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Goal Planning

by Miranda Gonzalez Paul

Welcome to the Rural Realities Blog! This blog will discuss goal planning for teams. As we approach the end of the year it can be a good time for teams to reflect on what they have done and plan for next year.
Goal planning allows teams to take time to evaluate and assess if any changes need to be made for next year. Even if your team is in the middle of a project, this can be a great time for team members to check in with each other to see if the project is progressing as expected or if any modifications need to be made. It is also a time for team members to pause and think about what success looks like within the sexual assault response team (SART). By taking this time to reflect intentionally, teams will realize all the work they have accomplished!
We recommend that teams use the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) method when developing goals. By developing goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, team members will create achievable goals. SARTs can use a team meeting to brainstorm potential goals for the new year. Below are some questions teams may consider when developing these goals:

  1. What is the desired outcome or result?
  2. How will the team know they accomplished this goal?
  3. What resources are needed to accomplish this goal?
  4. How is the goal related to the team’s mission and vision statements?
  5. When does the team want to complete the goal?
  6. How does this goal center the needs of victims/survivors in the community?
  7. Is this what victims/survivors are asking for?

For example, a team may create a goal around protocol that states, “We will update our protocol to include information on the limitations of services by all disciplines represented on the team. This will take place within the first six months of the year.”

Once a team has developed one to three goals for the upcoming year, we recommend that each team member meet with their leadership to discuss the goals of the team. Allowing leadership to ask questions about the team’s work. This also provides an opportunity for team members to develop buy-in with the leadership of their organization. By having these discussions proactively teams will be prepared to begin work again in the new year!

This will be our last rural realities blog of 2023. We will return to our blog series in 2024!

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-04024-RURA awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.