S.M.A.R.T. English goals part 4

Okay now that you have a Specific, Measurable, Achievable goal let’s look at what’s left:


You will only ever have one year 2019 in your life. You can’t do everything, you have to make sure that the goal you have picked is relevant to your real desires.

“I want to get better at English so I will read 10 English books this year.”


This is a great goal if your desire is to improve your English reading skills. It can also help your writing skills by getting lots of examples of how English speakers write.

But it’s not the best goal if your desire is to improve your speaking or listening. There are better goals for that. Many people pick reading goals because they are cheap, private and easy. Don’t let that be your reason. You only have one 2019.

“I want to get better at English so I will watch Season One of Friends this year. First with Korean subtitles, then English subtitles, then with no subtitles.”


This can be a great goal if you are looking to improve your listening and comprehension skills. Especially if you look up the words you don’t know during your English subtitle phase.

However, if your ultimate goal is to talk to English native speakers or understand American culture then you shouldn’t pick a 25 year old television show.  If you only have time to study one TV show deeply it would be better to pick one that is more current and has modern cultural references.

Don’t pick your goal because it is easy, or because it is something comfortable. Pick the best goal that is relevant to your actual dreams.

Time based:


This last stage of SMART, Time based, is pretty easy for New Year’s resolutions. You have a time limit (365 days) and you have a deadline (December 31, 2019).

My recommendation is that you also set yourself other time-based deadlines along the way. You might set weekly, monthly or quarterly deadlines that are mini-versions of your final goal.

If your goal is to read ten English books in 2019 then you could set yourself a four-book deadline in March, June, September and December.  This can give you motivation and feelings of achievement during the year.

Also I think its good to set your daily progress goals as time-based too.

“I will study English every day”

is not as good a goal as:

“I will study English for 40 minutes every day”


I wish everyone luck in 2019 with their SMART English goals. After you’ve made your goal feel free to share it in the comments!

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