Become “SMARTer” in Your 4-H Goal Setting

“Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’”* are what many of us do hoping that our goals will come to fruition. However, how do we know if we are actually successful without a plan? One way of evaluating goals is to be S.M.A.R.T.. This means that goals are: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.


Specific goals are focused and will state exactly what you intend to accomplish. The more details that can be provided, the better. Think about who, what, when, and where.


Goals that are measurable are quantifiable. The goal has a point of reference or rubric by which it is measured. You may ask questions such as: how much? or how many? Think about how you will know when a goal is accomplished.


Next, goals that are attainable are goals that are achievable. The goal should be challenging. However, the goal should not be so difficult that you are unable to accomplish it.


Furthermore, relevant goals are goals that are important to you. They should be consistent with what you hope to achieve. Also, short term goals should build onto long term goals.


Finally, goals must have a time period attached to them. There should be a starting point and an ending point to your goals. Limiting the time that you have to accomplish a goal often motivates you to accomplish it.

Interested in learning more about S.M.A.R.T. goals and how they related to 4-H programs? Join us for the 4-H Volunteer and Parent training on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. We’ll be discussing how to help youth create SMART goals in their 4-H projects, as well as how to create goals for your 4-H Club. Register on Eventbrite here.

Interested in learning more about the University of Florida IFAS Extension Seminole County 4-H program? Visit our website and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.


Farnsworth, et. al. (2019). Developing SMART Goals for Your Organization.  University of Florida EDIS. Retrieved January 15, 2021:
*Lyrics taken from the song "Wishin' and Hopin'" written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. Song was sung by Dusty Springfield, 1964.

Posted: January 19, 2021

Category: 4-H & Youth, Clubs & Volunteers
Tags: 4-H Clubs, 4-H Projects, 4-H Youth Development, Goal Setting, Goals, Karen Henry, Seminole County 4-H

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