Setting Goals as a Trader

2015 goals

06 Jan Setting Goals as a Trader

With the turn of another calendar year, the opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months offers great insight to what might be possible in the future.  Throughout the business world and beyond, professionals are asked to establish goals that will increase opportunity, stretch previous efforts and, hopefully, improve workflow no matter the profession.  When you create a picture for where you want to be by the end of the year it helps organize all that needs to be done to get there.

Setting HARD Goals

Maybe you’re not setting the right goals – for the right reasons. Maybe you need HARD goals – as in heartfelt, animated, required and difficult. That acronym, from Leadership IQ President Mark Murphy‘s book of the same name, makes a case that the best goals come with emotional attachments. “The heartfelt piece comes first. If that’s not there, it’s hard to make the rest of the goal work,” said Murphy.

So what is the “heartfelt piece” that will help you become a better trader?  There are some obvious goals that might include gains in financial standing or actual number of trades.  Below are a list of some goals shared with me by a few traders:

2015 GOALS

P&L Goals

  • End the month of January gross and net positive
  • Be net positive all 12 months this year
  • Improve my net P&L and per trade average each month
  • Have my first $1,000 day in the month of January
  • Have a $5,000 day this year
  • Gross a minimum of $75K this year
  • Gross $25K for the first 6 months of the year
  • Gross $50K for the last 6 months of the year


Other Goals

  • Gradually increase my risk per trade as my results improve
  • Begin by risking $50-70 per trade, but get to the point where I am risking more in order to make more
  • Keep a trading journal
  • Go through charts each night for 30-45 minutes so that I already know my technical setups before coming into the office
  • Be more aggressive
  • Get better at trading the open
  • Be fully prepared to trade every single day
  • Turn off my phone while focusing on trading


Some of these ideas may represent HARD goals.  For others, these may be too easy.  The challenge is to find goals that will make you uncomfortable without making things impossible.  Be realistic and share your goals with a friend or colleague.  Accountability can be very helpful in achieving goals.  I challenge you to make a minimum of three goals specifically tailored to improve your trading skills in 2015.  Make it your best year ever!

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