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I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NIV)


Early on in my track college days, my track coach Oscar asked me, “Jim, What are your goals?”

I was ready, and I knew what I wanted to accomplish during my track day so I responded, “I’d like to run a 60 second quarter mile and 5-minute mile before I graduate.”

Coach Oscar and I workd on creating personalized workouts, This is one case, “For example, Jim, you can sprint with the long distance runners and run distances with the sprinters.” 

Later on during my college time, I learned we had defined SMART goals:

  • Specific: 60 sec quarter mile, and a 5 min mile times
  • Measurable: by a stopwatch. to keep my times and progress
  • Achievable: I already had my high school times, I had to build on them.
  • Realistic: they were times I was capable of achieving and specific to my body type and my physical condition
  • Timely: I took every and all available opportunities to run.

I trained all the time, I was on running the quarter-mile cinder track during the spring or fall and in the winter I was on the 11 lap wooden track doing my personalized workouts. During the summer I ran the program my coach prescribed.

But, I bet you really want to know if I achieved my track goals before I graduated? I did, I ran both the 60-second quarter mile and the 5-minute mile before I graduated.

Learning how to set SMART goals has helped me through out my career and my personal life and as I thought about goals and running; I recalled Philippians 3:14. Paul’s goal was:

  • Specific: How to deal with his life destiny?
  • Measurable: it was for the prize for which God had called him heavenward
  • Achievable: it depended on the promises and power of God
  • Realistic: because God supplied the power
  • Timely: because his life was drawing to a close

 I ran for the goal before me set

The prize of God I can one day get.

With daily workouts I labor strong,

With His great power I can’t go wrong.

How about you, are your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely?