Be better than yesterday

This morning upon my return from an easy-paced 5-mile run, I was feeling pretty good about the upcoming day. Then I logged into my Twitter account and was presented with a question courtesy of speaker and exercise physiologist Jenny Evans (Her Twitter handle is PowerHousePC):

Are you better than you were yesterday? The answer should not be “no” more than two days in a row. #personalgrowth

Damn. Now I’m actually thinking. OK, I still held on to the confident feeling of my post-recovery run, but this notion of being better than yesterday rattled around my brain. Apolo Ohno often tweets about being greater today than yesterday, about getting better each and every day, heck, even getting better each and every moment. And it got me thinking: What does it mean to be to better than yesterday? How do I measure it? What is my standard? How do I quantify being better? Is it measured by mileage and average pace? Is it determined by how many items I cross off my to-do list? By how many compliments I receive? By not making any mistakes?

I’ve learned that while I’m the girl who owns three dictionaries, definitions can be fluid. What does being better look like in my life today? It may look the same as it did 10 years ago or five days or or two hours ago. My core values stay the same but the way in which I express them changes — in some way slowly and in other ways quite frequently.

Am I better than yesterday? I’m not sure if I like using the comparison because to me, it implies that I wasn’t good enough yesterday. And I don’t need any encouragement to see parts of myself as not good enough or to get wrapped up in a notion of perfection. But there still is an important challenge is asking myself the question. Am I better than yesterday? It’s not the answer that’s as important as what the question makes me think about. How do I want to evaluate my day? By tasks accomplished? By specific details achieved? By how I feel? Today’s answer is a combination: Crossing things off my to-do list, taking care of work and spending time with my friends will make me happy, make me feel good, make me feel productive and alive and part of life. I don’t know if that’s “better” than yesterday. But it’s a pretty darn good place to be today.

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