Each year, for my annual evaluation, I must write 2 performance and 2 professional development goals. Honestly, I can think of a hundred things I would rather spend my time doing but I have grown to appreciate their usefulness, especially when I challenge myself. Being that my yearly performance is based partly on my accomplishment of these goals, it does put the pressure on.
Goals can be a useful tool in farm businesses as well. I challenge each of you to set 1 performance and 1 professional development goal this year. We often use the SMART analogy to set a goal so we know when we’ve met it.
-Specific – Make sure your goal is specific enough to know you achieved it. Think like a reporter. Who, what, where and how?
-Measurable – This helps you know when you’ve met your goal. You don’t want to just increase productivity, you want to increase productivity by ___% in ____years.
-Attainable – You want to challenge yourself but within reason. Consider what will push you to achieve but not discourage.
-Relevant – Does the goal fit with your mission and objectives of your operation? Is it within your farm responsibilities?
-Time-based – Set a timeline for when you want to accomplish the goal. You can have short, medium and long-term goals. For medium and long-term goals, it may be helpful to include progress checks to keep you focused.
This year, for example, I set a performance goal to reach 1,000 subscribers on the Agronomy and Farm Management podcast by the end of the year by delivering relevant topic material and advertising through social media and programs. It’s Specific because I say exactly how many subscribers I want to achieve. That along with the end date make it Measurable and Time-based. I believe it to be Attainable because of the number of subscribers we have gained over the past couple of years. The topics covered on the podcast align with the mission of Extension and one measurement of my performance is how many people I reach each year so that makes the goal Relevant.
So, what are your goals for 2021? I’d love to see them! Share anonymously at https://pollev.com/amandadourid711 and see what others are up to! If you want to help me reach my goal, just subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher or Apple!
Amanda Douridas is the Champaign Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator for The Ohio State University Extension.