Setting Goals

Because you have become involved with your organization, you probably have a great deal of enthusiasm for its purpose.  In a few sentences, explain your vision for your student organization.  If it was everything that it could be, what would it be?  Use this vision as a guide as you are setting goals for your student organization.

Goal setting is important for many reasons.

  • Goals help set a firm direction for something definite to work toward.
  • Goals create motivation within an organization.
  • Goals give a clear understanding of ideas and responsibilities for group members.
  • Goals provide a concrete means of measuring progress and success.
  • Goal setting can be a teambuilding exercise for individuals to become committed to the organization.

Established goals should be SMART:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Action oriented (your goal is doing something)

R – Realistic

T – Timing and time frame (is the time right and when will it be accomplished?)

Here is a simple process that can help with goal setting and realizing those goals:

1.   BRAINSTORM:  Gather together and record all ideas.  No matter what, don’t evaluate or criticize ideas at this point.

2.   NARROW FOCUS:  Discuss the ideas created during brainstorming.  Now, narrow the list to a more manageable and practical list.

3.   STATE GOALS:  Now you have a few attainable goals.  They should be stated broadly at first and then narrow down to the details.

  • Raise money . . . Add $200 to our treasury by the end of the semester.
  • Sponsor speakers . . . We will sponsor educational guest speakers during the year.

4.   SET OBJECTIVES:  Objectives are smaller steps necessary to achieve your goals.  To set objectives, follow the same guidelines for starting goals. 

  • By the end of the semester, we will add $200 to our treasury . . . We will raise money by holding two bake sales.
  • We will sponsor educational guest speakers during the year . . . Our group will host two speakers each semester.

5.   SET UP A TIME LINE:  Frame your ideas in the context of other goals--and your obligations as students--or they might fall by the wayside.  Pencil in dates on a calendar and distribute a copy of it to each member.

6.   FOLLOW THROUGH:  Refer to your goals every time you meet to make sure you are remaining focused.  If adjustments need to be made, feel free.

7.   INVOLVEMENT:  Involve as many members as possible in the process from brainstorming to when goals are actually accomplished.  Involvement leads to commitment.

Click Here, for a printable goal setting outline.