DRRRIIINNNGGG! DRRRIIINNNGGG! DRRRIIINNNGGG! Lacking a morning routine?
Most people seem to have a really hard time waking up in the morning. It's as if we're resisting the idea of living another day to its fullest.
I use to be that way. I'd hardly wake up, hit the snooze button and fall back asleep until I HAD to wake up. Sounds familiar?
It all changed.
If you've been in the self-improvement world lately, you probably heard about the importance of having a morning routine. Waking up and going straight to work does not place you in an optimal state.
Recently, I came across The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Erold. I had heard about that book for a long time but took the action to read it and implement.
I've now come to a point where I enjoy mornings because I know that what I do in the morning is setting me up for success. I get to wake up feeling excited and that is a really good start for a trading day.
Although the book by Hal Erold provides a nice framework, I had to adapt it slightly. The way I designed my morning routine ensures that I, as a Forex trader, is ready for an excellent trading day. It's not only about trading, but it's about getting in the right state to get results.
Am I the only trader with a morning routine?
Not at all. You'll see that other traders are doing just the same thing–or have their own versions of a morning routine.
5 Crucial Elements Of A Forex Trader's Morning Routine You Need To Apply
1. Getting in the right physical state
“At 7am ish I go for my morning walk. I load up my audio book (recently I've been listening to “My Daily Trading Coach”) and I take a 15 minute stroll around my neighborhood. This is my time to unwind and relax before my active trading day begins.”
– Akil Stokes, Currency Analyst & Coach at Trade Empowered.
As a Forex trader, you might be tempted to start your day sitting in front of your trading monitor waiting for your trade setup. I can tell you that this is not an optimal way to do things.
Trading is a discipline we could compare to sports. As a trader, it is almost inevitable that you will experience stress and the goal is to learn to deal with that stress. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and it also keeps you in an awakened state. Personally, I noticed exercise helps clearing up my mind and coming up with new ideas.
How to apply:
Upon waking up, one of the first things I do is heading to my fitness room or outdoor (depending on the weather). I start the day with a quick jog or workout.
You need to understand that exercise doesn't mean sweating or running on a treadmill for an hour. Just 15 mins of your favorite exercise is significant and can make a huge difference.
2. Getting in the right mindset
“Morning routines are important, they plant the seed in the mind so that you will act accordingly in the day.”
– Alwin Ng, Forex Trader & Performance Coach at Trade Your Edge.
There is nothing worst than waking up in a negative state. Suddenly, the whole day goes by like a challenge draining energy. A trader starting to trade in that bad state will have a much harder time keeping things in perspective. He may be totally disappointed from a few losses. He may even miss trades–after taking the time to prepare a big batch of coffee. 🙂
Because of that and their desire to reach an optimal mental state, professional traders think about ways to create that right mindset upon waking up. Whatever the thought popping into their head upon waking up, great traders must bring themselves into the right mindset as part of their morning routines.
How to apply:
Every morning, I make sure to be grateful for at least 3 things and to write that down. I look at my goals and use affirmations to bring myself to the state of mind I want to be in.
Keeping a journal with objectives, accomplishments and things to be grateful for is a great way to keep moving forward. After a few months passed, I'm often surprised to go back in my journal and realize that was I wanted to accomplish actually happened.
3. Developing yourself
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
– Jim Rohn
How to apply:
3. Analyzing the market
“Each morning I take a hard look at my current positions. Where can I reduce risk? Where can I take more profits? Should I close this trade early? It’s this analysis AFTER I have done my morning research that has been very beneficial for me.”
– Kirk Du Plessis, Founder & Head Trader at Option Alpha.
The morning represents a pre-trading period where Forex traders have the possibility to get in a moment of more objective analysis. This means not getting caught off by the immediate action of a currency pair, but instead taking a step away to look at the big picture.
I often find myself looking at charts very early in the morning, not to enter trades, but to make sure I do a proper analysis. I may look at pivot points if I am trading intraday or take time to setup alerts for certain price levels.
How to apply:
Whatever time frame you are trading, jump 1-2 time frame higher and ask yourself the following questions: “What is the currency pair doing? What is the bias? Up to where is this move likely to go?” Then, go to your usual time frame but keep the big picture in mind. That has been very beneficial for multiple traders.
5. Reviewing your game plan
“Every fighter has to go in there with a game plan.”
– Rau'Shee Warren, Professional Boxer.
I have discussed the idea of knowing your trading plan by heart several times before. I also believe that repetition is the only way to truly remember something. The more you're exposed to an image or a line of text, the more you're likely to remember and actually use it.
Making sure you know what you should be doing is the first step to actually doing it. Even if you know your trading plan by heart, reviewing it will ensure you perform even better.
How to apply:
The idea is simple: take 5 minutes in your morning routine to review your trading plan and rules. That alone can eliminate a lot of confusion. When you get clear about your game plan and the process you need to follow, you'll increase your chances of success as a Forex trader.
Things to consider
The 5 elements are considered crucial for a trader's morning routine. However, there are still things you can do to increase the results your routine will have on your overall day. I would include waking up early (I wake up at 5:00am 7 days a week). Drinking water upon waking up also helps getting that first boost of energy to kick start the day. Nevertheless, the beneficial effects of enough sleep shouldn't be forgotten. I make sure (most times) to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
If you are the kind of person sleeping too little, I recommend checking out Why Six Hours Of Sleep Is As Bad As None At All.
The main purpose of a morning routine is to set you up for a successful trading day. Applying the tips in this article won't make you a profitable trader, but they will definitely help you get in a better mental and physical state. The goal is also to help you grow and to ensure you are approaching the Forex market with a calm and more objective perspective.
What's your morning routine? Any other tips for the trader's morning routine? Leave a comment below!