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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

The Habits and Routine of a Successful Price Action Trader

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By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 55 Comments

how to be a disciplined traderTrading success is a result of discipline, and having a daily routine is a key component to becoming a disciplined Forex trader. It is so easy to fall off track and start making emotional mistakes as a trader, and you really need to consciously stop this from happening by having a daily routine that you go through every day. A daily trading routine will add a degree of order and stability to your trading, which is very important to your mindset and thus to your long-term profitability. If you do not currently have a set daily routine for your trading activities than you need to start developing one, trading absolutely cannot be a haphazard endeavor. The more objective you can make every aspect of your interaction with the market, the less likely you will be to commit emotional trading mistakes.

Limit screen time to a certain period of time and time of day

The first task in developing a daily trading routine is to know what times during the day you will be analyzing the market. You will obviously need to work around other responsibilities such as your current job and your family duties. If you find that the only time you have for checking the market is an hour before you go to bed, than you must work with that time period. The best times to analyze the market are around 4-5pm EST (New York time), which is the New York closing, and then around 1-2am EST, which is just prior to the European opening. Now if you can’t stay up until 1 or 2am EST, that’s OK, just make sure you analyze the market at the same time each day.

Once you have decided on the time period you have available for market analysis you then will need to decide on how much time you want to devote to scanning for price action trade setups and(or) for monitoring any previous open positions you may have. Limiting your screen time to a specific time allotment is very important to your mindset and hence trading success. Trading off the daily charts is the best time frame to trade because it filters out the “noise” of the lower time frames while also providing you with some high-quality trade setups to trade each week. Once you become skilled in price action analysis you can scan each currency pair that you trade during your given time period each day. If there is no setup than you move on to the next pair, if you find no setups in any pairs than you are done for the day! Any further analysis beyond this point will only hurt your chances at Forex trading success. You will start to over-analyze the market and dig up reasons to enter a trade and enter low-probability trades; I promise you this will cause you to lose money over time.

Follow a Price Action Trading Plan

trading planIf you are a price action trader you know what setups you are looking for each day in the market. Since this is the case you should have a written out and clearly defined trading plan of what you are looking for each day during your given time period and allotted time. If you do not have a clearly defined and tangible trading plan than you need to get working on this right away. Keeping your trading plan “in your head” doesn’t cut it either, you need to read it, every day. A clearly defined trading plan should include entry signals, exit strategies, risk management plans, as well as long term goals; these are factors your forex trading plan needs to include at a minimum.

Following an objective trading plan will give you precise setups to look for each day, it will help you focus harder and give you a guide to follow each day while analyzing the market. Market analysis needs to be structured; most traders have no structure to their daily routine which is a result of not having a trading plan. How can you become a structured and disciplined Forex trader if you don’t even have a plan for what you are doing? Would a builder build a house without blueprints? No, of course not, it would fall apart, very fast. Yet, almost every person that attempts to become a forex trader approaches the market with no trading plan or sense of why one is necessary. Operating in a structured manner in the uncontrollable Forex market is simply a necessity to you making money on a regular basis. Luck will only reward you for so long before it punishes you, there is no room for luck in the consistently profitable trader’s vocabulary, simply put; professional traders do not need luck because they have a clearly defined trading plan.

Keep a trading journal

Keeping a daily trading journal is important for a number of reasons, but not for the reasons you might be expecting. Many trading books and other educational sources will mention trading journals briefly and say that you should write down the parameters of each trade you take so that you can analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. While there is some value in recording this information I feel that it misses the point. Forex trading success is almost entirely dependent on how well you manage your emotions. The real value that a daily trading journal can provide to you is feedback on how you are feeling each day about your trading activity as well as feedback on your day to day emotional state.

It is very important to right down how you feel before entering a trade and after wards. Write down if you won or lost on the trade and then write down how you are currently feeling. This will do two things; it will give you a task to do right after closing out a trade which will give you time to calm down from a big win or a loss so as to help keep you from jumping back into the market. Also, it will begin to paint a picture of how emotion is tied to trading success. If you are honest in this trading journal about how you are truly feeling before and after a trade, you will begin to see solid evidence that the degree to which you are emotional in the market is the degree to which you lose money.

The other helpful feature of keeping a daily trading journal is that you can write down (or type) your own daily forex market commentary. This will allow you to keep a running tab on market conditions and will generally just make you more aware of what is happening in the market. It is helpful to stay connected to Forex price movement each day and to have it take on some context in the broader market picture. If you are going to be away from the market for a few weeks don’t just come back and jump right into a trade. Give yourself a week or so to record daily market commentaries so that you can get a feel for the current ebb and flow of price movement, it’s important to stay in tune with the Forex market.

Cleanse your mind and body rather than putting extra time into market analysis

positive trading mindsetAs I briefly stated earlier, too much time spent analyzing the Forex market beyond what you have previously allotted for yourself will usually work against you. A previous article I wrote called “Set and Forget Forex Trading” explains this concept in greater detail. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands and you start looking at charts or analyzing economic data outside of your allotted time slot than it’s time for a hobby. Starting working out regularly, any regular exercise will help you focus better on all of your daily life tasks; it will make you feel better both mentally and physically. Time spent exercising is much better than spending extra time analyzing the market; you can control your body and your mind but not the market. If you still have extra time after exercising, then read a book that expands your horizons on some topic, it doesn’t have to be trading related, it can be anything, reading exercises your brain and keeps your cognitive wheels greased. Remember that your daily routine is paramount to long term success in the market, don’t underestimate it. Forex trading is a business and should be treated as such, any successful business operates under strict routine, you should be no different as a Forex trader. For more information on the habits and routine of successful price action traders, checkout my price action trading course for more.

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 20,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. Fanani September 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Thank a lot Nial.

    Reply
  2. Dmitriy September 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks a lot, Nial!
    That was a truly beautiful lesson!

    Reply
  3. Sunday September 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    what to know more about risk management
    if I want to risk 1$ on a pair what will be my lot size and pip value to set as a Stop loss

    Reply
  4. Zinnur June 2, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Important lesson. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Благодарность October 30, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Magnificent article

    Reply
  6. Rahmat February 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Almost every articles content and language from Nial are really giving positive effects including this one.
    So thank you Nial.

    Reply
  7. Olawa February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Nial is my preferred Forex mentor anyday

    Reply
  8. DERRICK February 16, 2018 at 12:54 am

    all i can say is thank you so much

    Reply
  9. Tha Mathabzo Zulu February 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Thank Nial

    Reply
  10. Duncan February 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Nial;

    This was a great post which actually helped me rephrase my thoughts after my losses.

    I am still not very profitable at this stage but every time I lose, I look back to see what I could have done better and learn to minimize my losses maybe exit at a small profit rather than a loss!!

    However; after having read this, I also now appreciate the fact that losses are a part of it as well and I feel less discouraged before taking the next trade than before. Things sometimes are easier said than done – true – but after reading these guidelines, I learn a lot and appreciate it heaps. I am learning a lot and the best part of it is that I am enjoying it.

    Thanks for spending the time to post such valuable guidance!

    Duncan

    Reply
  11. Peter Miller February 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Another good lesson. As they say ” life is what you make it “and that goes for trading also, think before you act and know that never one day (or life is ) is the same as the last one, so treat as Nial says each trade as a new beginning. Thanks .

    Reply
  12. rudra February 15, 2018 at 6:24 am

    good one sir

    Reply
  13. Khesiwe February 15, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Excellent article pactice makes perfect I’m going to practice every advice in this article thanks Nial

    Reply
  14. Winston Roy Longbottom February 15, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Nial, I for one admit that I was influenced by previous success and could not see the next trade through that; I was brought back to reality with some quick losses, however I puuled my thoughts together and looked at my next trade with confidence and considered every possible angle before taking it and I am now back on track. This article has since reassured me of that fact and I must disregard any previous trade before attempting the next. Your articles help keep sanity in the trading game and also leads to further success. Many Thanks. Winston

    Reply
  15. farzad February 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Every word in this article is like gold…

    Thanks AGAIN Nial.

    Reply
  16. Olamide February 14, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Nial. That’s reminds me of a trade some years ago before I quit trading. I bought EUR/USD on $0.05 lots with $20 risk and i made a profit of $183 on that trade so that winning recency bias got into my head and I felt overconfident, then i went ahead to trade $0.10 lots on my next two trades and I lost both. That’s how I gave back the profit I made from that EUR/USD to the market. Fear start to catch me then I reduce my lots to $0.01 which definitely reduced my profit that I would have make on some trade. Though I just came back to the market since two or three years ago that I quit but am still using demo account to test my trading strategies before trying to come back live. Thanks once more.

    Reply
  17. Wandera Moses February 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Nial thx for this one also. i have improved alot in trading just by reading your articles. thx alot

    Reply
  18. ampurirag February 13, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Excellent and timely. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  19. Seiso February 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Typical of Nial’s mail’s. I am not in anyway surprised to find this post hitting the nail on the head as it does and so timely as well. I always find Nial’s post as informing, factual and educating like this one. Thanks to Nial, from now I am no longer going to be enslaved to my last trade’s results.

    Reply
  20. Colin February 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the trading insight. Particularly about training our brains to behave properly.

    Reply
  21. Hettie van der Vyver February 13, 2018 at 5:12 am

    this makes sense!!

    Reply
  22. Thoko February 13, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Well I am a true novice,I have not started trading yet. If I understand well briefly you say if one is a trader one must bury the past.That is my motto
    So I feel l Iam going to do well.

    Reply
  23. Wasantha February 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

    This article explains what happened when I first started trading forex. After reading many of Nial,s writings on the subject of trading I feel that I am expanded in my knowledge and confident about my trading decisions.I really appreciate Nial,s works,

    Reply
  24. kris February 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    i noticed today after one loosing trade that it can’t reflect, the other running trades .
    After that i checked my emails and i saw your email as first .I have read it and then it was like you would heard what i sayd before It was simmilar to :

    If you just lost, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a winner.
    If you just won, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a loser.

    thank you for your work .
    traders mindset ..

    have a nice day.

    Reply

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