An important aspect of successful trading is the concept of creating boundaries and rules to help present the market to yourself. There is no exact correct way to do this but I will share my general view of this using a current EY chart to demonstrate.
First off , define a trend, theres many ways to do this, just pick one. In the attached chart, starting at the left the first horizontal line defines a trend moving to the upside . simple as breaking the swing high. what follows is 3 tradable moves up. each move up was significantly longer than the moves down. First sign of a trend change the other way is when the leg down is longer than the previous ones, and as long as the last up leg. I like to wait for a break of the new swing low ( the second horizontal line ) and my brain switches to down. My bias is down as the market consolidates before giving a couple of short trades. The pair then makes a bit of a stonger move up giving me my first indication the trend may change again, it retraces , fails to make a new low and breaks the swing high to motivate me to look for long trades again. I take the signal I like and that brings me to where I am today ( up 272 ).
Be real with your expectations. In the first 3 tradable moves the up legs were around 400 pips each, the down legs 200 or less . ( that's why I trade with the trend). of those three 400 pip moves ( and I traded all three) I squeezed out about 300 ( total ) with no losses. that's it , 300 out of 1200 or more. don't focus on what you didn't get, focus on what you did get. On the next move down on 2 signals I had one loss ( about 70 ) and 1 break even. down 70 on the move. the current run up has me up 272 with the stop around 185, so a guaranteed winner. And it goes on and on more or less like that. Note this pair only offered me about 6 trades since November. that's it, but im a net positive and that's what counts.
For the pattern guys out there theres 2 head and shoulders ( one is inverted ), for the wave counters theres nice 5 wave moves ( with a couple of complex corrrections). you can do what ever you want , it will all work if applied consistently.
For those interested the actual trades are followed on a 1 hour chart, but it doesn't really matter, that's just what I like.
The rubber boots take home message of the day is create firm boundaries and stick to them. Anything that lacks objectivity is likely to fail.
Hopefully the picture says a thousand words