Get S.M.A.R.T.

This really dates me but I loved that show – yeah, Agent 99 was hot.

First things first! Couch to 5K begins this Saturday – 9:00 Applebee’s parking lot Brookwood Mall. In the event of inclement weather we’ll meet Monday 6 pm, same place. The price is $49 and the goal race is the Regions Super Hero 5K. How does it work? Read on….

So you’ve set a goal of running a 5K and/or losing weight or getting fit – of these 3 goals or ‘resolutions’ the 5K will be the easiest to attain and here’s :

For running, or business, sales, organizing – whatever the goals are they must be S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

Whether the goal is to run a 5K, Half Marathon, run faster, increase your sales or organize that closet – Make the goal SPECIFIC – ‘losing weight’ is way to general. If the goal is to lose 20, break it down into 5 pound increments and reward yourself for each successful increment. ‘Sell more’…same thing, break it down into percentages, monthly or quarterly; running too. Break it down in distance or time increments then allow for improvement and rewards. Measurable – 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles or 5%, or 2:00 faster…whatever. Keep the goal measurable so that you’ll know you’re improving and you can gauge the improvement.

Actionable – it has to be a goal you can take action towards. ‘Losing weight’ or ‘making more money’ aren’t particularly actionable. ‘Running 4 days a week’ is actionable (and specific).

Realistic – yeah, I want to win the lottery too. It’s possible, but not probable or realistic. Losing 50 pounds by June is possible, but not realistic. Also for a goal to be realistic there may need to be a life style change (getting up earlier, planning time…) – whether it’s a sales increase, weight loss or running; there’s a life style change. So keep the change and its increments realistic and therefore…do-able.

Timely…I keep saying ‘increments’ because as humans we can see down the road a week or even month but beyond that our ‘vision’ gets cloudy. The big picture may be 50 pounds or 25% increase or a Half Marathon. But for this month or better yet this week –  it’s run 4 days a week, or make 5 more calls or no sweets except weekends. Keep it timely and in increments you can achieve.

The ‘terrible too’s are just as bad in goal setting as they are in running – TOO much, TOO soon, TOO fast….always a recipe for failure.

Make the goals and your Action Plan Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely and your opportunity for success will soar!

This is the basis for one of the talks I give to organizations and the very core of the Couch to 5K Program. We have a plan, we work the plan thereby achievi short term success and celebrate it.

Whatever your goals and aspirations for 2015, make a plan and go for it. Celebrate even the small successes and ignore the naysayers and backbiters. They are ‘behind’ you for a reason. Here’s wishing you a successful 2015, whatever the goals!

A goal without a plan is just a wish.