“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.”-Elbert Hubbard

Goal setting is awesome! It doesn’t take much time or effort….WRONG! To be honest, very few people like goal setting because it’s a tool that holds them accountable. It takes time. It’s not always pretty, but without them your organization is doomed to wander the dreadful forest of mediocre student organizations. So, don’t settle for a mediocre student chapter! Take the time to set chapter goals. We will provide you the tools to do it. You will be happy you did!

Outcomes of having goals:

  • Meetings are easier to lead.
  • Chapter members are more engaged.
  • You feel better about your leadership role.
  • You get stuff done.
  • You develop new skills.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals Definition

At this point in your college career, you have probably heard about S.M.A.R.T. goals. If not, here is a little tutorial about what they are and how to use them.

There are several different variations on what the acronym means. In our case, we prefer the following descriptions and definitions, but feel free to adopt the definition that works best for your group:

Specific: It’s not vague, meaning you can explain it easily, clearly, and quickly to somebody else, as though you were giving an elevator speech about it.

Measurable: There are numbers attached to the goal, like writing a 300-page novel, spending less than $75 a week, or learning 10 new recipes.

Action-oriented: There are concrete action steps you can take to achieve the goal.

Realistic: The goal isn’t completely impossible. You have the resources and the wherewithal to get it done.

Timely: You can create a timeline along which to execute your goal’s action-steps.

-adapted from studentleadership.com

Learning about S.M.A.R.T. goals

Here are a few resources for learning more about S.M.A.R.T.goals

How to write a SMART goal
How to set SMART goals

How to set SMART goals
Good vs. bad SMART Goals
Different Definitions 
Tips for staying on track

Do you have other ideas or resources that have helped your chapter set goals? Please send them to studentchapters@aisnet.org

S.M.A.R.T. Goals Forms


SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet (Sparkpeople.com) (PDF)

SMART Goal Setting Worksheet With Guidance Notes (CornerStone Exec. & Life Coaching) (PDF)

SMART Goals Worksheet (University of Redlands) (PDF)

SMART Goal Setting Guide Sheet (University of California San Diego) (PDF)

SMART Goal Planning (About Leaders) (PDF)