Most of us know about making objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). But here’s the next thing I think you should consider.
Ideally, your objectives reflect change and growth. So, after setting SMART Objectives, what about a smart plan to achieve them? We don’t change and grow accidentally. We need a plan.
In my previous post, I mentioned an objective of running a marathon in March, 2015. As it stands this objective is at the very least SMRT. Is it attainable? Yes, it is. I have 500 days to prepare.
It is important here to understand the intent of the objective. I used to be a runner – meaning a ran regularly for my health. No injuries. Successfully, safely completed several races, including 4 one-half marathons (13.1 miles). But I have been away from regular exercise for four years. The intent of this objective is to have something big enough as to require me to get back to that level of conditioning.
So what’s my smart plan?
- First 100 days: Run 10 miles a week (3 days x2 miles plus 1 day at 4 miles), adding 1 mile per week until I get to 20. Before the end of this period, run a 5k race in 35 minutes.
- Next 100 days: Move to 25 miles per week, and vary my routine to include hills and intervals. Run a 10k by day 200 at 60 minutes.
- The third 100 days: Maintain at least 100 miles per month through the summer months, with at least one 10 mile run per month.
- The fourth 100 days: run 25-30 miles per week, and run a half marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Previous best was 2 hours 18 minutes. Begin 18 week training plan leading to the marathon.
- The final 100 days: Keep on plan.
- Day 500. Finish the marathon. Safely. No time goal.
That’s just the running portion. I will need to adjust my diet, my sleep, and change some other habits and patterns. This requires at least six hours in the early weeks, and even more when I get into next summer. That time will have to come out of my TV time and Internet time. Of course in the days beyond 500, I will need to set a maintenance goal.
It’s not enough to have Smart objectives. You need a smart plan. Hope is not a strategy.