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Why set goals?

Why set goals?

Many people, just like me, like to set goals. That's only natural, since it gives us control over our actions and next moves, as well as allowing us to reflect upon past actions. But what happens when that becomes a negative thing? Ever wondered about that?

by Josué Ramos   |   comments 0
Wednesday, January 13 2016

I'm going to give you a practical example from my past. In the beginning of my punter and trader career, I used to set daily and weekly goals. What did that bring upon me? Nothing but pressure.

The problem of setting these goals is that it puts unnecessary pressure upon you, so even people with great emotional control end up having problems.

Time and time again I met these goals, but sometimes I failed to do so. When that happened I tried to recover the loss immediately, since in my mind I was focused on achieving my weekly and monthly goals. But most of the times I just had new losses, so I would try to recover from those as well, which went on and on in a vicious cycle. Therefore, I increased my stakes and took more risks.

Apart from the obvious negative finantial impact, this also affected my health, creating anxiety and stress, which led to other health problems, like gastritis, panic syndrome and other nervous diseases that show up when you focus too much on your problems. There's an old Tibetan proverb that applies to this:

“If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”


Therefore, no matter how big your problems may be, worrying too much about them is of no use. Instead, try to think constructively on how to solve it. But a solution is only acceptable if it doesn't create even more problems. What this means is that you should avoid actions that are likely to create even more problems, in the case of sports betting, more losses.

In this type of investment you don't get your money back. You win and you lose, that's part of the game. It's normal. What's not normal is to try to recover from losses the same way you lost. That has another name: stupidity! I have made too many mistakes in the past, but I have learnt from them, so nowadays I know that these goals do nothing but damage.

You can set goals, but these should be long term ones and should not involve earnings, but strategy.  Let me try to explain what I mean.

What's the point of setting daily or weekly goals on a risk investment? If you stop to think about it makes no sense. Goals should never involve earnings. Instead, focus on your strategies. Let me give you a few examples of such goals: How many bets will I place in a certain period? How much should I bet? How many trades am I going to have, exposing an x amount of my bank?

Daily and monthly goals are even more common in trading. I know all too well how it feels to have a goal like this. It's insane and pointless! A completely different thing is to have exposure goals, for example. Something like in a scalping move trying to get a maximum of 5% profit and then close the trade. Or setting a maximum loss of 1 tick, before closing the trade position. These type of strategies turned into goals are beneficial. But when you set earnings goals you are going down a dangerous path.

For punters, earnings goals are pointless. You do not control the events you bet on. So why set goals? You're not a salesman and you are not selling a product. You're an investor and should be aware of that.

For traders, such goals are also dangerous. I believe strategy goals are beneficial, since these keep you focused and rational. But setting an earnings goals before leaving the market is dangerous for your financial and mental health.

That's why I don't set such goals as a punter. I like trying to predict long term earnings, but only out of pure speculation. As a trader, I only have exposure goals and limits on earnings and losses per trade. I have no daily or weekly earning goals. I only bet on what I planned to bet. When I'm done I do the maths and find out how much I have lost or won. I believe this helps me avoid unnecessary risks, while preserving my mental stability from pointless worries. My strategy planning involves optimizing my time, choosing the best leagues to bet on, defining the amount of my stakes, the value of the odds, etc.


My conclusion regarding goals is that they are not beneficial and have no place in punting or trading. Predicting earnings should only be done in the long term and as speculation. To have a goal for the end of the season is natural, but it shouldn't force you to take risks to meet such goal. It should only motivate you and keep you focused, trying to get a positive return on your investment.

Good bets everyone!