Community & Government

Setting Your Goals

Malala Yousafzai

Lesson time 05:57 min

In a follow-up conversation, Malala and Lewis expand on how you can set actionable goals, using the research you’ve done, with the SMART Goals exercise.

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Topics include: SMART Goals Exercise


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Now I want to talk about setting goals. Why is setting good goals an important part of advocacy? - Setting goals is an important part of any advocacy project in part because you've got a problem. But unless you know what you're aiming for, then it's really hard to keep momentum. It's really hard to inspire people. It's really hard to articulate what it is about the world you want to see change in a way that is meaningful for people. - Malala Fund's goal is to make sure that all girls can have access to safe and quality and free education, but you cannot make it a reality in just a day. So we are focused on very specific, step-by-step goals. So do you have a tool for us to help us set our goals? - Well Malala, goal setting is not really a science. It's a bit of an art, but, at the very least, you can use a tool that I think can help you sense check whether or not your goal achieves what it needs to do. So I'm a big fan of the SMART framework, which I'll explain in a second. And I use this framework to basically use it as a checklist to make sure that the goals are robust enough and that they set out what they need to do. [MUSIC PLAYING] The SMART framework is broken down into five parts beginning with the S. The S stands for specific, so you want a goal that is specific enough to really convey what it is exactly you want to see changed. It can't be vague. It can't be too amorphous. It really needs to be tied down to what is it that you want to see? The second is measurable. You need to be able to understand when and how you're making progress against that goal. There has to be a clear sense of what a win looks like, and so, I really like goals where it's pretty easy to measure success. The third one stands for achievable, but also aspirational. There's a delicate balance between the two. You don't want to set a goal that is really easy to achieve and probably, therefore, may not have the impact, or you might be losing out on some impact. But, at the same time, you don't be so ambitious that you demoralize people because people just don't think it can be done. So I use that A as a check on, is this achievable, but is this also aspirational enough? Then comes R. R is about, is this relevant? So you've got to make sure that your goal is actually trying to address one of the causes of the problem, one of those roots. If not, you'll be trying to achieve something, but you won't have the impact because it's not tied to the problem. And the final one, the T, it stands for time-bound. So I really like goals which actually have a time limit on them. It creates a sense of urgency. It gives people a sense of momentum. If you're talking to people in government or local government, it can be really useful to create some pressure there as well. But also, if you're trying to raise funds or trying to bring more people in, you can use that urgency to draw people into your movement. That's the...

About the Instructor

When she first took a stand, Malala simply acted on her belief that all Pakistani girls like her had a right to education. Now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history teaches you how to fight injustice in the world and in your everyday life, starting with your own community. Learn Malala’s framework for influencing change: Research issues, build a strategy, take action, and create an impact right where you are.

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Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Prize–winning activist Malala teaches you how to be an activist in your own community, from research and strategy to action and impact.

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