Can you hear the buzz? Feel it? See it? Smell it? I know we in the Northern Hemisphere are 25 days into the new season but there's something about colored eggs of pale yellow, blue, and pink... And bees landing on tulips, that spark a renewed sense of get-up-and-go.

It's a chance to shake out those dusty goals we set in the murky beginning of January. Are they still relevant? Are other ones more pressing now? Might now be a good time to plant the seeds of a new goal or two so they can flourish over the next several months?

An easy way to get your clarify your goals and set them into motion is the SMART approach:

S = Specific

For a goal to work, you need to turn a vague idea into a specific one. For example, your initial goal may be to get to work earlier. Go one step further for clarity: "To consistently get to work by 7:45 a.m. each morning..." The more specific your goal is, the easier it'll be to make it happen.

M = Measurable

What does 'done' look like? Your goals must be measurable--with numbers and percentages--so you know when you've achieved them. For example, you want to lose weight. Will your measure be: To lose 15 pounds, to lose one-inch around your waist…? Your measure(s) will guide your action plan.

A = Attainable

You want your goal to be both challenging and realistic. Think of it like a rubber band--stretch it enough to launch it toward your target, yet not so much that it snaps. If you haven’t worked out in five years, your attainable goal may be to have one, 45-minute workout per week, rather than an hour every day.

R = Relevant

Are your goals relevant to the overall goals of your organization? Does accomplishing them make sense? Will they add value to you and your company? Make sure your goals are relevant before you pour time and resources into them. Review current company priorities and build goals from there.

T = Time-bound

Without a deadline, a goal can be like trying to steer a canoe without oars. Due dates, whether given or self-imposed, are a way of prioritizing projects and giving them more urgency. Be sure to include the month, day, and year when crafting a due date.

Putting It All Together

You’ve got the formula, now put your SMART goals in writing. Keep them in front of you where you can see them day every day and plug in the steps needed to make them happen.

Here are a few examples of SMART goals:

- Learn new computer program by May 15, 2009.

- Start training for a more secure job in a growing profession by July 15, 2009.

- Increase customer satisfaction by 10% by October 30, 2009.

At the starting gate, you don't know which goals you'll achieve and which ones you won't. But remember the words of Wayne Gretzky: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." SMART goals will help you take aim and fire off your most important shots.

Author's Bio: 

To keep using goals toward success, I would like to invite you to claim your free access to join me at the next goals tele-seminar. Just go to suebrenner.com.

From Sue Brenner – Performance Coach and Author of 'The [N]aked Desk,' actionsymphony.com