I have learnt to keep a very relaxed state of mind just before I start trading, it allows me to focus on the trading and being able to slot myself into what I call 'in-the-zone trading' quite easily. This is mostly done by just not being too busy or rushed in the mornings. I remember days where I was rushed, went shopping in the morning, or did some gardening for my Dad before I lived in London, and got back just in time before trading, sometimes missing a few races, and I would be rushed to sit down and make some money. It never worked out that way because I just wasn't settled enough; as I've now found out you need to be before trading. If I was wound up by anything, it would be preying on my mind and I wouldn't be able to focus properly. I think I'd be able to cope with things like that much better now after being aware of it, but it's still best to just cut out any sense of feeling rushed before I start trading.
So anyway, when I wake up, in all honesty I find it challenging to get up in a motivated state, because I haven't really got anything to put my efforts on straight away as trading doesn't start until the early afternoon - but whether this helps, who knows. I have started making a list of three things that I want to get done as soon as I wake up, so I get something to wake up and say hey, I must do these things I wrote down last night; I write them on a post-it note and stick it on my glass of water so when I wake up in the morning there's no way I'm missing it (for me anyway!).
Once I've come alive, I'll do some tidying up around the flat to make myself feel organised, then I generally get myself down to the gym and on the bike for half an hour and read at the same time, occasionally going into the steam room. The exercise every other day in the mornings is a great way of actually feeling good and mentally ready for the day.
I make sure I've made my lunch before racing starts - eating a ham, cheese, tomatoe and lettuce sandwich, with a glass of innocent smoothie and an apple; best time of the day! I usually sit down at my computer with about 20 minutes to go before the first race is due off. This gives me time to fire up my laptop with the mobile broadband and set it ready to select a horse race just in case the Internet decides to stop on my land line! I'll switch on the TV and usually listen to a bit of music.
During trading hours, I frequently walk around the flat and get some fresh air on the balcony - it helps quieten my mind, and calms me down if anything didn't go very well in a trade. It's also good for blood flow and sanity!
Ultimately, any kind of a routine is a good routine, as long as you feel comfortable doing what you do. The moment I'm not in my comfort zone in the build-up to trading hours, and I feel a sense of it carried through into trading, I find it harder to settle in my 'trading-zone'.
Moving away from my routine, trading today showed a prime example of when a horse of reported in TV to be acting funnily, and going down to post strangely (sorry, my terminology is awful, I don't know anything about the horses!). I can't remember which race it was, but his price I'm pretty sure drifted from about 2.3 to about 2.7! A massive move, again showing how TV images can be so worthwhile. I caught some nice moves today and came away with an awesome profit:
I must mention that, the profits I make are attainable, but I don't think should be taken as a realistic goal for most people to achieve. I've put up this poll on the right hand side as a, what salary would you be happy with?, because even £100-200 a day is a good effort, higher than the average salary. I'd say that £100-200 is a much more realistic target, so never go beating yourself up! I really believe that leading a life of sufficiency will give you a much happier life, than a life without sufficiency. The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist is a book I thoroughly recommend. I know it's crazy me saying this when I'm making plenty of money, but from reading quite a bit and finding out different perspectives, I'm really start to believe it and change my ways of thinking - I go shopping for material things far too much, without thinking about the bigger clearer picture!
Saying that, don't write it off. When I started off, I remember thinking to myself, ah, this Betfair has been around for a while already and I doubt I'll be able to achieve the results I had seen; I thought the market was 'saturated' if you like. If you stick at it and find yourself constantly improving, you never know. The markets can sometimes be quite competitive, and when your learning how to trade, I can imagine to some it would be like 'What the faaark?', so I guess just let the results I post up inspire you and see where the inspiration can take you, rather than comparing to how well your doing! I have grown up having a life of comparing myself to others, as do most - but comparing yourself to others always opens the door to negative thinking, such as I'm not good enough. Anyway, I could probably go on for ages given the amount of reading into philosophical stuff I've done.
Tomorrow night I'm seeing Armin van Buuren live at Club Air in Birmingham, finishes at 6am! It's going to be a great night. In the meantime, good luck with your trading.