The Straightforward Guide to Using SMART Goals and Making Things Happen

FootballOK, so as a coach, I’ve got something to say about goals.

Quite a lot, as it happens.

I’m not a pumped-up, rapid cliché-firing, rah-rah kind of coach who will promise to turn you into a millionaire in six weeks (sorry).

I’m a lot more about helping you make that thing you’ve been wanting to do for ages into reality and feel great about it. And this is the first in an occasional series of blog posts about how you can do just that.

SMARTen up a daydream and – hey presto! – it instantly becomes 5496% more likely to happen.*

The SMARTening process works for goals of every size and subject. For this example, let’s say you want to take up running. Get out a notebook and pen and think these questions through onto the paper:

The SMART goals process

S Be specific. What sort of running do you want to do? Track? Treadmill? Cross Country? Do you have a specific target, e.g. a half marathon? Go into detail.

M Make it measurable. How often will you run per week? Do you have a target mileage? What other ways could you measure your improvement e.g. noting times, using running apps on your phone?

A Make sure it’s attainable. Know what will be involved – read running magazines and/or speak to experienced runners. Would you be better off aiming for a 10k, for example?

R Are you being realistic? Have you got the time in your week / available babysitters to fit your planned runs in? Are you a night owl but expecting to get up at the crack of dawn to run? Have you got or can you easily get the right trainers etc? Adjust accordingly.

T Give yourself a timeframe. Have a target mileage / time on your feet per week or per month, perhaps, referring back to your plan at ‘A’ and checking in with your circumstances at ‘R’. Enter a race and put it in your diary, or commit to a regular date to run with a friend or local running club. Name that ‘someday’ and write it down.

If you have taken some time to work through these SMART points for your plans, you should now have a plan of action that makes your ‘mean to’ an awful lot more ‘yay! I’m actually going to’. Good luck (and let me know if you need sponsoring for that run!)

Do share your SMARTened dreams in the comments – I’d love to hear what you’re up to. And if you have been inspired by this post, please share it using the links below.

© Straightforward Coaching 2014

* Well, a heck of a lot more likely anyway. You get the picture. Really, statistics were never my thing. Feel free to conduct a study and report your findings back to me and I’ll alter the number accordingly.

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