Dieting is a worthy undertaking. However, just like trading, it can be quite intimidating and many of us fail. So just why do day traders fail? As expected, just as with anything new, the road will not all be levelled out and smooth. Trading is exactly like dieting in that sense.

A lot of slip-ups can occur, and most of them have to do with your psyche. Yes, your psyche and emotion can harm your dieting or trading goals. Still, you can meet your dietary and trading objectives.

By becoming aware of them and taking steps to re-direct them appropriately, you’ll be a winner in the end, in so far as you stick with your plan and move one step at a time.


Your Trading Plan Vs Planning Your Diet

Many traders/dieters make the mistake of assuming that it is okay to copy a strategy from a forum and use it out of the box as their own.

Although you can do it, that is not where your success lies.

No, Far from it!

So why do day traders fail?

You need a personalized trading plan which you can update over time with experience. No one trading/diet plan is a good fit for all.

Besides, creating your trading and diet plan, you need to follow it strictly.

Diets fail because people don’t stick to the plan.
Day traders fail because traders don’t stick to the plan.

Many traders don’t get the results they want temporarily. So, like dieting, they seek for a quick fix for faster results. Yet,  success doesn’t lie in those get rich quick programs or diet fads.

You should focus your thoughts on changing lifestyle to bring more health benefits, following the process, as opposed to weight loss results. Same applies to your trading. Focus on perfecting your trade system as your long-term goals.

Many day traders fail as they set results goals. Doing this sets traders up to fail from the beginning.

You need a trading plan / dieting plan

Your trading plan is not just your articulations. You need to write it down for occasional referencing. By merely writing it down, you provide yourself with a powerful management tool. Remember to include the following:

  • Categorize your strategies into versions of the original copy. Any time you make a change to your plan, give the version a new name to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Write down the outcome you get when you trade any currency pair and see what pair works best with your strategy. Same way, not all dieting plans will work for your body.
  • Keep a record of indicators you use and how they perform with your system. Write the setting you use and the result you get making sure you stick with your plan.
  • What time-frame did you test this system on and what was the outcome. Write it down. Forget about what the program you purchase says. Test it out and note the result you get yourself.
  • Figure out how you want to enter and exit a trade and write it down. Your outcome will depend on how accurately you define your entry and exit. Also, determine your stop loss and write it in your plan.
  • Write down your risk tolerance and percentage risk per trade and record your result.
  • More importantly, backtest and forward test your trading plan with a demo before committing real money.
  • You don’t have to stick with a trading plan if it doesn’t work well in live trading as with a demo, make adjustments when necessary. You should refine your strategy to the point you are confident in it. And there is no other way to get to this stage apart from long-term practice.

Once you achieve that, stick with it and ensure you trade every strategy or follow a functional dietary system as it should without deviation. Sooner or later, your success will come from it. Remember to develop a daily routine to help you manage each day as they come.

Results vs. Process Thinking

Results thinking is different to process thinking. Results thinking assumes you have the power to control your dieting/Trading results. Process thinking, on the other hand, assumes you have the power to control your dieting/Trading actions.

You can’t directly impact the results.

You can only apply the process.

You cannot control your weight loss, but just the process that leads to weight loss.

People on a diet are always miserable because they are constantly measuring their success on how close they are to the end-result (total weight loss) instead of looking how healthy they look and feel during the process of the diet.

If they expect to lose, eg. 3 pounds a week and they do in the first few weeks they will be happy. After that, they go down to 1 pound (or even no weight loss) a week as the body is adjusting. This is when people do not see the results they want or expect.

So, they give up thinking what they are doing is not working and they feel failure. They turn to a quick fix diet which is not sustainable and end up back where they started (and sometimes usually weighing more than when they started). Had they stuck with the healthy diet, they would have lost the weight they had wanted and been a lot healthier as a lifestyle.

Same applies to trading. Your focus should be on the perfection of your trading process, and not on the end-results. By focusing on your procedure, you’ll get the anticipated result eventually. It’s not difficult to get overly worked up about results, mainly if you are just a beginner.

In trading, you either make a winning or losing trade each time. It is just the simple truth. You must admit that and, know you can’t win all the time.  Nobody likes to lose. Yes, but the problem is viewing a losing trade as a failure can cause you more troubles and more significant losses. Focusing on only winning or losing trades is another reason why day traders fail as they see a skewed view of the world.

To help traders overcome this, try a trading journal.

The right mindset is this…avoid seeking perfection in trading or dieting. By knowing that you are not likely to succeed in all your trades, you can feel better when such loss occurs. Losing is part of the process. It is erroneous to take your negative trades as failures. No, in trading don’t expect to get everything perfect.

More importantly, you can make tons of money even in the midst of such imperfections. You can still be a profitable trader by winning about fifty to sixty percent of your trade entries. You tend to over-analyze when you search for a perfect result, and this leads you to even worst outcome. Your focus should be on the perfection of the process and not the result.

Seeking out trading process perfection

To some extent, your trading or dieting results are beyond your control. A winning rate of more than 50 percent should tell you that your strategy works. Although you may know the winning percentage of an approach, you can’t control which of your trades wins and which one goes not. It is completely outside your control and depends on the market. You have no control over your trading outcome. If that is the case, all of us would want to leverage on that advantage. What you can change or influence is your trading process.

Your trading/dieting process is anything that you engage in while trading / planning your diet. It includes your daily preparations, the strategies you use, your rules for entry and exists, the position sizing of your trades, your trade timeframes,  your trade management tactics and the analytic methods you use to spot correct entries and exits.

Your dieting/trading process is your daily dieting and trading routine.

Not having a process is a major reason why day traders fail.

Each successful dieter or trader has a process. Not having a process is a major reason why day traders fail.

However, it varies from individual to individual.

By concentrating on your process, you are sticking with things within your control like figuring out when it is favorable to trade and when it is not and also by appropriately entering and exiting the trade as indicated in your plan. The outcome shouldn’t be your concern. If you’re making a perfect entry and exist, then you are successful whether it returns a profit or not.

If you make a flawed entry and exit, even when by chance it returns a profit, you should consider it as unsuccessful. Repeating similar mistake in future could cause you more harm.

When you execute a trade as stipulated in your plan and fail, you should see it as a success. Why, because, you are developing your mindset and forming a good trading habit.

Don’t focus on the result you get from every single trade you make. It is not necessary. Your focus should be on building a rock-solid trading process. By so doing, over time, the result you expect will come naturally.

Your trading /Dieting Exercise Vs. Times

Don’t forget there are potential for success in any trade assets just as with dieting plans. You need to find the right one and trade precisely at the right time. Your dieting success depends on what you eat and the number of calories you consume.

When you focus on the process, you get the weight loss you desire as your end-result. And you measure inputs in the process, they’re indicators that you’re doing the right things and following proper rules.

Right timing is essential to your trade and dietary goals. By timing rightly and managing appropriately, you gain optimal benefit if, during a large market swing, price moves in your favor.

Follow the stipulated timing for your trading strategy. You must trade as stipulated to enjoy the benefit. The key to this is to wait and to wait; you must be patient.  Prematurely entering the market rob you of your potential profits. To time your trades properly, you need to be patient.

You lose out on trades by being impatient trades. Besides, it shoots up your blood pressure and drains you emotionally. These, in turn, lead to further losses as you are no longer your best self. You’ll fail to spot strong signals that regularly show up following a losing trade.

When your emotion forces you to jump in prematurely, rebuff it. Wait for your trade setup to form completely and show the trade trigger. Your trade trigger is the exact event that tells you it is okay to dive in. Better miss a trade than trade prematurely and lose a fortune!

Also, be cautious about exiting too quickly. It cuts your profit down if the market moves in your favor.

Wrong timing can as well make you hold onto a losing trade. It can also make you overtrade when the market moves in your favor to the point you lose your gained pips.

Don’t concentrate on hitting it big. The real money comes from following common market tendencies; not in those big hits which could turn against you.

You don’t need to trade at every potential trade setup to succeed. Take it easy and wait patiently for your trade trigger. This way, you will easily spot those winning price moves, and save your head from numerous losses.

Furthermore, only trade when you’re focused and healthy. Ensure your trade when you have the mental energy to stick with your plan. Avoid trading at all cost, if you are not in the right frame of mind.

Why you don’t get the day trading results you want

You don’t control the results directly, only the process. Results thinking is why many day traders fail.

And if you’re consistently not losing weight or making a losing trade, then you may have one of  the following three challenges:

  • You don’t have discipline around the plan
  • Your process is wrong
  • Your inputs are wrong

Results thinking is why many day traders fail.

You fail as have poor discipline around your trading plan

Most traders and dieters know the rules of the game. Yet, they don’t implement them. What do they do? They go in search of knowledge after knowledge and ignore trading rules like creating their trading plan, trading with one or two strategies at a time, sticking with the plan and testing out a strategy using a demo account until it proves successful.

Despite this knowledge, they go in search of more knowledge. They disregard what they already know and go in search of new concepts.

Yet, these new pieces of information will do them no good more than what they already know. To be a winner, you need to STOP hunting for a new diet plan or trading strategy and work with what you already know. It is by practicing that you become perfect and not by knowing. Knowing something isn’t enough to stop day traders failing, you need to act and do.

Trade discipline requires you to create a trading plan and stick with it.  Having trade discipline is insufficient. It has to be rock-solid discipline if you want to be successful!

Your psyche and emotion can trick you into making crazy decisions. Banish it! Sticking with your rock-solid plan is your best medicine for irrational emotional compulsions. Walk with your plan and you are already on your way to success!

Don’t be too quick to jump into actions or act on instincts. Always, pause, break, give it a thought, research and verify facts and figures to take better trading and dieting decisions. In trading, if you don’t stick to your plan, just like weight loss you will likely not get the results you want. You need discipline. Better still, form a trade mantra and regularly repeat during the day. It can be anything like “Stick to the plan.”

By so doing, you can develop the mental strength you need to banish impulsive trading and stick with a strategy!

Your trading process is wrong so fail trading

Another reason you are not getting the result you want is your process is wrong. It could be that the process you are using doesn’t work (or doesn’t work for you.) The wrong process is a key reason on why day traders fail.

The exercise you do, how often, for how long, when you or do them, what you eat, how much you eat, the types of food you eat is wrong.  In trading, if you’re losing money, then your process/strategy is wrong, or rules (inputs) that you’re following aren’t right. You need to adjust these and the process, not the results.

Your trading/dieting plan should specify what you need to do, why you need to do it, when to do it and how to do it. It should include your trade personality, you’re your trade goals and anticipations are, your risk management rules, and what trading system(s) you use.

Developing the right process and following it will boost your success and limit your losses. Mindless eating can harm your dietary goal just as mindless trading can lead to trading losses. Never use more than two strategies at any given time.

Don’t jump from one strategy to the other or one from fad diet to the other. Give enough time to test everything out. That way, you can quickly isolate what works from what doesn’t work.

Some of the things that make you trade with wrong inputs are:

  • You allow your past trade results to influence your trade decisions

Don’t let your previous winning or losing trades affect your present trading decision. Many traders are guilty of this “trading sin.” It is an error which you need to avoid. Avoid it by all means and only trade when the trade setup forms entirely and show you the trigger. Banish fear or greed and treat every trade as unique. Each trade is independent of the other. If you carry them over, it is likely to be a reason why you may fail as a day trader.

A single loss or a couple of losses or gains in trades or dieting is not an accurate measure of how good or bad a strategy is. Experience can make us give erroneous judgment. You lose five trades in a row with a strategy you initially thought was good.

Does that mean, the strategy is rubbish? No, not really! It is possible that it is a good one, but you can’t just conclude with that singular or few experiences.

  • You trade or diet alone

A support group is essential to your trading and dieting goals. Your support group will continually serve as your motivation and support and become invaluable when the road is rough.

Why you are not getting the result you want may not be due to your focus on wrong foods or trading strategies. It could be you lack a support system to boost your enthusiasm and motivate you to stick with your trading or dieting plans.

So, don’t diet or trade alone. It is one of the key reasons why day traders fail. By joining a community of people with like minds and obtaining expert advice when necessary, you will eventually produce the dieting and trading results you anticipate. You’ll find strength and support by joining trading groups.

  • You make conclusions based on small amounts of data

You need more extensive amounts of data to verify whether a strategy works or not. Unless you carry a thorough test, you will never know. You could be on your way to making a fortune with the same strategy. But, unfortunately, we tend to quit too soon and miss a potential trade opportunity.

You need up to 100 trades or months of trades to verify if a strategy works. Your success in trading or dieting should be measured not by individual results but by the overall gain.

Also, successful dieting programs should last long enough to change behavior. You need to give at least one year of trying out a diet to verify if it works or not.  Picking the latest fad diet or latest trade strategy and trying it for a couple of times or weeks is what most dieters and traders do.

Little wonder then that they fail. They jump from one strategy or diet plan to the other. In the end what they get is nothing more than frustration and further desperation.

  • You seek perfection in trade

Losing is part of life. Accept it when it happens and figure out why it occurred. Aversion to loss could even expose you to more significant losses. Rather than try to cut back on trades or seek for excuses, embrace the loss and work to improve on your flaws. A trade or diet that isn’t as successful as you desire initially or a couple of times may still turn out to be very useful and profitable. Don’t just seek trading perfection, but seek the process.

  • You set unrealistic dieting/trading goals

Most traders/dieters set unattainable goals for themselves. They dream of hitting a gold mine or fitting into the smallest clothing sizes.  Avoid this and set realistic goals for yourself. A weight loss of one or 2 pounds every week is sufficient. Take your time and move slowly but steadily. Building a long-term eating or trading habit is a gradual process. It needs consistent practice and patience.

So, don’t only wait for that “big swing” to happen, it may not come. And when it does occur, you may not capture it correctly, and your expectation may turn in the opposite direction. Trade mini sizes. They could amount to substantial gains overall.

Same way, eat several mini-meals during the day. Cutting down calories by skipping meals could make eating fewer calories and losing weight more challenging.

  • You overlook mini achievements

Your mindset in habit building is very significant. You’ll maintain your enthusiasm by rewarding yourself anytime you get a mini result. It could be a pip gain, two, three or as small as five pounds. Give yourself a treat for that mini goal achieved. It will spike up your enthusiasm.

  • You don’t properly manage your failures

Then again, don’t beat yourself up when the reality turns against your expectations. It’s unavoidable. If it doesn’t happen now, it will later. It is better now than later. Look forward to such time so that when it comes, it will no longer be a surprise. All you need to do pick up from there and keep moving.

See slip-ups as opportunities to learn your vulnerabilities, and work-out the best way to manage the trading or dieting situation next time. You don’t have to give up your lofty goals just for slip-ups. What you need to do is work on developing a growth mindset. Your success will come from concentrating on a growth mindset for trading and building a long-term habit and not in the trade or dieting perfection.

Conclusion on why day traders fail?

Adapting to change is not easy but possible. Whether you want to start dieting or learn how to trade Forex and other financial assets, begin by developing a process. This is key on why day traders fail – and how to increase your chances of success.

Focus on creating a functional process. Keep your mind off results. You have no control over it. However, by regularly sticking with your effective process, you’ll gradually begin to see positive results.

You’ll, definitely, make some mistakes while trading. As with dieting, the journey will not be a bed of roses. You will meet bumps along the road, stumble and make mistakes, but with a rock solid plan and support system, you will triumph in the end. You need to keep a positive attitude, have confidence in your trading or dieting system and prepare for each day beforehand.  Also,  be cautious and trade only when focused and diet when not ill.

Take one step at a time, focus on each trade and day situation as they come.  No two trading opportunity will turn out the same way just as no two people will receive a similar result from a dietary plan. They are all independent, but by strictly following your strategy and plan, you will succeed in the end.

When necessary, make small but gradual adjustments to your trading and dietary plan. That is your key to success…. Your ultimate target is to establish a proven and well-tested trading/dieting habits that are sustainable over time.

Focus on these tips, and you’ll go to any length!


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