Bad habits can be a tricky thing. Everyone has them, but few have the self awareness to identify them. Fewer still have what it takes to banish them…and once you banish them, you can really move forward faster as that’s what I want — more Millionaire Trading Challenge students moving forward with their account value and their own knowledge base too.
To be my next self-sufficient trading challenge student and to truly be successful, you really have to be meticulous with everything in your life, from your habits to your friends, to the websites you use…for example, in trading choosing the right broker matters A LOT as I explain in this new video lesson:
And when you begin analyzing yourself, I challenge my students in the Tim Sykes Millionaire Challenge to break free from their bad habits, because there is so much to gain by replacing them with good ones, just like going with the best brokers I outline here.
1. Identify the bad habits. As you might have guessed, the first step to eradicating bad habits is identifying them so you can weed them out. This can be easier said than done, as many of us tend to be in a state of denial about our bad habits, but as the saying goes, “once you see the mess, you can clean up the mess”.
So, go ahead and take an inventory of the habits you currently have…and I’m talking about ALL of them, good, bad, and in-between.
Can you easily see the ones that are holding you back? Take the time to dive deep and be honest with yourself about the bad habits that are holding you back, be it checking social media too much or being lazy and waking up late all the time.
2. Figure out the underlying cause. Once you’ve identified your bad habits, it’s important to dig a little deeper to figure out the underlying cause. Say, for instance, that you procrastinate. That’s undeniably a bad habit, but simply recognizing that isn’t going to stop it. It’s recognizing what causes you to procrastinate that will help you make progress.
With procrastination, for example, a common cause is fear of rejection or failure. You’re scared that when you complete something, it will be found lacking or not good enough. Therefore, you put off finishing it because that puts off the rejection or negative feedback that scares you. By learning how to develop coping mechanisms for rejection or dealing with failure, you’ll be able to banish that bad habit.
3. Know the triggers. In addition to figuring out the underlying cause, it’s helpful to know what triggers your bad behavior. For example, are you more likely to fall back into old habits when you haven’t had enough sleep, or haven’t eaten adequately? Or do you tend to make bad choices after you’ve had an argument with a loved one?
Knowing what can trigger bad habits can help you avoid them. For example, if you know that you never have successful trades if you haven’t eaten, for crying out loud, make it a point to wake up earlier and eat breakfast. Sometimes, little things like this can make an enormous difference.
4. Choose a habit to put in its place. When you banish a bad habit, you’ll be surprised how much space is left in its absence. To discourage another equally bad habit from forming in its place, make a conscious decision to replace it with a good habit.
For example, say you have a bad habit of wasting time on Facebook or scrolling through Instagram. You’ve identified that it’s a bad habit. You’re aware that you indulge when you’re bored and you’ve taken the proactive step of setting a timer and devoting a smaller amount of time as your social media binge time. This is great, but what are you going to do with the time you were wasting?
Establishing a new habit, like reading the financial pages, browsing the world news, or poring over my millionaire student success stories, can help you fill in that void in a constructive way so that you’re not just losing a bad habit but building a good one.
5. Get a mentor. I talk about the benefits of having a mentor a lot with the members of the Tim Sykes Million Challenge Team. This is with good reason: a mentor can offer so many positive rewards to not only your trading, but your life as well. Your mentor has been around the block a few more times than you, and they’ve experienced what you’re going through as a trader. Learning from their experiences can help you avoid many mistakes.
A mentor can also offer personal advice when it comes to bad habits. Many bad habits, like procrastination, lack of focus, not setting goals, etc, are common in the trading world. If you run your bad habits by a mentor, chances are they can give you advice from their own experience, including anecdotal advice about how they overcame their bad habits.
6. See the benefits of your good habits. If there is one thing that can really seal the deal of ditching bad habits, it’s seeing the positive effects of good habits.
Here’s an easy one: the matter of when you wake up. Say one of your bad habits is waking up late. If you’re waking up minutes before (or even after) the market bell rings, you’re behind the game. Chances are, the entire day is a game of catch-up, and you’re not making your best and most well thought out decisions.
If you begin waking up early, you’ll begin to see a world of benefits. Obviously, you’ll have more time in the morning. Obviously, you’ll have more time to prepare for trading. But you’ll also enjoy personal benefits, too. You’ll be able to take time to eat breakfast, spend time with family or friends, check your email, etc. This added time has the cumulative effect of making you happier, more relaxed, and more prepared. Undoubtedly you’ll see an improvement in your trading as a result.
Your bad habits could be preventing you from attaining the success you deserve. By following these tips and taking the time and effort required to eradicate your bad habits and replace them with good ones, you will see a world of benefits. Not only can your trading improve, but possibly your entire outlook on life. See for yourself the doors that open when you banish bad habits.
Leave a comment below and tell me the bad habits do you want to remove from your life…and be honest with yourself, and with me, as honesty is key to your success in the long run!