With every new year comes new aspirations. This time last year, many people set goals — some goals that would be impossible to achieve due to the unforeseen pandemic. However, some people were able to set attainable goals supported by specific actions. For FFA chapters and members across the country, it is important to set goals at the start of every semester to stay on track for their yearly objectives.
For example, if you want to receive a Gold Star Rating at your state convention, you can’t simply set that goal and just hope it happens. You have to create a plan — which consists of goals with specific actions. The first step in setting a goal is to set the right kind of goals.
Set SMART Goals
A SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goal is one that has some thought put into it. For example, instead of saying I want to meet new people this semester, your SMART goal would be to attend four activities each month and connect with one new person. The goal can be easily measured, realistic, and has a time stamp on it. SMART goals should also be evaluated and reviewed to maintain relevance.
In addition to setting SMART goals, it is important to write down your goals in an area that you can see them — everyday. For example, the FFA chapter should have some fun with creating SMART goals as a group. When more members have more of a buy-in on the goals, there is a stronger chance for success. Once the goals are agreed upon, make sure they are on display for everyone to see, everyday. Hang them up on a bulletin board, write them on the classroom board, and add them into the monthly newsletter. The chapter as a whole should review the goals throughout the year to make sure they are on track to achieve them by the set time. If not, adjust the actions and keep trying!
For a successful goal setting year, it is also important for individual members to set their own attainable goals. When FFA members set their own goals and achieve them, it will improve the FFA chapter as a whole.
It is also to note the timeline of goal setting. There are three different timelines to choose for goals — short-term, intermediate, and long-term.
- Short-term goals: can be accomplished in less than one year
- Intermediate goals: can be accomplished between one and three years
- Long-term goals: can be accomplished in over three years
For many FFA chapters, they will be focused on short-term goals and reevaluated every year. However, students may want to set intermediate and long-term goals, depending on where they are at in their career.
For individuals, start small and set two to three attainable goals for the semester and one long term goal. With each goal have at least two actions that will set that goal into motion. As a group, your FFA Chapter can state at least 10 goals for the year, adding more if need be. However, don’t get too carried away and become discouraged with unrealistic goals.
No matter when you start creating your goals, take your time and focus on the true reason for goal setting. For successful goal setting is also important to celebrate your accomplishments when you need to.
Pablo Picasso said it best, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”