Have you made ANOTHER New Year’s resolution to improve your English this year?
Did you start the year with practice every day…….. but then life, work, and family responsibilities got in the way?
First, don’t feel bad.
According to a study by U.S. News, 80% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolution by the second week of February.
You are not alone!!
Here are the 3 main reasons why you haven’t achieved your English learning goals yet:
1: You don’t have a VISION
Most people say they want to improve their English to get a better job.
But if you are comfortable in your current job and you have enough English to ‘get by’ there is no urgency to improve. You’ll do it one day!
Your REAL reason for learning probably isn’t that better job. It’s what that job will allow you to do….
- Earn a better salary so you can live more comfortably
- Visit your family overseas more often
- Feel accomplished that you have achieved your dream career
- Gain respect from your colleagues, friends or family
When you imagine how your life will be once you achieve your goals, this is your VISION.
Thinking about your vision is very motivating. It will help you to keep going on the days you don’t want to practise.
2: Your goals are unclear
“I want to improve my spoken fluency” is very vague and not a well-defined goal.
What is spoken fluency? How will you know when you have achieved it? When will you achieve it?
This is why it is important to set SMART goals.
These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound.
Think about which aspects of your English you need to improve to get that better job.
For example, if you need to improve your presentation skills, you could set yourself this SMART goal:
“I will deliver a presentation to my colleagues at work in two months’ time” (or whatever time frame is realistic for you).
This goal is:
Specific: you are giving an actual presentation
Measurable: you will be able to see your progress from one presentation to another
Achievable: it is something you could realistically achieve in the time given
Realistic: giving a presentation to your colleagues is something you could actually do
Time-bound: this is long enough to give you time to prepare but short enough that it will keep you progressing quickly.
If your goals are focused and clear, it will be much easier to achieve them.
3: You don’t practice consistently
Consistency is key if you are to achieve any goal. The best way to be consistent is to do practise activities at the same time every day, week, or month. Once you have repeated this for a few weeks, it will become a habit. It will become part of your routine and automatic.
Once you have your SMART goals, plan what habits you need to create to make sure you achieve them in the set time.
What could you do every day?
What could you do every week?
What could you do every month?
Be realistic – if you don’t have time to practise for an hour every day for the whole year, aim to do 10 minutes. You are more likely to maintain a habit if it is shorter.
Make it fun – if you actually enjoy your practice, you are more likely to do it. For inspiration on how to make learning fun read this post.
Consistent, regular, and focused practice is the key to achieving your long-term goals.
So those are the three main reasons why you haven’t kept your resolutions…..yet.
Implement these steps and make 2022 the year when you achieve your goals.
If you have difficulty creating learning habits, my 121 coaching courses can help you to stay on track. You can book your free 1-hour demo lesson here: https://calendly.com/sarah-theenglishcoach/121