Tony Robbins, one of the world’s top coaches, has a great quote on goal-setting. He says:
“Goal setting is vital because it helps you decide and focus on what’s really important to you. Effective goal setting also lets you measure progress, overcome procrastination and visualize your dreams. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you can’t create a plan to get there. Setting goals is the vehicle that will drive you to your desired destination.”
I think every major reason for setting goals is in this quote. For that reason, let’s break it down and apply it to our own specific situation which is learning English as a second language.
“Goal setting is vital because it helps you decide and focus on what’s really important to you.”
That’s exactly it! The first thing we should do is understand that the idea of setting goals is vital and will help us long term. You should always write down your goals and put them where you can see: on the fridge, bedroom door, etc. In that way, you will always remember what you are here for.
“Effective goal setting also lets you measure progress, overcome procrastination, and visualize your dreams.”
Tony Robbins makes a distinction here. He isn’t just talking about setting goals, but setting effective goals. The idea of setting effective goals that you can measure is, among other things, being more specific in your language. For example, if we write down “I want to be fluent in English.”, that’s too broad and can’t be really measured, because fluency is one of those topics where everyone has a different definition of. Instead, we should write “I want to learn the verb to be this month.”. Now, we can really measure our progress (we have one month to do it), and the goal is very achievable (I’m not saying “I want to learn all verbs in one month”, I am being very specific).
“If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you can’t create a plan to get there.”
Wow, how true is that?! This touches in our point number 2. It is important to know exactly what you want to you can create a plan to get there. A plan is a list of small steps towards a bigger goal, so again, don’t write very general goals, be specific! If you say “I want to go to a university in the US”, what are the small steps (goals) you should take in order to achieve that? Think about them, write them down, and go for it!
“Setting goals is the vehicle that will drive you to your desired destination”.
In conclusion, after you have set your goals, do the following: 1) share your goals with someone to hold you accountable; 2) keep your goals visible so you can always remember them and hold yourself accountable; and 3) regularly review your goals in order to adjust them and never forget them.