Running !   What thoughts does that conjure up for you?  Enforced PT at school?  Being late for something? Trudging along in the rain?  

Quite often, our first thoughts are negative, as opposed to "wow, yeah, I feel really great when I run".  

Running does however give us a great many lessons, and whilst it is not always a giggle at 5:30 am running in the dark, the feeling for the rest of the day is wonderful.  Here are the five lessons we can learn, which then expand into day to day life...

1. Vision - An ultimate vision may well be more than just an event (a marathon perhaps).  The danger with an event, is that when we have achieved it, what is there next?  By aiming to be fit, health, maintain a body style or weight seems to be more productive than achieving a particular weight.  Once we know how we want to be, that gives us the vision, up and above a specific quantifiable figure, otherwise it just becomes a box ticking exercise as opposed to a monumental shift.

2. Gain Momentum - Start gradually and build up. I started with Couch to 5k, an app which started me off running for a whole 60 seconds.  Imagine that, a whole 60 seconds without stopping!  By going at your realistic pace and momentum (and it has to be right for you, not some sales-target setting manager), your confidence will build, you will keep moving forward, and the vision becomes more realistic.

3. Higher Goals - As you achieve and get used to something, push on a little more - greater distance, quicker pace.  The same applies in life - if you are not moving forward, but rather staying the same, you are stagnating and going backwards.

4. Perseverance - The first 1.5 miles are the worst! The body is warming up, the lungs working, the breath regulating, the stitches come and go.  Then, all of a sudden, all of the struggles go away. The start of change or a task is generally the hardest part, so keep going, sooner or later, what was monumentally challenging at the start will seem so simple (remember learning to ride a bike?).

5. Finish what you started - Actually, keep starting what you started!  It is all too easy to roll over first thing in the morning and not get up for a run.  The temptation not to put the running shoes on, the decision whether to do the short 1 mile route, or crack on for the full 3.5 miles - these temptations are always there.  Will it make that much difference just today?  Possibly no, however, the habit is a key element to success.  Continually being committed to an action, however small, is far more productive than a one of splurge.  

30 days of running 1 mile a day will bring us far more benefit than 1 day running 30 miles.  The same with moving forward with life, a regular constant habit will reap great rewards, and move us ever closer to our vision.