Regarding stop losses, I personally seldom use them. I prefer manually controlling my position and being aware of my net position in my head. Stop losses are very good when predicting long term trends. One attitude I take is to get out if I have any doubt greater than a strength of 2-3/10 that the price will move against me. Sometimes very slightly higher if I'm doing long term trends because you need to ignore the subtle swings in prices. These 'mini' swings in prices can be quite predictable - they occur because everyone is always constantly unsure at which point the price will stop and/or head in the other direction.
Never let trades go in-play, it's gambling if you do it on purpose because you felt bad about getting out at your current loss. If you don't know anything about in-play betting, then it's simple; stay away from it. If you are one these people who are addicted or just have a habit of letting it go in-play, try setting accountability on this. So whenever you purposefully let a race go in-play half way through a trade, make yourself do something you don't want to do, like cleaning the toilet - if you don't follow through on it, you're only letting yourself down and you will most likely never succeed at trading if you can't introduce good habits.
Never sit and hesitate too much on a trade, the more you hesitate, the more confidence you're draining from yourself - just get out of position and start again. This piece of advice is invaluable! The more you restart your trades, the more chance you give yourself from learning from mistakes. Also stop yourself from being in the 'what if' mentality. My flat mate used to do it all the time, saying things like 'If I got out a minute later, I would have got x more ticks and made £y more!' - it's time wasting and you're not paying attention to the market, holding yourself back from valuable market experience! It's also just negative thinking. You want to be as confident as possible.
Always remember: before you succeed, you must fail; take each loss positively with the mindset 'Yes I lost money, it was a bad trade, on reflection I did x and y wrong, next time I will try and do this' If you say this after every bad trade, you will undoubtedly improve. This statement is basically what I think an intuitive person repeats in their head subconsciously every time a mistake is made. I have sidetracked a bit from exit points, but it's still important to know.
I have been fairly consistent this last week, apart from today where I was not focused at all. I started poorly and was £500 down after 7 or so races. I then managed to finish £100 up - I decided to stop because I couldn't get in the zone (it happens). So I went to go shopping, got half way to Westfield and turned around because what I really needed was a deep breather and some music to calm me down from the rush I was in in the morning. Anyway I managed to turn the day into a £1250 profit; very gutting because the liquidity was good today with the Newmarket meeting and if I was on form and focused, I felt like I would have make a killing. Oh well, there are plenty more races in the future. I've started Argentine Tango lessons, which have been great fun, I'll talk about that another day - but ladies - watch out!
I'm currently on about £207k so far, I'm going to edit the challenge for the final time, making it £350k instead of £250k; I think it's more of a challenge to me which should help me refocus throughout the remainder of this year.