It's been a while, I was kept away from the markets for a while, then after that deliberately hid away.
Trading can be a taxing endeavor (in both senses of the word), the market is a real moody beast, and any guy that is married will know, pay attention to those that are moody!
It was because of this I had to step back, stop writing here, halt the alerts for a while, stop updating beginnertrader.com unless someone else contributed and just take stock, I wasn't paying attention.
One of my weaknesses is over-exuberance, not really outwardly if you meet me in person, quite a calm fellow really, but inside my head many an idea will spawn.
Sometimes it take a smack over this same head to realise when I am doing too much, in this case, a couple of weeks of poor trading (not losing weeks .. just but poor trading weeks) did the trick.
My entries were early, my exits were late, my decisions rushed and my big toe hurt to buggery thanks to another over-exuberant teammate on the soccer field.
So I took some time off .. stepped away from the markets, did some reading and got back to the basics.
I didn't even bother trading demo accounts or paper trading, instead I got outside, played some sport, spent some time with the better half and mini me, and just got away from it all.
The result? ... a +450 pip week this week and a much clearer mind. Everything is about balance, good old Newton told us that way back when, so you would think we would have got it by now.
"Screen time" as it is called around the web (i.e. staring at charts for extended periods), is beneficial, don't get me wrong, getting the repeatable patterns into the subconscious can help, but once screen time becomes, mindless staring, it is probably time to shut the trading platform and take an extended break.
For me I knew I had reached that point when my trading behavior became very sloppy, for others it could be when you start visiting the Oprah website, or start thinking Porn sites are educational, and you go there only for the articles.
Whatever the sign is, drag your tired, bloodshot eyes from the screen and get some sunshine, it is a wonder what the outside world contains, and believe me you'll trade better for it.