Are you a runner?

While I’ve used running for exercise, it’s never been my thing. Those people who look like a Nike ad every time they go for a jog? Not me.

But lately, with limited options, I’ve been running a short loop in the morning.

After doing this for a couple of weeks, I started to look at my times. They were all over the place. The best one was 12:35 (I said it was short!).

I made 12:30 the goal.

The next Monday I went out, I didn’t get 12:30. I got 12:00.

Basically me.

Did the spirit of Usain Bolt enter my sleeping body overnight???


There were two small changes that I believe had a significant impact.

First, I started to really measure. Not just press record on my watch, but actually analyze my times and set a goal.

Measurement is a powerful strategy for personal growth, and I love how Gretchen Rubin discusses it in her book Better Than Before.

Second, I changed my mindset. I believed I could get better.

My goal was modest, and I knew I could get there. I just didn’t realize how modest the goal was.

By the end of that same week, I got a PR again. This time 11:50. It was no 30-second drop, and I was so out of breath I looked even LESS like a Nike ad than before, but I wasn’t complaining!

Despite the achievement being small and unrelated to my other goals, I still felt pumped about it. Finding success here boosted my confidence.

Now a thought for you: how can you do your own progress experiment?

I bet that if you chose any distance and practiced for two weeks, you’d see improvement. It doesn’t have to be a run though, you could try to do more push-ups or hold your breath.

Make the goal teeny tiny. The amount of improvement is insignificant. It’s more important to show yourself that you have the ability to build momentum wherever you dedicate your focus.

Progress can be difficult to measure. We all need reminders and little wins along the way–give yourself a concrete example of what you can do.


To being better without running a single half-marathon,