How To Write SMART Goals

"I have an idea! Can you help me?" This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get at Girls With Ideas. Our curriculum discusses in depth a step by step process about how to do just that for girls in grades 4th-8th grade.  You can get it HERE!  

However, we wanted to help you take that idea from your head and make it a reality so we are doing a mini blog series with general tips on how to make your idea happen no matter your age! Our first post on this topic discussed how to do market research and interview people about your idea. You can find that here. Then we talked about how to gather information on your stakeholders, budget, your resources to make an Idea Plan which you can find here

The next step is to turn your Idea Plan into a SMART goal. A SMART goal is a framework for you to figure out the steps that you need to do to achieve your goals. t's great to know what you need, but it's also important to figure out how and when you will be able to get what you need for your idea. This is where the hard work starts!

For example, let's say you have an idea to put on a play for your school. If in your Idea Plan you wrote that you needed $250 for costumes, people to be in the play, marketing materials, and a physical space to hold the play, a SMART goal would allow you to figure out if those things are realistic and how long they may take to get. 

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So what is SMART goal? SMART is an acronym to help you remember that goals should be; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  Let’s break it down a bit further so you can write your own SMART goal using the example of putting on a play: 

S - Specific: Great goals are super specific. Write out EXACTLY what you are going to do, when, how, and with whom.

On December 2nd,  2017 I will put on the 20 minute play that I wrote called "Idea Girl" for my class at school. 

M - Measurable: How will you measure if you’ve accomplished your goal?

I will know if I reached my goal if the play happened and people watched it. 

A - Attainable: This is huge. If something is attainable, it means it’s within reach. Make sure you pick a goal that isn’t too far away from what you’re already doing!

This goal is attainable because the primary stakeholder, my teacher said that she would allow the class to watch. Also, three of my friends have offered to act in the play and practice after school. I also have already written the script. 

R - Realistic: Just like making your dream attainable, make sure it’s realistic, meaning it’s something you will be able to accomplish by the deadline you set.  We all have awesome big dreams, but big dreams come true after we’ve accomplished the small goals that get us there.

This goal is realistic because I have permission from the needed people and scaled down my initial idea after talking to my stakeholders and making a budget. We decided to use minimal props, find costumers from what we already own, and just perform it for our class rather than the whole school. 

T - Timely: Deadlines are the most important part of setting a goal. Choose a day you want to reach your goal by and write it down in your goal statement. We believe that your deadline shouldn’t be too far away—maybe aim for one month instead of one year, breaking a big goal into a smaller starter goal first. This way you’ll get to celebrate reaching your small goal and then keep going if you still have a bigger goal in mind!

I will have the revisions of the script done by October 1st, 2017. 

We will practice twice a week after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to memorize our lines and do blocking from October 1st to December 1st. 

We will perform the play on December 2nd, 2017. 

You can write one SMART goal for your whole idea or you can write multiple SMART goal for smaller steps for your idea. 

The next step is to take action on your SMART goals something that we will cover in our next post. You can also reference a past blog post we wrote on how to be a Goal-Getter for tips. --- click here to read --- 

Give yourself a high-five for writing out your SMART Goal! Now we are ready to get to work! 

 

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