A lot of cash game players like to measure their success in terms of winnings/losses. And while this is certainly critical over the long-haul, you can’t sit around fretting everytime your $20 cash game buy-in drops to $10 (unless you’re playing $0.02/$0.04 No-Limit Hold’em).
Instead of worrying so much about the money, you need to treat every cash game as if it’s one long session and focus on making good plays. A better idea is to look at your winnings/losses at the end of a week, or even month depending on how many hours you play.
The reason why you need to do this is because focusing on money may cause you to make some bad decisions at the table that won’t be profitable long-term. For example, if you’re trying to win back money and you hold A-J when somebody behind you shoves, it’s tempting to call in this situation; however, it’s almost never profitable to call a shove with just A-J at a full table.
Basically, the idea is to keep learning poker strategy, and making good plays to the best of your ability. Let the money take care of itself because the variance will eventually work out in your favor as long as you make positive EV plays. Of course, we all know that this is easier said than done because of the tilt factor. But the better you are at knowing when to cut a session short when you’re making poor decisions, the more long-term profits you’ll have.
Along with this, you also have to get in enough hands to ride out the variance. After all, too many players want to quit when they post losing totals over 500 or 1,000 hands. And with this sample size, even the best players might not show a profit.