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SMART Goals for A New Year

As we step into a new year, many of us have goals or “resolutions” in mind.  While we have good intentions, according to the University of Scranton, close to 25% of New Year’s goals are abandoned in the first month. This is often due to poor planning, setting unrealistic goals and loss of motivation.  So with this in mind, the SMART goal model becomes an invaluable tool. In this article, we will explore how you can use this model to set and meet goals to empower staff and volunteers for a year of growth and  meaningful service.


What is the SMART Model?

The SMART model is a goal-setting framework developed by George T. Doran in the early 1980s. The acronym SMART serves as a practical guide for individuals and organizations, promoting clarity and focus so they can first define and then achieve their goals. Let’s look at some examples



Be specific when setting the goals for your center. Instead of a generic goal like "increase outreach," make it specific: "Implement a targeted digital marketing campaign to reach 30% more abortion minded clients within the next quarter."



Make sure you can measure progress. Rather than a broad aim such as "decrease no show rate" make it measurable: "implement steps A, B & C to increase the show rate by 20% over the next within the next six months."



Make sure the goal is achievable for the team and budget you currently have in place. Avoid unrealistic goals like "Buy a new building" Instead, set achievable goals: “Create a committee to begin strategic planning and set a budget for the purchase of a new building”



Ensure your goals align with the evolving needs of your clients. Instead of pursuing a disconnected goal such as “teach abstinence”, make it more targeted and relevant to the generation: "Launch virtual workshops on fertility awareness & birth control failure rates.”



Give yourself and your team a deadline. Rather than an open-ended goal like "Move to paperless charting," add a time constraint: "Digitize all new intakes by March".


Done the SMART way, you can achieve your goals for the year.  So, take a look at your resolutions for the center and ensure the objectives are clear, realistic, relevant, have a start and end date and that you have a good system to measure progress.


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