Top 3: Tips to setting goals

16.01.13 English Tips

So it’s the start of a new year and you’re feeling refreshed and reenergized. You’re excited to make the most of this year and may have even made some New Years’ resolutions*. Unfortunately, for many people that enthusiasm wanes* and plans are forgotten. This doesn’t have to happen to you!

Here are the top 3 tips on how to stick to plans and achieve your goals.

#1 - Set specific goals. The key is to be specific*. A goal such as, “I want to improve my English,” is a great idea. However, it is very general, and so, doesn’t help you focus your efforts. You should ask yourself, “Which parts of my English do I want to improve?” Also consider, “How much do I want to improve?”

“I want to improve my writing, vocabulary and grammar so that I can achieve a 7 on the IELTS test,” or, “I want to learn 150 new words every month this year,” are much better goals.

#2 – Be ambitious* (but realistic). Set targets that are challenging, but not impossible. For example, it is unlikely that you can go from a beginner to native-level speaker in 12 months. Also, review your goals every few months. If you think they are too easy or too difficult, adjust them. Having ambitious, realistic goals is the best way to stay motivated.

#3 –Share your goals. You may be shy about sharing your goals for various reasons. But, if your friends, family and teachers know what you’re trying to achieve, they can help keep you motivated and focused.  It is also a good idea to write down your goal and place it somewhere you will constantly see it (e.g. on your textbook, computer, or refrigerator). This way, you will never forget it!

Learning a language is tough, but good clear goals make it easier. Good luck with your studies this year!

*New Year’s resolution:  新年の目標
*to wane: 衰える、弱くなる
*specific: 明確な、具体的な
*ambitious: 野心のある、意欲的な