Research has proved that written goals are accomplished significantly more times than those kept in your head. If you write them down they happen.
What are you waiting for?
If you have never actually set them down on paper, now is the best time, grab your pen and pad and read on.
You can learn a few basic rules so that this year will be different.
Like all great triathletes you need a plan however, it needs to be written down and with this easy method you’ll be able to keep to it and make a big difference to your training.
There is plenty of online advice but here are our five principles that we follow:-
Keep them few in number.
Productivity studies show that you can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time, don’t try to cheat by including sections with several goals under each section. This is a recipe for losing focus and accomplishing little. Instead, focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers.
We mean this.
Goals must meet five criteria.
They must be:
Specific: Your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
Bad: Run a Race.
Good: Run the Slindon Slog
Measurable: Quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.Bad: “ Run Slindon Slog”
Good: “Run Slindon Slog in 5 hrs.”
Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
Bad: Be fitter.
Good: Run to work 4 days a week.
Realistic—you have to be careful here.
A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
Bad: Win the London Marathon.
Good: Complete the London Marathon in under 4 hours..
Time-bound- every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more season related. A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a “by” when date.
Bad: Complete 5 races.
Good: Complete 5 races by September 30th 2016.
Write them down.
This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals down even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else which we don’t recommend. Henriette Anne Klauser documents this in her fascinating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
Review them frequently.
While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, the real juice is in reviewing them on a regular basis. This is what turns them into reality. Each time you review your goals, ask yourself, “What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal.” You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s up to you. The key is to let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
Here is Brendon Burchard’s Daily Planner to start you off. Daily Planner
Share them selectively.
Share you goals with people who will be committed with helping you achieve them (e.g., your mentor, mastermind group, or business partner, team mates or gym buddy).
The practice of goal-setting is not just helpful; it is a prerequisite for happiness. Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals live happier more satisfied lives than those who don’t.
If you don’t have written goals, let us encourage you to make an appointment on your calendar to work on them. You can get a rough draft done in as little as an hour or two.
Few things in life pay such rich dividends for such a modest investment.