When I was in my 20s, I did something called a Couch to 5K. I was in a health kick and decided I wanted to run a 5K. There’s a program my friend Allison turned me on to called the Couch to 5K program. They set up non-runners to start running. You’re supposed to be able to go from couch potato to 5K runner in six weeks.
It was such a positive experience for me, I tend to get excited whenever someone talks about the program. (Not the least reason of which is because I’d love to do a program like that again and get back into the shape I was in in my mid-20s. Ha!) So the other day, I was browsing blog posts and came across one by Tina Radcliffe at Seekerville called the “Couch to 2K”. I clicked immediately.
Turns out, Tina is also a runner (or former runner) and was thinking about getting back into it. But like anything (running, dieting, writing, basically anything with an -ing on the end), the process of setting unrealistic goals can derail all intentions. I may have the best intentions of running a 5K, but if I try to get up tomorrow morning and do it, I will fail. That’s an unrealistic goal. Setting unrealistic goals is a sure way to fail.
That’s why the Couch to 5K program is so successful. It meets you where you are. Assumes you have a desire to be a runner, or you wouldn’t have found the program. But it also recognizes that you’re not at the 5K level yet. What level might you be at? That’s where you start.
This is what I love about Tina’s idea of the Couch to 2K. Now, I’m not quite at the couch level, but I’m definitely a streaky writer. Some weeks, I write 10K a week. Some weeks, I write 40K. Some, I write zero. It’s difficult to be consistent that way. However, consistency would be helpful. So I’d like to see if I can do a Couch to 2K program to get myself in the habit of writing every day. Here it is (from the Seekerville post, but amended for me, just a bit):
Week One: Write 500 words a day for seven consecutive days
Week Two: Write 750 words a day for seven consecutive days
Week Three: Write 750 words a day for seven consecutive days
Week Four: Write 1000 words a day for seven consecutive days
This is the beginning stage. There’s an intermediate stage that gets me to 2K, and then there’s an advanced stage to take me beyond that. But for now, I just want to focus on 30 days. Let’s get the 30 days of consecutive writing under our belts. Or, rather, my belt.
So, I started today. I wrote when I woke up. First thing. I wrote my 500 words. I’ve written more, but that’s my main goal. Write 500 words, every day, until I level up. As the SuperBetter game would have it, I’ve done my first three steps now. I hope to keep collecting the little benefits and doing the challenges. I’m hopeful that will help me. So let’s say, this is writing day #1. Let’s see how we do.
As per the rules, if I miss a day, I start all over again. So let’s just see how it goes.