The Importance of Setting Specific and Measurable Goals in Forex Trading

You’ve likely heard of the acronym SMART as in SMART goal setting. This pertains to setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals. This is how we like to operate at Phantom Trading and how we recommend our students set their targets in terms of trading progression as well! The reason for this is that there is little room for failure. By setting targets that can be tracked through to completion, you’re able to hold yourself accountable in a way to see them through. If you hit, great, if not, you’re able to iterate and make adjustments in how you set your goals and or how you work towards your goals so that you can more accurately set and achieve targets moving forward.

Why Staying Focused and Motivated is Key to Forex Trading Success

Setting goals as a trader is the same as you would setting fitness goals or business-related goals. You reverse engineer where you’d like to be in say 90 days, 1 year, 5 years, etc. and then you work backwards breaking down what needs to be achieved over the coming days, weeks, or months to see that goal through to realization. Knowing where you’re headed and what needs to be done along the way to get there will keep you motivated and on track throughout the process.

Clarity is key when it comes to making progress in any pursuit. It’s found that the number one reason most people procrastinate is due to a lack of clarity about what they need to do to move forward. One way to overcome such lack of clarity with trading specifically is to find a program and or trading community that you can learn from and trade alongside so you always know what you need to do next. You’ll also have the confidence knowing that someone else has walked this same path you’re headed down and they’ve proven that one can see success by taking the actions you’re taking. You can then rest easy knowing that if you just work the plan over time, you’ll soon get where you’re wanting to go.

Tracking Progress and Celebrating Accomplishments: The Role of Goals in Forex Trading

This one’s not commonly practiced! It’s vital for you to reward yourself along the way for investing time and energy into your trading. As you hit certain % return months for example or acquire funded capital account sizes as you improve, you’ll want to link to those particular milestones some form of prize/outcome to reward yourself with to anchor into your mind that “when I invest time and energy into things and progress, I’m rewarded for it.” You’ll find yourself becoming more and more motivated to keep achieving new feats by doing this.

As a trader, you’re essentially your own boss. You need to become good at disciplining yourself when you are not showing up and putting in the work as well as rewarding yourself when you do put in the work and see progress. No one’s going to do it for you!

The same way one might celebrate landing a new client in their career, or achieving a fitness milestone or personal at the gym, you need to reward yourself as you achieve targets in your trading. Whether it be something as simple as a new pair of headphones, a new journal to write in, or as extravagant as going away on a vacation… that’s up to you! But we highly recommend you make rewarding yourself, it’ll make the journey a whole lot more fun along the way and you’ll also see added benefits in terms of motivation as well.

Why Setting Goals is Essential for Making Informed Trading Decisions

In the same way goal setting applies to the macro (your trading journey as a whole), it also applies to the micro in terms of you and your day-to-day trading decisions. To see success in the markets, you need to have a trading plan and you need to know how to effectively execute that plan consistently. Goal setting in this aspect would be you preplanning which pairs you’ll monitor, which strategy you’ll execute, and when you’ll look to get in and get out of a particular position.

Some traders find that as they develop and hone their edge, they make it a goal of theirs to trade LESS as they find they may be taking too many positions as they attempt to make up for a loss or series of losses. You’ll want to be self-aware as you gain experience and learn to set goals to correct behavior so you can continue to improve and generate better and better results over time.

Achieving Long-Term Success in Forex Trading: The Power of Setting Goals

It’s commonly said that we often overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and we massively underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade. We’ve witnessed this ourselves and we’ve also witnessed this time and time again across the 1000s of students we’ve helped over the past few years here at Phantom. Patience and long-term vision are required to achieve notable success in any field, trading included. You’ll want to give yourself grace and time to actually get good as a trader. More than anything else we’ve seen rushing the process and poor expectations about how the journey is supposed to go, ruin the majority of traders. People kill their opportunity for success in the markets well before getting consistent trading results.

We want to leave you with this final thought: 

What if you were to consistently hone your trading skill set under the guidance of a proven process, strategy, and supportive community that’s shown to produce successful traders week in and week out within a year… let alone a decade. Would it not be absolutely unreasonable for you NOT to be in the top 1% of traders 10 years from now if you stayed the course and did not deviate? Think about the income you could earn. The account size you’d be trading. The network you’d have around you. The trench knowledge you’d have. The bulletproof mindset that you would occupy. You’d have that and more from then on until the end of your life. Most people never attain such levels of skill because they try to rush the process of becoming great. All of the above is yours if you commit and stick with it and see it through.

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Robert Castillo
FX Trader & Analyst
Writer & Editor

Rob is a funded trader from Toronto, Canada, and has been trading currencies, commodities, stocks, and cryptocurrencies for over 7 years. Outside of trading he enjoys making music, boxing, and riding his motorcycle.