Monday, March 29, 2010

Goal-Setting, Discipline, and the Emotions of Traders

An important post from last year linked goal setting in trading with emotional well-being--and especially with sound trading discipline.

Discipline problems typically begin with experiences of frustration.

Frustration is a function of not meeting goals and expectations.

Many times, traders try to adopt psychological strategies for combating frustration. These can be helpful, but they don't get at the root of the frustration problem.

If we do not set challenging, but feasible goals, we cannot experience ourselves as effective, successful people. Goals that are perfectionistic cannot be met and thus generate frustration.

The failure to set goals robs us of opportunities for cultivating a sense of purpose and well-being.

Goal-setting is not just essential to mastering markets; it's essential as a tool of psychological management. We shape our experience of ourselves by controlling what we pursue and how we evaluate the pursuit.