It's time for the third post in the sentences series. This time, we'll talk about setting some goals. In particular, I'm going to outline some of my goals, which may lend itself to an understanding of how to set your own.
First off, let this entire article be underscored by one truth: Setting attainable goals increases the likelihood of actually reaching them.
In essence, this means to avoid setting goals like "Know Japanese". Too open-ended and vague. Useless, in fact. A better goal might be, "Learn 5 new sentences today" or, "Switch to monolingual dictionary at 500 sentences". Short term, eye-level goals.
Achievable goals are the ones that get met.
Here's a not-so-obscure analogy. Picture yourself standing next to a grapefruit tree. Assume you like grapefruit, and want one. There are two that you spot - one that's right in front of your face, and one toward the top of the tree, about 5 feet out of reach. Which one would you reach for first? Be honest.
We all know it would be the one at eye-level, because there's no need for tools or ladders. It's right there, waiting to be picked. It's easy. It's attainable. That 5 sentences a day is the low-hanging grapefruit. Attainable.
Those of you who say you'd reach for the highest one (and probably would), are the ones who are most likely to burn out. Always going for the maximum you can reach (or beyond that, in this case) will wear on you. Maybe not this time, maybe not next. Rest assured, though, it will happen.
Short Term GoalsI believe wholeheartedly in setting short-term goals. Achieving them gives you a sense of accomplishment, and the motivation to continue to the next one. Here's a few examples of goals I reached today:
- Do (5) 2-minute time-boxed review sessions.
- Learn 5 sentences.
- Watch at least 3 news casts.