Updates for August 25, 2014:

+The site has MOVED. If you still see this page, please clear your web browser cache and go to

Dec 18, 2010

Short, Easy Goals

A lot of people get caught up in making long-term difficult goals that sound grand but are never achieved. In a long term process like learning another language these goals are especially prevalent and just as well intentioned – but nevertheless are forgotten. The key to making successful goals is to set yourself up for completing them by making them short term and easy. I find that the best goals are both incredibly easy and generally limited to a day or week time span. Let's talk about some good goals to set and how to get the most out of them.

I typically like to find a simple goal and repeat it on a daily basis. Things such as “Complete my reviews,” “Add X number of new sentences,” and “Read X many pages or volumes of Japanese” are typical goals that I will set for each day. By setting these goals and writing them down I can keep track of what I want to achieve during the day – and the goals are almost always met simply because I took the time to set them. After repeating the same goals for a couple weeks you won't even need to think about them, as they'll have become a part of your normal schedule.

The most important thing to remember here is to set easy goals and to not overestimate what you can achieve in a day. Set a simple goal that you can meet every day and allow yourself to be an overachiever if you feel like it. Always remember that any progress is better than no progress, so simply aim to continue moving forward.

In addition to those daily goals, adding on some larger goals to be accomplished over a few weeks or a month can help keep you on track. Things like, “Read X number of books this week/month” or “Watch X number of Japanese shows” are good examples. These goals aren't really meant for following exactly, they're more of a way to keep an eye on your progress. These longer goals are also good for setting up things to look forward to, such as “I will start reading this book in a month.” Using goals to set a date for when you will next try to enjoy some sort of media will give you something to look forward to and therefore motivate you in your studies.

So in your Japanese studies, remember to set easy goals that you can actually complete. Going overboard and setting grand goals that you can't possibly achieve will gain you nothing, so instead set goals that are so simple and manageable that there is no way you could fail to meet them. By aiming small and moving slow you'll accomplish much more than you would if you planned out hours of study per day but never got around to actually doing it.

Related Articles:

1 comment: