A SMART Goal is a convenient acronym for the set of criteria that a goal MUST include in order for it to be realized by the goal achiever. There are numerous variations on the SMART acronym, however, the one we will follow is: Specific Goals must be something that can be described and understood easily by others – finite conditions, not general feelings. Bad example: Increase participation of members. Good example: Increase attendance at chapter meetings. Measurable Whenever possible, use numbers or percentages to mark achievement of the goal. You can’t rely on personal opinion. Bad example: More members will attend… Good example: 80 percent of members will attend chapter meetings. Attainable Is the goal realistic? Goals should be a stretch to obtain but not impossible to achieve. Members will work toward what they believe they can achieve and are not inspired by boring, easy goals. Bad example: 100 percent of members will attend every meeting. Good example: Increase attendance at chapter meetings by 10 percent from the prior semester. Relevant Your goals must accurately address the root issue you are facing. Remember, “An accurate description of the problem, is 90 percent of the solution.” Bad example: Have alcohol at recruitment events so chapter members will attend and have better conversations Good example: Teach chapter members tangible recruitment skills and eliminate alcohol from recruitment. Timely Goals must have an end date when they are due. Creating a sense of urgency will push members to work harder. How else will you know when to check performance? Bad example: Winter Good example: January 1, 2016 Examples Non-SMART Goal: We need to improve recruitment. SMART Goal: By December 15, 2015, the chapter will have recruited 20 new members who meet or exceed our minimum membership standards.
ACTION PLANS Every SMART goal must be complemented by a detailed action plan. A good action plan provides the framework for achieving the SMART goal. The action plan helps map out the necessary tasks with a detailed schedule of key milestones and a list of key people for those milestones. Overview Great action plans: Determine what you will need to hit the goal. Provide a timetable for activities. Identify people with whom you will need to coordinate and will rely on to contribute. Anticipate problems and outline contingency plans. Implementation 1. Clarify your goal. Ensure it is specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and timely. 2. Build a list of tasks. Write down all action steps that you may need to achieve the goal. 3. Organize your list into a plan. Decide on the order of action steps. Rearrange your actions and ideas into a sequential order. Review this list and see if there are any ways to simplify it further. Follow Up 1. Monitor the execution of your plan. Constantly evaluate the progress of your plan. Manage the key people and be mindful of deadlines. Adjust and optimize your plan if necessary. 2. Measure your success. Has your action plan achieved the outcomes of your SMART goal?