Measure Progress: Frequency and Amplitude

How do you measure progress? How do you know that you are doing better? Sometimes the same behaviors just seem to keep on happening – things seem to be just the same. But are they really?

I was thinking about how progress was measured in some of my earlier work on the effects of hormones on certain types of seizure activity. The seizures were recorded by a sine wave (those curved repetitive lines). How often they came was the frequency and how strong they were, the amplitude.

That might be a great way to look at the progress you are making in your life – in how well you sleep, how many hot flashes you are having, how you control your temper, how you react to stress.

It’s not about how suddenly things change from undesired behaviors to perfection. Things may never get “perfect.” As a matter of fact, they probably never will. But they can and often do improve enough that your life is much better.

That’s where the frequency and amplitude come in. Think about it. If you take note of how often an undesired behavior happens and it is less, that outcome is a reduction in frequency. If it keeps happening but not as intensely, this is a reduction in amplitude. Over time you can see the changes even though when you are living it, it may seem that nothing has changed. But it has – and that is a good sine.