What is your success rate?

by Mark on November 15, 2012

How often are you successful? Do you have any idea? I recently began an experiment to track my success at making some specific changes by calculating a very simple measure — my success rate. Your success rate can be calculated very easily.

Success Rate = Successful Outcomes / Total Outcomes

For example, I measure my success rate for exercising every day. The “Total Outcomes” would be the total number of days, and the “Successful Outcomes” would be the number of days that I exercised. Since I have exercised every single day since I made my commitment to exercise every day, my success rate is 100%.

My main motivation in calculating my success rate was to track my success at things where I might not want to have a 100% success rate. For example, I’m a night person and often stay up much later than I should when I have to work the next day. I started calculating my success rate at going to bed at 10:30 PM or earlier.

Going to bed before 10:30 PM is something that I want to do most of the time, but there will obviously be occasions where I will want to stay up past 10:30 PM (such as social occasions). I want to keep my success rate close to 100%, but it wouldn’t be worth it to try to keep it a perfect 100%.

Great success rates vary widely depending on the activity.

Some success rates aren’t anywhere near 100% but are considered exceptional. For example, a batting average in baseball is an example of a success rate where a professional would be outstanding batting .300 consistently, which is only a 30% success rate.

A good salesperson will track their sales closing rate. This is the number of sales they make as a percentage of their total sales calls. This obviously isn’t close to 100% either.

Tim Ferriss uses a “cheat day” as part of his “Slow Carb Diet.” This is one day a week dedicated to not eating healthy. He essentially is recommending eating a good diet about 86% of the time.

What are some success rates that might be useful for you to begin tracking?

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