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9 Steps To Go From The Couch To A High Quality Life

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9 Steps To Go From The Couch To A High Quality Life Plan

If this title rings a bell, you may be familiar with the couch to 5k running plan. The idea is that even a relatively sedentary person can achieve the goal of running a 5k in a relatively short period of time (about 9 weeks).

The designers of the plan make no claim that you will be sprinting across the finish line, just that you will be able to run a 5k if you follow their plan, and suffer no unplanned setbacks. The plan has thousands of followers, and has spawned dozens of online support groups and runners clubs.

The question is, can you apply this approach to other goals? Can you go from the couch to a high quality life in two months? Just like following couch to 5k plan will put you on the path towards becoming a runner, following this high quality life plan will put you on the path living the life you want.

Here are the 9 steps to go from the couch to a high quality life:

1. Deciding what you want

The phrase “high quality life” is deliberately vague. The intention is that you fill in the details by defining what it is that you want to accomplish to measurably improve the quality of your life. Your goal can be related to your career, your family, your health, or any other area of your life that you believe, when improved, will make your life better.

“Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose” – William Cowper

2. Setting your two month goal

Now that you know which area of your life you want to improve, it is time to set your two month goal. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. After all, the purpose of this is that you can accomplish something that many people would think is impossible in a few weeks, as long as you are motivated.

 

3. Let people know

Accountability is key. Don’t give yourself a reason to quietly back away from your goals. Clue in a few trusted friends and family members and ask them to give you encouragement, and to check in with you. You may not always love the accountability, but you will appreciate the support.

 

4. Commit to a minimum of an hour each day

At first, this may seem easy. Who wouldn’t be willing to commit an hour a day towards making a life change? Don’t be fooled. In the middle of a hectic day, giving an hour will be a struggle. That hour will mean telling people no, and restructuring your priorities. It will also mean that you have to miss out on things that are important to you.

 

5. Days 1 thru 7: Identify and get rid of the barriers to your success

Who or what has the potential to stand in the way of you achieving your 9 week goal? Be honest. The sad truth is, it is often well-meaning loved ones who can be the biggest barriers to reaching your goals. In addition to this, it is also the activities that you enjoy the most that are likely to keep you from doing what you need to do to accomplish your goals. In order to achieve your new high quality life, there may be people that you need to limit contact with, and habits or hobbies that you need to put on the back burner for the next few weeks.

 

6. Days 8-15: Write out your strategy

Yes, you really should take a week to do this. The reason for this is that you should be observing your life while you are creating your strategy. This will help you to create a strategy for change that you can actually make work for you. Remember that you want to challenge yourself to accomplish something important, but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.

 

7. Days 16-45: Begin implementing your strategy

What you do doing these 4 weeks depends on whether or not your strategy is iterative or if it is ongoing. For example, if your strategy is iterative, you will be performing the same task over and over again. Then, as you do so, you will become better and better at that task. You might implement an iterative strategy, for example, if you are trying to become a better writer. You could begin implementing your strategy by committing to write 30 minutes each day with a goal of simply getting words down on paper. Then, each day you increase the length of time that you write and hold yourself to higher standards of quality.

If you are implementing an ongoing strategy, you are going to be incorporating new actions and behaviors. Let’s say that your goal is to spend more quality time with your loved ones. You might begin with giving up 30 minutes of time watching television each day to spend time with your family, then you might add on to that by spending an hour each week writing emails to long distance relatives.

In either case, you want to start with the easiest to implement or least time consuming changes first. Then, you will increase intensity, or add new actions.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent” – Calvin Coolidge

8. Days 46-53: Maintain, evaluate and adjust

After you have been working towards your goal for about four weeks, take some time to look back. First, congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished! Then, consider what has gone really well, and what hasn’t gone as well as you would like. Use this knowledge to make any adjustments to your strategy. For the remainder of these 7 days, keep up with what you have already been doing.

 

9. Days 54-63: Make the biggest changes

At this point, the changes you have already made should be habit. Spend the last days implementing the biggest changes or making the biggest efforts that you can. When you are finished with your 9 week journey, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished.

When are you going to start your program for your high quality life? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Rick Riddle is passionate about self-development process and wants to share his experience with more people via his articles. He believes that self-sufficiency and discipline lead to great results. You may find more his articles on this blog or follow him on twitter.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ANIEKAN OKPO

    Nov 30, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Great article Rick. I love this. More of it please.

  2. Avatar

    Damien Thomas

    Nov 29, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Great article Rick,
    9 great steps over 9 weeks that anyone can start immediately to get on the road to a high quality life.
    Simple actions that are sure to help anyone make dramatic improvement in their lives.
    Well done.
    Damien

  3. Avatar

    Lawrence Berry

    Nov 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Great read! I loved the step of going out and committing at least an hour towards accomplishing your goal a day. I firmly believe in the power of habit and starting small to build up truly good habits that will make you more successful in all areas of your life. The steps to reaching a higher quality of life is something I support and it was great to be reminded on how I should continue my own path.

  4. Avatar

    Tim Denning

    Nov 29, 2015 at 6:25 am

    Thanks for your advice Rick I really got some good tips from your post!

    • Avatar

      Rick Riddle

      Nov 29, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I’m glad you like it! 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Brad DeVore

    Nov 28, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent” – Calvin Coolidge

    Great article and even better reference to letting people know that persistence and determination is a formula that will leave many smart folks (who aren’t taking action) in the dust.

    I also love that you mentioned that one’s habits start to change, which in my mind creates momentum across many areas of one’s life. -Brad

    • Avatar

      Rick Riddle

      Nov 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      People usually underestimate the power of habits. It’s HUGE.

  6. Avatar

    Daniel Miller

    Nov 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    This is a very eye opening and helpful article! thanks for sharing this knowledge!

    • Avatar

      Rick Riddle

      Nov 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I’m happy it helps! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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