Having clear and specific goals helps keep me focused (sadly, I probably learned this the hard way).
I originally assumed that there was only one goal for all trading plans - to make money. While this may be true at a very high level, I now find setting goals directed towards my approach to trading much more useful.
Examples of goals that focus on my trading approach:
- Learn and try new trading styles and approaches
- Test the boundaries of my risk tolerance
- Consistently be disciplined in all my trades (for example, obeying all my stops and rules)
Having goals that are not purely profit related helps me focus on improving my approach to trading. This seems to align with most of my research and reading about other traders who consistently caution against setting profit targets as goals. The advice generally seems to be that if I follow a sound approach, positive results will follow.
The key thing to remember is goals can change. I plan on reviewing and adjusting my goals periodically to bring focus to the areas of the trading I want to work on.