I've been writing out how I've gone about persuing my goals elsewhere and thought it might be good to start a discussion solely on that topic here.
What I have found works for me is writing my goals down precisely and then imagining the end result clearly in my mind eye and then getting to work making a plan and trying to stay open to opportunities always holding the goal in mind. I've come to realize that if I can imagine the thing happening in my mind's eye it makes it tremendously easier for me to achieve the goal.
More than a year ago, after not having spoken Spanish for 30 years and not having been that great at it before, I imagined myself having conversations with Spanish people fairly easily. Then I found Italki and other useful tools. I had to just read Spanish messages for a long time and listen to cartoons in Spanish first to remember what I knew before and I had to study hard to learn more vocabulary. When I finally got on Skype it was so hard to talk! I had to spit out every word with so much trouble, but now I feel like I'm doing what I had imagined so long ago. It's still not quite easy and I still have to work really hard and my head hurts sometimes, but I'm on Skype chatting and laughing with Spanish speakers in the way I had hoped to. It's actually better than what I had imagined and I feel like it will just keep getting better the longer I do it, which won't be hard to do because it's a blast! :D
I am setting my new goals now for 2015. One of them is that I imagine my Spanish friends telling me that I actually can talk with a good Spanish accent and me setting up another group with my Mexican friends to practice learning a Mexican accent as well in 2016. My goals don't always come in the timing I would like, but that's ok as long as I get there eventually and I find it useful to include timing in my goals.
What are your goals (language wise or in anything) and what do you find works well for achieving your goals?
Almost a year go, I came across this sentence " Never get afraid of failure ". I made it my watchword !
And since then I try to never be afraid of failure.
This is directly cocerning my goal. My goal is to take the bar exam and take. This exam is very hard, so people usualy wait to get 2 years of master to take for the first time (you only have 3 attempts). I want to take it after the first year of master.
If I don't pass, it doesn't matter, it will provide me experience, and I pass it after the second year...
So I'm going to work very hard next summer; the whole summer working in order to achieve this goal.
I am willing and able :)
In general, I think it's good to set goals. For example, I have a goal of achieving C1 in Russian. That's what I call a long term goal. In order to accomplish this long term goal, I often set short term goals, which are very specific. Some people call them "challenges" these days in language learning. For example, I recently completed a short term goal of conversing in Russian 1 hr per day for 200 days, which I felt I needed since my conversation skills were lagging behind my others.
But I agree with Peter, in that I think many people get carried away with goal setting. Goal setting is actually a pretty rare occurrence for me, as it can cause extra work and make tasks less enjoyable. For example, any goal that has to be written down, meaning it's that intricate, isn't worth setting. And to those who do it just because they think they are more likely to achieve it - think again. The act of writing down a goal in itself doesn't improve your chances of acheiving it - that's just common sense. Nor does meditating about goals, wishing goals will come true, paying witches to bless your goals, switching the light on and off exactly 50 times every time you enter a room, etc. It's one thing to have a positive outlook, but another to waste time doing silly stuff.
So don't waste your time visualizing, meditating, etc. They are just more excuses to not actually do anything. Instead, use that time to work and progress towards what you want to achieve. Good luck!
Hi everyone I agree with above comments. Fixing goals is the better way to realize our own dreams. As far as I'm concerned I started learning English seriously in July and now after 4 months I can say aloud that I am very proud of me. Hard work is paying off. Ok I must admit there's still a lot of work to do, the path to fluency is quite long but, I'm in the zone! No matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, I'll learn English.
I hope my personal experience is useful at least for one person in this website. I think that everything is possible if we add to our "recipe" these two ingredients: passion and determination. If you are able to figure it out your own future then you can draw on fairly easily
My goals have changed as I've gone through the College level and one thing I have learned about attaining my goals is to not be discouraged about failure, but rather to embrace it.
My main goal is simply to have a family and make an honest living. I really would love to teach English for a living in order to help others.
For me,it depends on how precise the plans are. If I wrote down every single step, I would feel so much pressure because I am quite strict with maintaining dates lol.
I have no problem with homeworks that my teachers give to me, I rather refer to that mental feeling that you urgently need to get better or otherwise you will be screwed .
As always, this only goes for me, another person might never learn anything with my concepts on how to learn languages :D.
I have been doing a lot of language exchanges, and I have reached the goal I had stated for my language exchanges: talking without getting a heart attack, talking fluently and learn a lot of new words.
But it turned out that language exchanges didn`t help me in the field of a correct expression. They have helped me for sure and exchanges are cool, but somehow I have learnt to speak well but not thaaaat correctly how I want to speak. In university we have to write and speak a lot, but something is missing. I guess it is someone who tells in a structured way how things have to be done. We had some grammar lessons for instance, but these grammar lessons counted on it that we, the students, already know that grammar. So, we were doing a lot of exercises but nobody explained it profoundly. So, I achieved a high level, but since I miss that structure I have to do something different now.
That`s why I definitely will look for a language school next year if I will find some spare time. Maybe abroad, and have some guided.
And I certainly will start to prepare for the "cirtified translator" exam. I do not have the goal to achieve that in a year, but maybe in 2 or 3 years. I also am not very sure yet whether I really really really want to be a translator, but it sure will be interesting to learn more about it. Even if I will not do the exam in the end, I am sure that I will learn a lot for my personal development!