Trading Goal Setting for 2009 – Here’s My Advice

December 31st, 2008

goal setting

Well, it’s that time of year. Everyone is reflecting back on 2008 and making trading plans for 2009. This trading goal post from Jack from rmultiples got me thinking again about some good advice on goal setting I heard from my track coach in college.

Instead of coming up with a single, succeed-or-fail goal it’s usually much better to come up with a range of goals. I come up with a conservative, reasonable, and radical number for whatever goals I’m setting.

This accomplishes a couple things – it gets you away from a feeling of failure if you fall short of your goal – it gives you some wiggle room. Also, say you reach your goal earlier in the year – if you have a single goal then you may feel subconsciously like your job is done. If you’ve got a range of goals then you can continue to take your goal seriously.

The more subtle thing this technique does is forces you to think more deeply about what your trying to accomplish and what is reasonable to expect from yourself and your situation. Everybody likes to shoot for the stars and come up with a lofty goal, but it actually takes a lot more thought and self-examination to come up with a conservative goal – something closer to the failure mark and a moderate goal – a number that’s acceptable.

Are there any suggestions you have for trading goal setting as we turn our calendars?

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