Food For Thought

by Abigail Solazzo
It may be hard to believe, but 2021 is less than two months away. Some may be looking forward to a fresh start and new beginnings that accompany a new year. We may also have ideas and goals that we are starting to cultivate for the next year, whether they are personal, or chapter related. Developing goals for ourselves or for our chapter should follow a simple acronym: SMARTER. Some may be familiar with SMART goals, which is still relevant, but SMARTER takes it two steps further to help develop our goals as well as be more accountable. When developing goals, here are few ideas to keep in mind when going through the process:

Specific — The goal addresses a particular problem or need or action step and is worded clearly. For example, "To save the world" is not specific; "To recycle my water bottles" is. 

Measurable — How will you know that you have met the goal? What will be the evidence or the end result? 

Agreed — If working with another person, both have clearly spoken and agreed to the goal as a next step. If this is a personal goal, you may want to "ritualize" your commitment in some way. Achievable is also tied to SMART goals, however, ‘agreed’ tends to bring an emotional aspect to the goal. 

Realistic — The goal is achievable and can be accomplished with reasonable expectations of time and resources.

Time-bound — What is the specific date by which you will take the next step, and what is each subsequent step toward completing your goal? What is the absolute deadline for achieving it? 

Ethical — The goal will bring no harm to me nor to anyone else. Will the goal positively affect myself or others? 

Recorded — Has the decision to meet this goal been recorded anywhere? How will you keep written track of your progress in meeting the goal?

After creating the goal statement, review the language to ensure SMARTER is part of the goal.