Triathletes and Runners are good at this, plain and simple, even if they don’t know it! Weather they write them down or just think about them… lots.
So you have the big picture. But how are you going to get there? This is where the stepping-stones help! Take the big and make it manageable.
Break your goal (target) down into achievable chunks. From here ensure that each of these fits the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. treatment.
What is the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. treatement? Well regardless of the field you are setting your target in, Running, Career, Financial etc. You greatly increase your chances of success if it meets the following requirements.
- S. Specific – Your target needs to be specific. The more specific the better!
- M. Measurable – You need to be able to measure if you achieve your target or not. Sometimes this means you need to think a little creatively about how you word your target. “I want to improve my running.” Let’s get more specific and what are we measuring? I want to improve my 5km Time Trial by xyz! If this happens you know you have improved your running and you can measure it. Meet this target and set a new one!
- A. Achievable – This is individual and generally people are even better at this part. Simply put we need to extend you but not over extend you, work systematically and incrementally at improving. Aiming to take giant wads off your P.B. at once can leave you feeling down when in fact you might be doing a great job!
- R. Recorded – Record your targets. Write them down. This makes you much more likely to achieve them. The power is in the subconscious. It’s amazing!!!
- T. Time Bound – Put a date next to them. That’s not hard to do. This is one of the big areas I think athletes can improve. April 2016, December 2016, 12 March 2016! Working to a deadline helps you get things done in the tough times and keeps you focused. Otherwise your targets can just float there like space junk… “ow when ever I get there!” How much do you want to achieve what you have set yourself???
- E. Exciting – Again this one athletes generally rock at. But your sub targets need to excite you as well or there is simply no point in having them. This is where I like to set relevant time trials (TT’s) for those I coach. We set benchmarks on meaningful fitness challenges and then look to go and Smash these! If we are hitting these we know that when we come to compete or race we have been moving in the right direction!
- R. Reward – Reward yourself when you reach your targets. This is one of the areas athletes can typically improve upon. While I know you are likely to have already set yourself new targets. Don’t look past the fact that, that target you have just destroyed was once something you needed to work hard to achieve. Depending on your style, this could be a quite moment of reflection where you internalize that you have just improved, it could be giving a high five to your training partner or maybe you reached your personal Mt Everest and need to celebrate in style. Such as taking the family who has supported you along the way out for dinner!
By subjecting your targets and sub targets to the following components you have given your goal the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. treatment.