You stopped your journaling routine. What now?
We frequently receive emails from Edgewonk users who seek advice about their journaling routine after they have been inconsistent with entering trades or have even missed days and sometimes weeks.
Now the question is: do you have to go back and re-enter all the trades since you left off, do you pick up now and do you have to start a new journal completely?
There are a few points I’d like to discuss in this context which will also make the purpose of a journal and a journaling routine clearer.
The diet comparison
Journaling can be somewhat compared to a diet and after weeks of strictly following your diet plan, the day where you eventually binge eat and cheat on your diet has come. What now? Do you beat yourself up, tell yourself that you can’t do anything right and you go back to eating burgers and donuts every day and completely abandon your diet? Of course not! You acknowledge that such a slip isn’t the end of the world, that no one is 100% perfect and that you have to forgive yourself. Then, you go back to your diet and you pick up where you left off. The last thing you want is that one cheat meal (or even a few) will lead to a complete diet break and all your effort was lost. Because in a few months, you will be back to square one and when you are then once again unhappy and unsatisfied with yourself, you remember why you started the diet back then. And all the effort and time lost was for nothing.
The same is true for a temporary break in your journaling routine. It’s OK and we have all been there, but you can’t let a few days (or even weeks) of missed trades stop you from completely abandoning your journal. What is the alternative? You randomly take trades, you don’t review and analyze them and then you do not work on yourself and your trading!? That does not sound like a good plan and not like something a professional trader would do.
Remind yourself why you picked up the journaling routine in the first place. Were you unsatisfied with your trading results and you didn’t see the progress you were after? Did you want to take trading seriously again and become a more organized and structured trader? Great, then stop complaining and get back to work because what is the alternative?
How much of your skipped data do you need to enter now?
Now the second question is, how much of the un-journaled trades do you have to enter?
For many people, journaling isn’t their preferred free time activity and sometimes it does feel like work. Although we try our best to make Edgewonk as fun and as engaging as possible, we are aware that some traders have to convince themselves to journal their trades.
If you are such a trader and you skipped days of journaling, you also probably procrastinate because it now seems like even more work when you think that you have to enter dozens of old trades.
You should never let it get to a point where journaling is an activity you dread and attach negative thoughts with. Journaling is probably one of the most important things a trader can do for his development and there is no replacement for it.
The goal for you should be to gain momentum again. Don’t worry about the past data too much and just pick up now. Make a dummy deposit in Edgewonk to reflect your account balance and then start journaling from now on again.
You can instantly eliminate all the negative thoughts you had about skipping trades and journaling can again become an activity you enjoy and don’t fear anymore.
Don’t overthink it
I hope this article motivates you to pick up your journaling routine if you have been slacking. Understand that it’s normal and that you are not alone, but also recognize that there is no alternative and if you want to become a better trader, you must start doing the things you know are necessary, even if you don’t always feel like doing them.