Ep 142: 10 Morning Habits for Traders & Investors

July 6th, 2017

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Today I want to share with you ten things that you can check or 10 habits that you may want to have in the morning if you're an active investor or active in the stock market.

Take a Look at Two Main Sections

  1. I'm going to share with you five items and things to look at as far as the outer game is concerned
  2. The inner game things

If you don't know what the difference between the outer game and the inner game pay attention.

The outer game: 

It's all about things that are external to you. External to you are more things like technical analysis. They're more about strategies and more of what you're doing to choose a trade.

If you look at it like a game of basketball the outer game would be more about:

  • shooting
  • dribbling
  • passing
  • teamwork

The inner game: 

Things that are internal, like psychology, mentality, and emotions. The inner game is more about if you miss a shot do you get upset. If you hit a couple of three-pointers do you get emotionally riled up and maybe get a little bit cocky.

All those things cater together between the inner game and the outside game. When you have both that's the right thing. If you only have the outer game and you have one piece of the puzzle that's not great.

For example: if you're a great basketball shooter, but you got upset anytime you missed a shot - that's bad. You don't have the inner game.

Probably you didn't make an overall great basketball player. You need both. The same thing is in trading. You need the outer game, and you need to inner game and both to make things work.

I'm going to share with you five from each to give you some insight. Keep in mind this is to provide you with some insights. It's to give you some ideas, and you can restructure your morning routine/ritual however you want. It is totally up to you.

This is to get you going to start thinking about those routines. To be a little more systematic. The reason is when you're a bit more methodical and thinking of things even more rooted that is a real deal. In that case, you know how things are set up.

You know when things are going to work and what is the next step. It's all a system and a process. You're going to get consistent results. And the same thing here. When you're getting into the groove, then you're starting in the right direction.

Now, let me share with you some of these ideas and then you can create your own.

Outer Game - Things You Need To Start Doing

I wrote these out for you so that way you save a little bit of time.

Outer Game Step #1 - Check Futures

Checking the futures is the first thing. It will allow you to see is the market moving in the right direction. Is it moving to the upside or the downside?

This is going to be based on where you are positioned. The main reason is you're looking at things differently. You want to see how my position for the situation that's coming up. If the futures are up 20 points on the S&P futures, but you're positioned mostly short, you're probably going to have trouble.

However, if the futures are pointing to the upside, but you're short. You have to account for these things. Now you're looking at the futures. Then you see if things are moving for me or against me let's double check my plan.

There are two questions:

  1. What was my plan initially?
  2. What is it going to be now?

Outer Game Step #2 - Check Plan

There are two questions:

  1. What was my plan initially?
  2. What is it going to be now?

There are a few other questions as well. What would you do if the futures or things open up at +10, +20, +30 are you going to need to make any adjustments?

Are you going to need to do any fixing or hedging?

What are you going to need to do?

Outer Game Step #3 - Adjustments Variations

That's the moment where we get into step 3. What would be your adjustments? What would you do and what variations of those adjustments can you do when things go against you?

That's the main thing that you want to figure out. Once you figure this out, you'll have a few different variations. That's the way because you'll have some hedgings. Maybe if you're comfortable with options, you may have some option hedging.

Otherwise, you might go into other securities. You could also check your plan. If the features are up or down, did I take a quarter off that I take half off? You'll also see those things if you're only trading stocks.

Where are you relative to your plan and adjustment? Those first few things are going to tell you a lot about how that day is going to move within the market for you. This will give you that setup work.

Outer Game Step #4 - Scanning The Charts

The next thing you may want to do is take a look at scanning the charts. If you're going to look at examining the charts, you want to study more variations.

You want to scan potential gainers and losers in premarket. One option is to start scanning the charts. You're studying the charts to see the potentials. It could be the same 50 stocks that you usually scan, but you only have maybe 3-5 on a sticky note that you actively trade. In any case, that's what you're doing here.

Outer Game Step #5 - Reviewing Notebook and Your Trading Journal

The fifth thing that you may want to double check is to take a look at reviewing my notebook and the trading journal.

Focus on these questions:

  • How am I going to get into these positions?
  • What would be my trading plan?

That could be a bonus. Do you want to create a trading plan along with any of those potentials scans or charts that you're reviewing? That could be the next step in the process.

All of these things are the outer gain part in trading. You're checking the plan, where do you want to make the adjustments, what are the variations to those adjustments? Do you want to scan the charts if you're going to see some other charts or opportunities?

You can also review the charts for your stocks and make sure that the plan is fitting those charts. And then review the notebook or your trading journal, which means when did you get into the trade? Or if you have any new trades that are potentials or possibilities then write those down where you'd like to get into them.

Inner Game - Work On Yourself

The next piece of this is the inner game. Usually, I would say the inner game should come before the outer game. However, many people focus on the outer game first. But it's all about getting you personally ready to be able to do this the outer game next. Focus on the inner game first.

What does the inner game involve?

When it comes to the inner game here are some of the things that I look at and focus on. You could rearrange them based on your needs.

Inner Game Step #1 - Physical related

We're looking at water, food, and teeth. This is all physical related. That's what we're covering in part one. Then the workout, a quick 10-minute workout is also physical. Then we get into a mental block. Then we get into something emotional and spiritual.

We cover a handful of different things like:

  • physical (from what the body needs)
  • mental (what the brain needs)
  • emotional (what we need spiritually)

All these things hit a certain point. In the outer game when you're looking at things you're looking at the future in the market. Then you want to check your plan. After that you do certain adjustments and reviewing charts and so forth.

The same thing is here with the inner game. You're trying to hit a couple of different levels and points. When you first get up, you may want to drink some water. After all, you've slept for between 6-10 hours. You may want to you know hydrate yourself, and get some food.

You'll probably want to brush your teeth. It could be taking a shower. All these things are physical.

Inner Game Step #2 - Quick Workout

Next thing you may want to do is like a quick 10-minute workout. If you're going to do it longer, it's excellent (20-30 minutes). You could also incorporate some stretching, yoga or fitness cardio. It's super important to do what your body needs and what you need on a physical level.

Inner Game Step #3 - Mental Aspect

Now, it's time for the mental part. You'll want to do hit something mental. Your brain needs to do the same thing as your body. Your brain is constantly working, and in the stock market, we use our mind quite a bit. Being able to handle all these different things is a superpower.

Your brain is also operating at a very high performance. I always recommend you read something knowledgeable. Focus on that mind and the brain part.

It doesn't have to be a stock market book. It doesn't have to be stock related and option related. It could be something entrepreneurial. Maybe something to learn how to get more insight into the topic you love. Your brain is working on these things.

For example:

  • How to do something better physical
  • How much water you need
  • How to exercise your spine better
  • Something about nutrition

Choose something where your brain has to think a little bit. It could be reading, but it could be a game. You could play chess. Whatever you want. Get your brain to start moving and activating it.

Some traders like to play a game of chess before they start trading. It's up to you. Whatever you want to do, but get your brain working.

Inner Game Step #4 - Emotional Side

The next thing you want to do is do something emotional. I gave an example here is playing with kids. Many people have kids, and they want to do something emotional. Playing with your kids is a great way. It creates a win-win relationship between you and your children.

Playing with your kids gives you that emotional connection. You want to hit those emotional trigger points as well. That way those emotions are calm when you're trading. Otherwise, if you're feeling a little sad, lonely, and upset you want to take care of that.

If you fought last night with a significant other, it might be wise to give a phone call and leave a message. Because when you leave a message at least it's out of your hands and now it's not in your control. But if you don't leave a message and you had a fight you're probably going to be worried about that during the trading day.

You might be thinking about it. Thinking about what you could say, what you should say, what you shouldn't isn't a great option. You're always in a different situation with your emotions.

If things are right, you could read jokes, and you feel wonderful as well. But find something for you. It doesn't matter if it's playing with your kids for 5-10 minutes, watching a few old home videos or calling up a friend.

Those are all helpful things, and you can switch these things around. But to get things going as an inner game if it's a morning routine having something in there as an emotional balance is excellent. What you don't want to do is have any one of these areas be fit or overworked.

Inner Game Step #5 - Spiritual Angle

The last thing you want to do is do something spiritual. Work on your spirit. You could do this through meditation. It could be through Church.

I could be just laying on the floor and just relaxing and just clearing things out. A balance of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical will ground you out as far as the inner game goes.

Do Not Push Things - Be Aware of This

Now here's what I mean as far as not being able to compensate for one over the other and not doing one thing too much.

You've probably heard the phrases:

Moderation is key. Do things in moderation.

Well, this is the same thing. But with our human body, our emotions, and an inner game we recharge a little differently. We need to do things that are opposite of these things to revive.

Fitness and working out an example:

If I was a personal trainer for 10 hours a day for me to recharge my body, spirit, and my mind I can't work out for another three hours.

I will need something more spiritual, emotional or mental. That's why a lot of times when you're done working out you don't want to work out more. You want to do something different. It could be something mental.

For some people, mental means watch a movie, video or listen to music. It could be something spiritual to recharge the physical aspect. It needs to be opposite of physical or something different beyond physical.

If you did a lot of reading, writing to recharge you need to do something different. For example, if you're doing a lot of business creativity, you probably want to get away from work. What you need to do is do something emotional. Watch a touching movie, meditate or relax.

However, It could be physical. That's why a lot of entrepreneurs go work out. They do something opposite beyond the mental. They do something tangible. This helps balance that out.

Generally speaking, you need to do something opposite of these things that you are doing if you're doing a lot of meditation throughout the day, you need something else to counterbalance that.

This is what you want to create in your morning routine or morning checklist. These are the five things for the inner game. Start with this, and you'll love it.

When to Get Back To Outer Game

Now you have all these components working together to create that inner game. Then when you're done with this then what you want to do is go more to the outer game.

This outer game right here this is all stock market-based. Once you're done with the inner game, you get into the stock market game.

For some people in between, they may have a job that they need to go to. It could be something else. In either case here you might have some things in between.

But then you get into the outer game:

  • check your futures
  • check your plan
  • take a look at the adjustments (add, reduce position)
  • potential setups
  • review notebook

Check your futures if that's what you want to start with. You can check your plan. Make sure your plan is on track and target. Take a look at the adjustments. If the ideas are on track and you know what the plan is then it's time for looking at the adjustments. Maybe you need to add to the position to reduce the position whatever it is. Look at those adjustments. Look at the variations.

You have to check if your position is safe. Then what you might want to do is let's look at if everything seems good with the positions. Let's look at potential setups. That could be scanning the charts. It could be scanning possible setups that you may want to get into.

Then finally reviewing that notebook and trading journal to making sure everything else is going well. And just reevaluating your self, your style, and your strategy.

These are five outer game things that you may want to focus on. Now for other people, it could be completely different. It could be instead of checking your adjustments or scanning the charts it could be scanning the news. It could be scanning bulletin boards if you're a penny stock trader or a day trader.

You can see which stocks are active or which shares are moving. Which stocks have bad news, and you may want to look to short them. You could substitute these things. It's here to give you an idea. Start with the inner game. Once you have the inner game, then move to the outer game. You can tweak both of these.

Eventually what you want to do is break this down saying:

  • 7:00 you wake up you get your water
  • 7:10 you do this
  • 7:15 you do that

Then you might want even to break down your workout. Something like this is what you do for your exercise on Mondays. This is your workout on Tuesdays. This is your workout on Wednesdays.

Same thing for reading or mental things. Maybe on Monday, you do reading. Tuesday you do chess. On Wednesday you play something else or play a different game that works your mind or brain.

You could get very specific at this plan. You can get even more specific and in more detail of all these different things. This part the drawing it all out systematically making a plan will help you stay on track.

Go step by step and mark everyone. If you're struggling to have that routine or a ritual, then do it that way. Once you have it down, you're going to know it. You're not going to need to write it down anymore.

I don't write it down. I have my routine in place or my ritual, and I do the same thing. That's sometimes depending on the day I'll get rid of some of these. The reason is that I don't need it.

Sometimes the futures are not necessary because I know my positions are safe. I'll still maybe double-check a few things, but I'll skip this too.

Same thing with scanning charts. It could be after the market closed rather than during the market or even before the market. It depends where you're at with your trading personally.


Hopefully, this gives you some insight into getting started. You want to incorporate some things in that inner game and that outer game. The main reason is when you have that inner and that outer game that's where that success lies.

It's right there in the middle between the inner game and outer game. You need it to work both together. Take a moment to create your morning routine proactively. Or if you want to think about a more profound morning ritual rather than just reacting to things as they come.

Be proactive, create what it is that you want to work. Decide what is it that you want to get out of it.

Author: Sasha Evdakov

Sasha is the creator of the Tradersfly and Rise2Learn. He focuses on high-level education speaking at events, writing books, and publishing video courses on business development, internet marketing, finance, and personal growth.

I'm Sasha, an educational entrepreneur and a stock trader. In addition to running my own online businesses, I also enjoy trading stocks and helping the individual investor understand the stock market. Let me share with you some techniques & concepts that I used over the last 10+ years to give you that edge in the market. Learn More

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