Step 1: Educate yourself on a bunch of chart pattern crap. More importantly, realize that the range makes a hell of a lot of difference. In other words, your confidence in an interpretation of particular pattern should vary based on it being over the course of months, weeks, or days. Anyone can find patterns, but it takes a genius to be able to assign what percent confidence you should have for a particular situation. Note: I am not a genius, unless being able to point at things and yell "TRIANGLE!" is somehow genius.
Step 1.5: Look at a couple of "real charts" and realize that the examples that were used to teach you chart patterns were pretty much fake and real charts comparatively look like Michael J. Fox was trying to draw a squirrel chasing another squirrel (The "squirrels in love" chart pattern is well known amongst day traders).
Step 2: Educate yourself on day-trading specific chart studies such as: MACD, Slow-stochastic, Bollinger bands, Rudy's 2 Step, HSWT-HJH, TOOTHY, The Enchiridion, Daily Double, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dice index, White/Walker's WNTR, etc. Don't use any method that you don't understand fully, or could at least fake if someone pointed at your monitor and asked what each squiggly line represents. Note: When this happens, I just say some random letters, like, "Oh, that's the DNFK. Duh." Then I pretend that I have diarrhea and run to the bathroom. Works every time.
Step 3: Practice your day-trading pattern knowledge by having someone show you a bunch of charts that you haven't seen before, but with them covered past a certain time. Or, assuming that you're a day trader in part because you have no friends, no life, and your family hates you and wants you to fall off a cliff and just die already, just bring up a chart in your favorite program. Then blindly scroll back several days and try to guess what happened next. When the urge to cry upon realizing that you are so very lonely goes away, write down where you would place your orders. Then let yourself see more of the chart and pretend that you guessed right. Do this over and over again. Or not. It's up to you. I can't force you to do things over the internet.
Step 4: Do some stock simulation games so that you can learn without risking real money. However, try to count what fees and expenses you would have had to pay if you were playing for keeps. Also, fuck it, step 4 is all about treating yourself to some ice cream.
Step 5: Go ahead and use some real money, but consider it already gone. It's an expense for your education. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised, but you really need to perpetually tell yourself "This money is going to dwindle down to nothing." To help convince your brain that the money is gone, pretend that you just spent a lot of cash on something like a tasty but extremely-expensive Reuben sandwich and the the investments came free with it, like toys in a happy meal. Then go eat the Reuben sandwich. There. The money is "gone."
Step 5 Explanation: That way, you don't fall into mental traps such as making bigger risks to try to compensate for previous losses. Another trap is in second-guessing your orders and then trying to depend on your cat-like trading-ninja reflexes to edge out a slightly better deal. Dude, lay the course, make a few corrections, but don't steer the ship yourself. You are the captain, not a god forsaken coxswain. There's a poop deck joke in here somewhere, I just know it. You shouldn't be making ticker-based Fill-or-Kill knee-jerk trades until you are an pale, emotionless, zombie/cyborg who can make split-second decisions that are actually better than carefully-selected orders.
Step 6: "Experiment" with a bunch of stupid techniques that you read about on forums or methods that some one-legged hobo in a bar told you. The hobo also had one eye and one tooth, in case that matters. Also, one nose but that's really not important. Then, get far too much software, run way too many chart studies, and be looking at many charts simultaneously such that you don't really know a particular stock as well as you should or you start to confuse different stocks and forget what your plan was. This isn't diversifying, this is just scattershot. It's your butt in the air during a pig's sunday breakfast. It's like a swine eating it's own bacon while napping in the slop trough. It's like a chicken on a sweaty hog's back in a October peach orchard.
Step 7: After you've gained a bit of confidence and made a little money in step 5. You'll go full throttle with step 6's experimentation, overextend your brain and the little skill that you do have, start playing with more money that you should be investing, get cocky about your "skills", and then lose a ton of money all in a couple of really crappy moves. Also, your dog died and your parents are getting divorced.
Step 8: In a final fit of pure gambling, you try to regain lost money by opening the Investor's Business Daily to a random page, closing your eyes, pointing at a random word, and then repeating until you get a set of the biggest all-or-nothing long shots to throw your money at. You might do what many day traders have done in order to get more money to throw into the pit: Play poker. The bitcoin equivalent is to mine and then pretend that you're making good money trading even though you've only made any money due to the steady flow of more bitcoins into your wallet.
Step 9: Go back to step 1. Repeat this ordeal until you can make a plot of your balances and see that you've been consistent--Not making a ton of money, just look for consistent results over the course of several weeks. You should be able to draw trendlines. Also, what the hey, draw a unicorn. You deserve it.
Step 10: Finally figure out that successful day trading requires you to have the nerves of steel, the emotions of a box of Twinkies, and the ability to be able to sit in the same chair until your butt is numb and your doctor lectures you on deep venous thrombosis.
Step 11: If you can't turn yourself into soulless robotic logician, start smoking tons of cigarettes or pick up another stress-induced bad habit such as one that Silk Road would be more than happy to help you out with (For example: unpasteurized milk! Young, unpasteurized cheese! Hooch!).
Step 12: Get sick of your scant 2 monitors and take some of your miniscule earnings and buy another computer with 2 more monitors and Synergy installed. Then switch to DSL because cable has too much downtime and you don't watch TV any more unless it's Bloomberg. Also, get sick of your tiny desk and crappy chair and go buy a behemoth U-shaped power desk that takes a minimum of three two-man trips to get into the house. Compliment it with what you've always dreamed of doing: Take a massive overstuffed living room chair and add smooth rolling, high quality castor wheels (Yes. I did this. I'm sitting in it right now and it's more comfortable than sitting on a cloud of angel farts after they've eaten nothing but angel food cake and pixie sticks). You might go one step further, however, and add a cupholder and some sort of built-in cooler. Hmm. Maybe a back massager?
Step 13: Get a job that you can do mostly while daytrading. Myself, I work in academia with practically no boss 9 months out of the year yet get paid so little that nobody gives a shit if I'm really doing two jobs at once and that I spend 95% of summers working from home.
That's it. The ultimate goal of daytrading is, contrary to popular opinion, not actually to make a ton of money. It's to be able to do a real job at the same time such that you make slightly more money overall and increase your stress level tenfold. To be successful at day trading, you don't need to be very well educated on practically anything relating to finance. In fact, trying to apply your years of investment-related education will probably get you frustrated and make you cry and swear things at Obama. Or so I hear from my housemate, who actually has such degrees and certifications and probably told me that lie to make me feel better.
Besides, if you were that well educated, you'd probably already know that day trading is either grinding out pennies on the cycle, or just plain gambling, but it's not investing.