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The Trader's Pendulum: The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Traders by Jody Samuels

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Chapter 14The “10 Habits” Checklist

We have come to the concluding chapter of Part IV, The Transformed Trader. In this chapter, I will summarize the “10 Habits” we have examined, and wrap up with additional tips. We will also visit Fred and discuss what he needs to do to transform himself from being in the Technical Trader's Trap to becoming an Entrepreneurial Trader.

21 Days to Form a Habit?

It has been widely surmised that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Have you ever wondered where this magic number comes from? Why 21 days (or three weeks), and not more common numbers like 30 days (one month), 50 days, or something else? Is there a scientific basis for this claim?

Researchers generally agree that by repeating a behavior for an extended period of time, a habit can form. It works for everything from quitting smoking, exercising daily and using a shopping list, to habits relevant to trading, like following the trade plan strictly, writing a trading journal, and tracking trading results. However, this mythical magic number 21 creeps up in most of the articles on forming habits or changing your life around.

Apparently, it did not originate from psychologists' consensus or any research. What might surprise you is, based on an article (Gardner 2012) published on the blog site of University College London's (UCL) Health Behavioral Research Centre, this number came from a misinterpretation of a classic self-help book.

We will discuss this further in a while. Let us now review ...

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