Sorry for the delay.2017 is gone and we are now into 2018. What is past is history, it is best to look forward by laying a foundation to build for the future.
I suggested you look into your December trades because I expected that you will have limited recall going even further back without the benefit of any trading plans. It is important that you are able to draw on some raw data to work on your discipline. At least group them into majors, non majors and others (non forex) and with or without trade rationale. If you can't remember then assume there is no rationale. It is important that you have situational awareness of your problem and that can only come from statistical evidence - not some abstract idea of where your problem might be. For example, if you have a predominant problem of not having a trade rationale before placing trades then it would suggest you are gambling, not trading. In turn it means your first rule is no trade if there is no trade rationale. Trade rationale doesn't exist in a vacuum and such consideration forces you to consider a trade plan. Discipline comes by way of a trade process, following a trade process enforces discipline; repeating the process builds a habit; and habits change behaviour. Behavioural modification do not happen because of a willing mindset. It has to be programmed. It is said, it takes 66 days of repeated process to develop that process into a habit. You have a major in psychology - presumably you should know more than me in this field.
I have taken a step back these past 2 weeks to sort out other aspects of my life, so haven't looked back at the December trades yet. I have been listening to an audiobook from Ray Dalio though, which is quite interesting as it provokes a lot of thought and reflection.
I will get back into trading tomorrow after I sort out some job applications but I have been slacking when it comes to keeping up with what's going on in the markets, so it might take me a week or 2 to get back into a rhythm. I have rejigged my sleeping patterns so that I am up earlier and in bed earlier. After speaking with someone about my lack of routine and organisation I have decided that it belongs toward top of my list priorities. Changing sleeping patterns is the first step and I think I should also restrict the times I trade in the hopes that I spend that time smarter. I have dropped a little weight also and as a result I feel better, both physically and mentally. So when I move to the UK next month I am going to join a gym and look after myself better.
Taking the 2 weeks away from trading has relieved the pressure I had put on myself to succeed as a trader inside 1 or 2 years. Now I care less about it and feel more relaxed about the whole process. I agree with what you said about "following a trade process enforces discipline; repeating the process builds a habit; and habits change behaviour. Behavioural modification do not happen because of a willing mindset. It has to be programmed".
I am going to make a simple checklist to run through before executing a trade. I have a rough idea but I'll work on it during the week. I was thinking something along the lines of 3 sections: Technical reasons for taking the trade, fundamental reasons and also sentiment reasons. It's not much but it's a start.