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Setting Smaller Trading Goals for Big Changes

In this post I want to get into goals, specifically trading goals and one easy way I have learnt to set goals and achieve them by taking small steps and focussing on each step toward your goal. It all begins with setting a vision and then taking ‘baby steps’ or trigger goals that will get you to your overall vision over time.

And this method has impacted me so much I want to share it with all of you so that you can implement it into your life and your trading goals so that you can achieve all that you set out to in your trading journey.

Setting trading goals and being consistent is the pathway to success in trading and really anything you want to achieve in life. In terms of day trading success it’s true that having goals will set you up for success but it all begins with first mastering the fundamentals of trading principles and financial markets.

Everyday Trading Tasks can Get Overwhelming

Did you know that trading is only 10% of your actual day? That’s why day traders pride themselves on calling it part time.

Yet they don’t tell you that the other 90% of the time traders are learning and backtesting new trades. Analyzing the trades they did of the day and other days.

Sitting in on chat rooms, or watching videos, or taking courses.

And always – ALWAYS – studying charts.

Because there is always something new to learn and ALWAYS something to fix.

So much for part time, huh? But if you love it, it really doesn’t feel like any time spent at all.

But still there are a lot of everyday tasks to do in trading and it can get overwhelming if you don’t manage your time well. And setting smaller goals is one method that can help traders to keep making consistent progress each day in their trading.

setting trading goals
Setting smaller ‘trigger goals’ can help traders to keep making consistent progress each day in their trading by focussing on achieving each step.

Setting Goals – Why Starting Small is the Best Way to Go

Instead of writing down the hundred and one goals I have for my trading to improve, I decided to take it one teeny tiny step at a time.

Aside from trading sites and videos and books and anything trading you can think of, I am also a huge fan of Marie Forleo and have been part of her B-School program. The other day she had an awesome speaker on her show – Todd Herman.

He spoke of five important ways to start to change on a cellular level. Marie’s had tons of shows and speakers, but this guy just really hit my buttons.

The fear, resistance and need to quit always happens just a few paces before the big transformation. That’s why so many people quit. They fall in with the resistance and think it’s never going to happen.

Trust me, I’ve considered quitting time and time again, but I honestly don’t know what else I could do. With all the obstacles I face daily, heart palpitations I get from trading, I really love it.

Anyhow, long story short – I won’t be getting into the whole ‘have a specific vision goal’, you can’t really do change much if you don’t know what you want to change for, right? So create the vision and start with this one simple goal.

smaller trading goals
Setting smaller trading goals that are easier to hit will keep you on the ‘baby steps’ path to success without getting easily overwhelmed or discouraged.

Baby Steps – Trigger Goals

Todd Herman calls it Trigger Goals. Basically, he is saying start with baby steps don’t think of the whole picture.

I have been thinking of the whole picture for  years and no matter what I do, I can’t get out of my problematic area.

When trading the ES Mini Futures it is broken down into ticks and points. Four ticks makes up one point. Each tick is worth $12.50 per contract, so each point is worth $50 per contract.

My teacher and other teachers, and traders usually can rack in on average 2 – 4 points per trade. That is usually 8 – 16 ticks.

My average winning trade is two ticks and my average losing trade is 5 ticks.

What kind of numbers are those? No wonder I keep losing!

Even if I win way more than I lose, it’s really hard to make those numbers work well for me.

Stop, Breath, Change Direction

I need to stop right there! And make a serious turn in the road to my path of accomplishment. Obviously, what I have been doing simply isn’t working for me.

Since my focus on doing 2 point wins (8 ticks) is really REALLY difficult for me. I  have now switched my thinking around and have come up with two easy, but important, trigger goals for myself.

And as part of keeping with my overall trading approach of simplifying trading strategy and goals, the trigger goals I have set for myself also are simple and easy to understand. But more importantly they are achievable and are ‘baby steps’ on the way to achieving my bigger trading goals.


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My Trigger Goals

1. Get into a compelling trade – basically I have to follow my rules for this one. I have missed a lot due to fear. But I have to simply trust what I have learned.

2. Target ticks – 5 ticks. If I’m in a compelling trade, which I should be if the set up is done properly, I need to hold on to 5 ticks no matter what.

Sounds easy enough, but when emotions are constantly at play, and money is on the line, this becomes extremely complicated.

But doable.

As long as I keep focussing on each step of the way and hitting those smaller trigger goals then I will naturally keep progressing toward my larger goals over time without getting too overwhelmed or discouraged by focussing too much on the huge goals – but instead focussing on hitting each of the trigger goals!

Small Goals for Big Changes