S.M.A.R.T. English goals part 3

Okay, so now you have a goal which is Specific, and you can Measure it. Now let’s look at the next step in your S.M.A.R.T. learning goals:



Pick a goal that is hard, but not impossible. When you start a new goal you can get very excited, but that excitement sometimes causes you to be unrealistic.

“I will learn 100 new words a day” is way too many. For most people 30 words a day is the limit, and that is with lots of hard work. 10-20 a day would be a good goal for most people

“I will be able to watch CNN and understand 100%” this is not something that can be done in one year. It also means that if you misunderstand even one word then you’ve failed. This is not achievable.


Goal: raise your TOEIC score to 900 (specific and measurable)

It this achievable? Think about the Progress goals (what you have to do every day/ week).

toic table.png

( above table from www.emse.fr)

If your current score is 500, then it will take about 1500 hours of study to reach 900 in one year. That’s 29 hours a week. 4 hours every day. That is possible, but not achievable. You are likely to quit after a short time.

If your score is 800 it will take about 400 hours of study to reach 900 points.  That’s about an hour a day. That is an achievable goal.

Think about the time you have available to study each day. Add that up for the whole year. Pick a goal that you can achieve in that amount of time.


I personally like to set weekly goals instead of daily goals. If you tell yourself to study one hour every day and you miss a few days you might feel like a failure and quit. If you tell yourself to study seven hours a week you can plan for one hour a day and if you miss a day you can make it up another day.

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