S.M.A.R.T. English goals part 2



If you have an English goal for 2019 it’s important that you can measure it. If you followed step 1 and have a Specific goal then you need a way to know if you have succeeded or failed.

You don’t’ want this:


January 1, 2019 “I want to listen to more natural English audio”


December 31, 2019 “Did I succeed? I don’t know. I listened to a book off and on this year.”


It is best to measure both process and results.

Process is what you do every day.

Results are what you achieve.

Here are some examples. Your goals will vary.


Goal: Listening



Process Goal: I will listen to English for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.

Result Goal: By December 31st I will be able to listen to an audio book at normal speed and understand the words.

You might change your process goals by month: 30 minutes a day in January, 1 hour a day by the summer, 90 minutes a day in the fall.





Process Goal: “I will do 30 minutes of speaking practice per week.”

Maybe this is on the phone, maybe video call, maybe in person. Maybe it’s with an English teacher you hire, a friend or a language exchange partner. It’s hard spend time speaking, so you may need to practice all week to make the most out of your once a week conversation. This could motivate you to study vocabulary and grammar to prepare.

Result Goal: “By December I will be able to have a one hour conversation with no preparation.”

Record yourself trying to have a one hour conversation in January. Then record yourself trying again in December. Compare the results. You need something objective to be able to see if you have succeeded or failed.

Process goals give you daily or weekly goals you can measure to see if you are doing well. Result goals give you a final accomplishment that will tell you objectively if you succeeded or failed. You can also set mini result goals every few months. This lets you adjust your process and goals as the year progresses.

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