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My Pre Trading List – Success In Day Trading


The pre trading list, a key to success in day trading. There’s so many good recommendations you learn when reading books, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts and more. Unfortunately what I found was what sounded good at the time went completely out the window when it came time to trade.

What I did for myself was a make a list that I force myself (it comes more naturally now) to read every day before I trade.

Think of it as a pre-flight checklist like a pilot would use (PS: I actually have a pilots license, but that’s an aside). Although this is more of a pre-trading reminders list.

You’d be surprised but several times I have gone to enter a trade and something from my list will pop up in my head. Is this a premium hand? Is this a sniper move? Am I considering the big picture? Have I locked in profit for the day?

Hopefully you can take away something from this and work it into your own trading routines!

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Short Routine For Pre Trading

This is the ultra-short version of my list in case I’m too lazy to spend 1 minute (literally takes about a minute to read the full list).

  1. Visualize a winning day and winning month
  2. Sniper trades only
  3. When in doubt, wait.


If I’m starting to get a little on tilt, I’ll take a step back and repeat these to myself. As well I might repeat these to myself before starting to trade.

  • Discipline, Focus, Patience, (DFP)
  • One Good Trade (OGT)
  • Trade Less, Win More
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One issue I’ve had is distractions while trading. Rather than try and trade through them, I’ll read the list below. If I’m not in an optimal situation to trade, just wait and trade another time.

  • Am I focused and calm
  • Flow State
  • Free of distractions
  • Have a clear goal for the day
  • Ready to stop if not going well

The Full List of Pre Trading

This is the original full list. The items below all came from reading books, listening to podcasts, and other general trading psychology materials. Some might seem corny, but I encourage people to put their ego aside and do what works best for them. Plus it’s not like you have to share your list with anyone (unlike myself who has decided to make a public post out of it).

As well several of the items are different ways of saying the same thing, primarily about selecting only premium trades. Repeating it various ways helps for me in really driving it home.

  • Do not self sabotage – in it for the long run
  • Quantify $ goal in terms of ticks at current # of contracts – usually is a small amount needed
  • Never let 1 trade ruin me
  • Remember the goals above, micro manage them
  • Law of large numbers – I know my stats, let them play out
  • Before click enter a trade ask “Is this a premium set up?” If no, don’t click.
  • Pick better entries – more positive moves – trade sniper
  • Be 1 step ahead of the move 
  • You are right, or right out
  • 4 tick stops, that’s it. If keep hitting it, then pick better entries
  • Believe in yourself – You are a successful trader
  • Become a master of the trade, a Jedi of trading
  • Exercising patience and wait for the AA hand
  • Don’t lose all your money, stay in the game
  • Always start with 1 super strong trade – start off with a win
  • Less Trades – More Wins
  • Hit singles not home runs. Small Step goals to build winning record
  • Determine your stop loss for the day & STICK TO IT!!!
  • Protect Profits – Live to trade the next session. 
  • When in doubt, WAIT! Lots of opportunities
  • Never let a winning trade become a loser
  • Picture a winning day. Picture what beating the combines means long term.
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Do what you will with this. I can only speak for myself, but this definitely has helped me. It felt a little uncomfortable reading this every day at first, almost forced. Ultimately though you get used to it, and it has helped. It’s a nice reminder before trading of the important things to keep in mind.

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