This is the cardinal rule when you maintain a trading diary. The idea is not to have a very theoretical and sophisticated explanation of how you got your call wrong. It must be a rigorous review of the trading view and of the trading process. The trade is a combination of your view, the process and the psychology behind the trade. Your trading diary must examine all these aspects. There are 4 conditions for the trading diary to be actionable. Firstly, it must classify the key pointers into controllable and non-controllable factors. You need to prioritize the controllable factors. Second, you need to focus on the process because that is where most trading decisions falter. The process for setting stop losses, profit targets, executing trades etc. Thirdly, trading diary must be measurable. The whole purpose is to improve your trading performance over time and that is the bottom-line. Lastly, the trading diary must be accompanied by an ATR (Action Taken Report). If the diary is not acted upon then the entire purpose of the trading diary gets defeated. A trading diary is, perhaps, the most important and most neglected tool in determining your success or failure while trading the markets.