How to Set & Achieve Your Chapter’s SMART Goals This Year

When it comes time for your chapter or association’s officer team to create goals for your year, you want to make sure your goals are SMART.

That means, are they:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

When your goals are SMART, you’ll easily be able to #OwnYourFuture! So how can you make sure your chapter has SMART goals for 2016-2017? Ask yourself the following:

Is Your Goal Specific?

The more specific the description is of your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Some factors you might want to identify when setting a specific goal is how you plan on achieving it, when is it taking place, who is the target, and why you are setting this goal.

Good Example: We want to raise our chapter student membership by 25% by June 2017.
This goals is descriptive and has a firm date that you want to achieve it by.

Bad Example: We want to have more members than last year. 
This goal it too generic and does not have enough information to help you know if you achieved it or not. 

Is Your Goal Measurable?

A measurable goal is one that can easily be measured as a success or failure. When creating a measurable goal, its benefits should be quantifiable. Your team should determine ahead of time how it plans to measure your progress throughout the year. You should consider having someone take stats of various events (like attendance at meetings or special events) to help determine the outcome of your goals at the end of the year.

Good Example: We want to have 10 more members by the end of October than we did last year.
You can measure your chapter’s membership growth by comparing your membership count at the end of October 2017 to your count from the end of October 2016.

Bad Example: We want better members than we had last year.
This goal is too subjective (what qualifies as a better member?) and will be hard to measure.

Is Your Goal Achievable?

Given your resources and skills as a team, you must ask yourself if your goal is possible. If your goal is reasonable enough to be accomplished, your team can then begin to think about the steps you need to take to ensure success!

Good Example: Complete one more Chapter Campaign than we did last year!
Depending on how many campaigns your chapter achieved last year, this goal could be very achievable by putting in a bit more effort. 

Bad Example: We want to be the first chapter to complete all of DECA's Chapter Campaigns!
While this is a great goal to have in mind, it might not be possible to be the first out of every chapter to complete them, plus there are multiple due dates to keep in mind too. 

Is Your Goal Realistic?

When your team sets goals, you must make sure they are objectives that you are both willing and able to work towards. It is important to think of the phrase, “quality over quantity,” here. Your goals should remain challenging but also relevant to the success and state of your chapter and members. Ask your team, “Can you visualize the outcome?”

Good Example: Increase attendance at community service events by 10%.
This goal is definitely realistic and can be accomplished with more promotion and incentives for your members.

Bad Example: Have our entire chapter attend #DECAICDC 2017 in Anaheim!
While this sounds like a great goal, it's probably not very realistic that every single member will qualify to attend, or be able to attend due to other circumstances. 

Is Your Goal Timely?

It is common that many people forget to set deadlines for their goals. However, by setting a deadline for your goal, your team is able to track your progress and measure whether your goal was successful. It is imperative that your team sets a deadline that is both realistic and necessary. Ask your team, “When do we need and want to reach this goal by?” After identifying your deadline, set out with your team to create and follow a timeline that will lead you towards reaching your goal!

Good Example: Complete and submit our activities for the first four DECA Chapter Campaigns before Thanksgiving.
This goal gives your chapter time to create a plan for completing all the required elements of the Chapter Campaigns, but also pushes you to stay focused during the first months of school. 

Bad Example: Recruit 100 new members! 
While it would be great to have 100 new members, this goal will not be very motivating unless you have a deadline assigned to it. 

Last, but not least, it’s important to always stay positive!

It is natural that your team will face obstacles on the road to success. However, make sure to remain optimistic and excited about your potential outcomes! A positive mind will lead to positive results!

Follow Florida DECA on Twitter @FloridaDECA.

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Leadership