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Having goals in life and in trading improves your chances of success by creating direction, motivation and focus. However, goals can be ineffective or even hurtful if made carelessly. We students all have the “goal” to be financially free. I would venture to say that most people want to be free but because each of us has made it our “goal”, we joined FX365I. Our goal gave us the mandate (direction) to find some way to gain more income than we currently do. Because of the possibilities that financial freedom can bring (travel, less stress, security, etc.) we are motivated to invest time and energy. Again, most people probably want financial freedom but if it’s not a goal they let the cares of life distract them; they lose focus and end up making no progress.

But can goals be ineffective or even worse, hurtful? Let’s take a hypothetical example of the average Joe who wants to get in shape. He begins by lifting dumbbells every day. After a while he looks in the mirror and isn’t happy with the results. So he adds some push-ups and sit-ups to his routine. A while later, he looks in the mirror and again is not happy. So he joins a gym and goes there when he can. Finally when he doesn’t see the results he was hoping for, he gives up. You can see that his goal of getting in shape was an ineffective goal.  This experience could discourage him from ever trying to get in shape again.

Let’s take a look at the acronym SMART for some help.

  • S stands for Specific. The term “in shape” is very general. How about, “My goal is to lose 50 lbs and have six pack abs.” This creates a better picture in your mind of what achieving your goal will look like.
  • M stands for measurable. Can you see how stepping on the scale every week might point our Joe to making changes in his diet?
  • A stands for attainable. Attainability refers to limits of nature. Joe’s body type may not be capable of a 32” waist.
  • R stands for realistic. Losing 50 lbs. may be attainable for Joe…but not by next week.
  • T stands for timely. When you put a time frame around your goals, you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.* It creates a sense of urgency.

Here are my goals for the next 3 weeks: 1) only trade if I have measured and believe that the “bus stop” is logical. 2) Make less than 10 trades a week 3) only enter a trade if I know my risk out. Are these smart goals?

Specific? – Very.

Measurable? – check.

Attainable? – Definitely.

Realistic? – If I’m disciplined.

Timely? – 3 weeks.

These 3 goals are based on advice from fellow students and instructors that I believe will help me achieve my goal of becoming a master trader.

In my next post I will share how I’ve used goals (and a more important aspect of goals) to achieve success in my life and how I have used the same system to improve my trading.

*http://topachievement.com/smart.html

 

-Todd Carson

Fx 365i Student

todd.carson@fx365i.com

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