(Have a piece of paper and pen ready as you will have a little homework at the end.)

Do you use SMARTs when you make your goals?   Do you use CHARM to achieve them?

Most of us have something we want to improve or achieve with our training and/or racing.   The question is are you committed and willing to put in the effort required to achieve it?  If your answer is Yes, then your best chance of success comes from using SMARTs and CHARM.   This week I will discuss using SMARTs.

A goal is defined as “the end toward which your effort is directed” and “it is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”.    There are different types of goals: Outcome based which specifies the end product such as a desired time (I want to finish the Verona Triterium sprint in 1 hour 20 minutes), there is Learning based which involves change or growth (I want to learn how to pace the bike so I have fresh legs to run and not have to walk) and there is Process based which are the practices and procedures that enable you to achieve a goal (I will ride the bike course weekly keeping my power in zone 2 going up the hills).   The Learning based and Process based goals lay the foundation to your ability to achieve an Outcome based goal.  They clearly define and structure what you will need to do to achieve your desired Outcome.   To develop these goals use SMARTs – make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Specific – breakdown a large or vague goal into smaller, non- overwhelming goals:  “I want to get faster“  becomes“I want to run a 26 minute 5K at the Verona Triterium”.  You need to answer the 6 W’s – Who, What, Where, When, Why and Way (or how) to develop a specific goal that you can successfully work with.

Measurable – in what time frame, establish concrete criteria to measure your progress, how will you know you met your goal, are on your way to meeting the goal or need to re-evaluate.  “By June 1st I will be running a 30 minute 5K”.                       

Achievable – the goal needs to motivate you and give yourself a chance to succeed.  Also consider the resources you will need to help you reach your goal and make sure they are available.                                             

Realistic – the goal must represent an objective toward which you are willing and able to work.   Set yourself up for success, not failure.   Also make sure your ability to achieve your goal is under your control and available to you.   You need to trulybelieve it can be accomplished.

“R” can also represent Relevant – your goal is consistent with your big picture or mission/what is important to you.

Timely – the goal must also have a specific time frame built into it.   This gives you structure and a sense of positive urgency or motivation to put in the effort necessary to get you to where you want to be.

So here is your homework:  Write down one Outcome based goal then one Learning based and one Process based goal using the SMART guidelines.  Next week I will talk more about goals including using CHARM to help you achieve them….

If you need help becoming SMART feel free to contact one of our SBR coaches to help!