It’s a new year: the perfect time to set new language learning goals and level up your English skills in 2021.
But, so many people set New Year’s goals (or resolutions) that they never actually achieve.
How can you set goals that you will actually achieve to level up your skills in 2021?
The first stage is to REFLECT and ask yourself…..
1. What have you achieved so far?
Reflect and think about your current skills. What can you do well in English and what have you already achieved? By focusing on the positives, you remind yourself that you CAN achieve your goals and improving your skills further is not an impossible task. Regularly reminding yourself of how far you have come can help you to stay motivated throughout the year.
2. Which skills do you need to improve?
I am sure you have already achieved so much in your language learning (if you are reading this post!) but by reflecting, you can also identify gaps in your knowledge and areas where you need to improve. It could be grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation or writing skills: whatever the area, note these down so you can set specific goals around these.
3. What do you want to DO in English?
A goal such as ‘Improve my speaking skills’ is very vague. Vague goals are rarely achieved. Think about what you want to ‘do’ in English. For example, “I want to speak in meetings at work” or “I want to give a presentation to my colleagues”. This will ensure that you keep your learning focused and the outcome wil be exactly what you want to achieve.
The second stage is to set your goals and plan how you will achieve them:
1. Set yourself specific goal tasks
Give yourself challenging (but achievable tasks) to work towards. For example, set yourself the task of speaking in every meeting next month or book to give a presentation to your colleagues in a month’s time. Once you set this task, you have something specific to work towards and accountability as other people are expecting you to complete the task.
2. Breakdown the skills you need to develop
Once you have something concrete to aim for, you can plan which skills or language you will need to develop in order to complete the task. If the task is to give a presentation, you may need to work on your presenting skills, pronunciation, language for presentation and specific vocabulary for the topic of the presentation. Also think about the gaps you identified in your reflection when identifying the skills you need to develop.
3. Create learning habits
Now you know what skills you need to develop and you have a date for when you need to achieve your goal, work backwards and plan what you need to do every day or week to prepare for the task. Make sure these mini-tasks are manageable and easy to achieve and they will soon become learning habits, which will build towards achieving your goal. Try this app: Streaks, which tracks your progress and rewards you for completing these habits.
When you complete the task CELEBRATE!
When you complete the specific tasks, celebrate. Whether you tell yourself “well done”, buy yourself a gift or treat yourself to a delicious meal, make sure you acknowledge and celebrate when you move closer to your overall goal. Feel the positive vibes that will help to motivate you to repeat the process so you can continue to level up your skills.
Finally REFLECT and set your next task
After any task, make sure you reflect on what went well and what you could improve. Focusing on the positives will help you to stay motivated and identifying what you could improve will ensure your learning stays focused.
So if you always set new year’s goals that you never manage to achieve, follow these steps and level up your English skills in 2021. Download my free personal learning plan and set 2021 goals today!