“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
It’s probably the most powerful truth I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial career. For many years, I flew my startup on sight. The great cliché of the founder who thinks he knows better than everyone else, completely lost in his subjectivity.
Thanks to my 4-year training in LEAN Management, I understood the importance of measuring and making things objective, to align everyone on what you want to achieve. I found it so efficient that I decided to apply it in my personal life.
I imagine many of you think like Albert Einstein: “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”. But I am not going to get into that debate today 🙂
DATA 1 > MY DAILY HABITS
Being a very hard person on myself, I often feel like I do “nothing” all day long. But when I take the time to write down all the things I’ve done during the week, it can make any lazy person dizzy.
The idea is simply to track your daily habits, the one you want to do every day like mediation or reading. This allows you to see objectively how productive you are and to see which habit you are having trouble progressing on.
I was rather resistant to using an app for this, because all the ones I tested disappointed me. I did this on excel for several years, until the day my friend Christian showed me the “Way Of Life” app. It’s so simple, it does the job!
What I’m tracking right now:
- 555am Club: I’m trying to get my body used to going to bed early (10pm) and getting up early (5:55am). Why 5:55am and not just 6am? I was inspired by the 5am club but it’s too complicated at the moment, so I went to 555am club (which I find stylish haha!).
- Meditation : Since the beginning of the year, after my Vipassana stay, I used to meditate 30min upon waking up, I find it more interesting to do it during the day, when I need to take a break.
- Reading 15%: why 15%, simply because I try to read 1 book every week, that’s 15% per day. My book-list 2020 is available here
- Morning Page / Bullet Journal : I talk about it in more detail here
- Fasting: I try to limit my calories to one banana in the morning. It’s not “real” fasting yet, but I’m getting there slowly! I explain the reason for this > here
- Calories < 2300 : This corresponds to a caloric deficit of -25% for me. Let me explain why I count my calories > here.
- IGTV : I love creating content! Especially in video. It has been “a bit” my job for the last 10 years. But I lost this habit when I went back to Europe, I don’t know why…
- Not drinking alcohol: that’s a real issue for me. I’ll surely talk about it in a future newsletter!
- Social Media < 30 min : I was successful for several months in Australia, but the habit broke down when I arrived in Paris. I’m working on it !
- No Porn: After I stopped porn during my “Reborn Challenge”, I immediately saw the (positive) impact on my libido and energy in general. I’ve kept this habit ever since! And I’m proud of it!
DATA 2 > MY FINANCES
We often want to “earn more” to “have more” money. I discovered last year that there is a much simpler way to do this: “spend less”. Yes, it sounds obvious, but in reality it’s more complicated. I talk about it in more detail > here
Every Monday, I take the time to review my expenses for the previous week, which I classify into 3 categories: sleep, live and travel. This exercise (in a simple Google Sheet) allows me to see where my money goes. I can guarantee that you will be surprised if you do the same!
I then visualize this in a graph that allows me to better understand it. I add weekly and monthly averages as well as annual spending estimates. It allows you to put things into perspective from time to time!
My 2020 example below. You can see in S7 and S8 my stay at Vipassana (all taken care of), the beginning of the lockdown in S13 and S30 at the parent’s house!
DATA 3 > MY BODY (sport)
Regarding sport, I measure my performance mainly to be able to improve it, with the help of my coach. I have specific trainings to follow every week according to my challenges.
At the moment, it’s the Ironman (while keeping my muscles) + the ascent of Mont Blanc (August 19th). Note that all the following graphs are those generated by Garmin Connect, and did not take into account my 5x1h of “Freeletics” bodytraining per week. But with my new watch, I can finally track them in the same place!
Number of minutes / sport
Number of kilometres / sport
Total number of intensive minutes (average 100min / day)
DATA 4 > MY BODY (nutrition)
If you’ve been following me for a few months, you know I’ve taken a passion for nutrition. I find it completely crazy that we are all so ignorant on the subject when it is surely one of the most important things in our lives: we eat every day, several times a day. Our food can be a source of positive energy as well as the source of deadly diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, strokes, cancers…).
I’ve been counting my calories for 4 months (I talk about it in more detail here) and I’m still amazed at what I’m learning from this exercise! Every day I learn a little more about the caloric intake my body needs, how it reacts to the different things I give it and especially how to give it as much energy as possible.
For this, I use the MyFitnessPal app (which I recommend) and a food scale. You need both to do the calorie counting exercise. This gives you information in the form of graphs (below) as well as a list of the foods you eat classified by what you want (from most to least caloric for example).
I also look at the number of calories I burn each day with my Garmin Instant Solar. To be more precise, I have a heart rate sensor during all my workouts. I turn about 90,000 calories burned per month, or 3,000 / days. Which is quite honest for an athlete!
If I then compare the two, it allows me to have an estimate of my weekly caloric deficit more “close to reality”. For example, last week, I am on a 23,500 calorie burn for 18,500 calories consumed, a weekly deficit of -21%. Which is reasonable! (my objective is -25%)
I can already see some people’s faces when I read this article. I understand that some people will take me for a totally “control freak” robot. That’s not what I’m trying to make you feel, but I understand that.
All this gives me a framework for improving important areas of my life. Like everyone else, there are days when I don’t feel like it and I completely let go.
These data also help me to be more caring towards myself, by allowing me to realize in an objective way that in reality… I’m fine!
In any case, I would be delighted to exchange with you on the subject, answer your questions or even receive your criticisms! Just click on the red button 🙂