list. You are right I need to do this. The current book I am reading The Mental Game of Poker 2, has an exercise where we split what we do in to A, B and C game, with the C game being trading badly. By doing this, it makes the trader aware of the traits that are associated with bad trading and when we start to see some of the traits,them they act as red flags, enabling us to circumvent a drop from the A game to C game. Which helped me this week, as I still has an up week results wise, as I managed to stop trading when I started to show the traits for me C game. Though I was unaware of why I heading in this direction. It was only Thursday afternoon when I was not well that it accorded to me.

          But you are right, some red flags on my behaviour outside trading would be a great indicator to possible future performance.

          Take care

          Adey

          Reply
  • 23/04/2016 at 17:56
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    Hey Addy,

    Can completely relate to ‘Brute Force’ syndrome. The key is moderation, forgiving yourself and not aiming for perfection in the first place. I have the same problem regarding food in the trading day, I just try to eat as much as possible for breakfast and to have a load of food at my trading desk. Once you accept that you cannot force success, it becomes easy to relax about the journey and process.

    Better to take small steps towards your goals and targets, I like the ‘1% improvement’ idea. My mind doesn’t seem to like something it MUST do, better to work with it than fight it. For instance aiming to go gym once in a week and going more if you feel like it, would likely result in more gym time than saying “I must go 6 times per week”.

    Go and enjoy that BBQ and cider, you deserve it mate.

    All the best,
    David Taylor.

    Reply
    • 24/04/2016 at 12:46
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      Hi David,

      Thanks for taking the the time to comment.

      You have very good points. Moderation has always been a bit of a problem for me in most things. Okay nearly everything. I am getting better as I get older but you are right it is getting the balance right. My hard work ethic is one of the primary drivers during my life, mainly due to confidence issues with my own skills (which are normally unfounded), thus I try and make it with the shear amount of productivity. This has worked well for the majority of my working life, but has resulted in a couple of speculator blow ups over the past 30 years.

      I have hopefully got my food issue sorted, I have planned my meals for the week and got the food in that will make it easier for me to actually take the meals.

      The whole 1% improvement thing is a good way of looking at making process towards our goal and targets.

      I will take your advice on board, thank you again for the comments.

      Have a good trading week.

      Adey

      Reply

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