I've been a runner for over 35 years but to this day, whenever I'm around my father, he asks, "Did you win?" after I come back from running. Now, just getting out the door and going for a run is definitely a "win," but I think my dad's onto something more profound.
Each and every day, you have the chance to improve yourself. Dr. Stan Beecham, sports psychologist and author of Elite Minds, believes that it is the daily win or loss that makes or breaks your chance to realize your dreams. Do what you need to do, day after day after day, and you will soon find yourself in the best shape of your life.
To keep runners on track to reach their goals, Beecham advises runners not only to record their miles, splits and paces in their logbooks, but also to evaluate each and every day as an overall W (win) or L (loss). Mark each day in your log or on your calendar so you can step back and see the bigger picture.
Collect more W's than L's week after week and your running goal becomes very attainable. Sure, you'll have your days when you "lose," but if you can minimize their frequency, you give yourself the best shot at success.
Now, this winning and losing has little to do with competition with others. It has to do with competition with yourself. Beecham has found that runners who log their W's and L's begin to focus on the daily battles of doing what they know they should do. This increases the chances that they will prioritize the things they know will help them achieve their goal.
And let's face it: Most days could easily be defined as a W with just a little extra work. Simply getting out the door for your run when you don't want to, eating a healthier diet, doing your core work two to three times per week, or even listening to your body and taking a day off should earn you a W. No matter what, you know in your heart whether you earned a W or L for the day.
So as you finish each day, ask yourself, "Did I win?" The more often you answer yes, the closer you'll come to the runner you know you can be.