Normalizing and Measuring Behavior - or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Pain

When your doctor tells you that you are fat, it is easy to discount (because you pay them to tell you that).  When your massage therapist tells you that you are getting fat, you've got to listen (because they're trying to be nice to get a better tip).

Well, for the past two months, I've been getting back into fitness.

I used to be a competitive athlete.  So, exercise was about gaining an edge and competing better.  In a sense, that is still true (just on a different field).   Now, I work out to stay healthy, fit, and vital while managing the challenges of running a company, navigating an overbooked calendar, and traveling every week (I flew about 140,000 miles last year – and have flown about  5 million miles on American).

In my last post on mindset and action, I talked about the habit of conditioning yourself to take the next best step.

This is about focusing on the right things so you can best measure progress.



Normalizing your habits and picking the right metrics isn't just a habit for the gym.  It's a habit you should pick up in life. If you don't set the right measuring stick you'll always be unhappy or underperform. 

Plan forward – but measure backward … you have to make sure you're not so focused on the horizon that you don't track what you've accomplished. 

Normalizing the result makes this easier and better.

In running, for example, it is the time it takes me to finish one mile, while never going above 170 heart beats per minute.

Meanwhile, in trading, we do this by comparing different opportunities based on a constant risk level (for example, the expected return for the next day of $1M, assuming a 1% maximum drawdown).  It doesn't matter what market we trade, or how many trades the system makes … we can make a fair comparison and get better insights about performance.

Hope that helps.

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