My dad was athletic and fit in his younger years.
Eventually though, the toll of raising three children, his sedentary desk job, and a naturally slowing metabolism led to him developing a softer “dad bod.”
Having little time to play sports or work out, as he had in his pre-dad years, he turned to dieting to control the weight.
He’d never admit to being on a diet, per se. “I’m just watching what I eat,” he’d say as nonchalantly as humanly possible.
Though I remember one time finding a notepad titled “Diet Log” stashed in a desk drawer. It was filled with pages of detailed notes, outlining exactly what he’d planned to eat each day, what he’d actually eaten, and adjustments he intended to make.
I think finding that notepad was the first time I realized just how much my dad struggled, internally, to be disciplined.
The son of a good southern woman, he has a taste for food that’s not so kind to the waistline. The mere smell of biscuits and gravy can make him do crazy things.
But my dad can also be quite level-headed, rational, and motivated when he set his mind to it.
That’s what that notepad was all about, I think.
It was his attempt to engage and bolster the “do-what-I-know-is-right” part of his brain.
It was his only chance at fighting the other part of his brain — the one that lit up like a cocaine addict’s when there’s bread in the air.
He couldn’t trust himself to mentally moderate or estimate his food intake.
He had to engage a tool — a written plan — to control his impulses.
“Eh, we’ll just wing it,” is something no pilot ever said. (Sorry, bad pun intended).
Pilots notoriously follow checklists. These are written plans detailing each of the items the pilot must do or check in a particular order.
They have unique checklists for each stage of the flight, from preflight and engine start, all the way through landing and engine shutdown.
They have a collection of written checklists for normal operations, abnormal events, and emergencies.
Everything is covered by these checklists.
This may seem like overkill since pilot’s log thousands of hours training and flying, quickly committing all of the functions on their written checklists to memory — even muscle memory.
And it’s not like the checklists are meant to curb pilots’ urge to “just go wild,” as my dad’s diet checklist was.
It’s just that pilots are human. They have slip-ups and mental lapses like the rest of us.
Their checklist system is a tool — a written plan of sorts — designed to increase adherence to doing the right thing.
Written Financial Plans
I hope you see where I’m going with this…
I’ve spent the past two Novembers going over financial trading plans with my 10X Profits readers.
We discussed the importance of having a written financial plan. And I showed them examples of what a written 10X Profits plan might look like — detailing each of the decision points they’d want to consider as they fine-tune how they use my market-timing model.
This year, we even reviewed the two written plans I’d established one year prior. One of them returned 17% for the year, and the other an impressive 44%.
All told, while there are many ways to use my 10X Profits market-timing model… the key is to establish a plan that works for you, and then stick to it with discipline.
And if you’re interested in learning more about this approach, click here.
Either way, a written financial plan serves two general purposes.
First, it forces you to make decisions — about how you will implement a particular investment strategy — while you have a cool head.
Second, when the market makes you lose your cool… it will remind you what your true, cool-headed intentions were, and still are!
I told you how my dad gets when there’s the smell of bread in the air.
That’s how most investors get when markets are volatile or going against them.
In both scenarios, a written plan is one of the best ways to keep yourself grounded and do the right thing.