SMART Goals for Record Books

Goals can be an important aspect of life! Goals can be personal, occupational, or academic. As a 4-H’er completing record books, you are learning to set goals which is a great skill. Studies have shown that goal setting is linked to success. (Kleingeld, et al, 2011). Goal setting can also be linked to essential life skills such as self-confidence, motivation, and autonomy. (Locke & Lathan, 2006).


SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound. This acronym is a method that can be used to help you set goals that will assist you in your efforts and increase your chance of achieving those goals.

S – Specific

You want your goal to be specific! You should consider Who? What? When? Where? Why? Some questions to ask yourself is:

  • Who is this goal for? Who is going to help?
  • What am I hoping to achieve? What is the purpose?
  • When will I achieve this goal?
  • Where will this be happening?
  • Why does this matter?
M – Measurable

When making your goals, it needs to be measurable to make sure you are on track to achieve your goals. A measurable goal should help you track your progress. Measurability will help you keep your focus and stick to your deadlines. If your goal is measurable, you can tell how long it will take to accomplish it and indicate that you have completed it.

A – Attainable

Setting unrealistic goals can be detrimental to confidence. Setting goals that can be achieved while making you feel challenged is essential. Think about whether or not this goal has been achieved before or if you have the resources and ability to achieve that goal.

R – Realistic

You must set realistic goals. Do not set goals such as going to Jupiter or meeting a unicorn; neither is a realistic goal. A SMART goal is realistic if it is within reach, can be reached within your set timeframe, and you are willing to commit to achieving it.

T – Timebound

You need a start and end time for your goal. If the goal is not timebound, there is no motivation to achieve the goal. A time-bound goal will include a deadline for achieving your goal.


Examples for the Lake County Fair Record Book include:

  • I will be able to identify 10 poultry breeds by April for the Skill-a-thon.
  • I will attend two livestock clinics before March 25, 2023.
  • I will receive an 87 on my rabbit showmanship card at the Lake County Fair.
  • My record book will receive a 90 or higher for the 4-H Awards in August 2023.

Posted: February 15, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: 4-H

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