making goals

I’m pretty new to this whole “making goals” and “planning” thing. I tend to just jump into something, do as much as i can, and figure things out as i go. After reading a lot of different language learning websites, though, it seems that the best language learners also seem to make goals and try to exceed them, so i’m going to give it a shot.

One idea that i’ve seen mentioned in several places is that when you make goals, you have to actually decide what you want first. My experience with chinese has taught me that you can’t really make goals out of specific language milestones, because you don’t know how long it’ll take to get to those.

So i’m going to take Khatsumoto’s advice about short term goals. I’m just going to pick some raw numbers for this month for all of the language tasks i want to do: a number for words read, a number for amount of TV watched, a number for listening done, and a number of Anki cards entered. I want to read 150000 words, watch 70 hours of TV, do 90 hours of other listening, and enter 600 new cards into Anki..

To accomplish these, i need to break them down to a weekly and daily level. Per week, that’s 37500 words read, 17 hours of TV, 22 hours of listening, and 150 new Anki cards. So far this month, i’m at 7 hours of TV and 6 hours of other listening, with 92 new Anki cards added, and 6000 words read. Already i can see that i need to get more reading done to catch up, so these weekly goals are already pointing me in the right direction.

Now that i have something to aim for each week, i can also try to get that done early. I have some sort of expectations to exceed. Hopefully this will help me stay away from the temptations of surfing the web.

One more thing to remind myself is that consistency is key. Doing at least some work each day is better than doing a whole bunch all at once. If you can do at least a little bit of language work each day then it’ll add up to quite a lot over time. With that said, i’m going to go make some new sentence cards for some verbs i just saw 🙂

2 Responses to making goals

  1. Rebecka says:

    Oh my, how do you fit in so many hours of listening?? I’m impressed. About the TV thing as well, I can hardly even make myself watch a movie in one setting 😉 Perhaps I should set up some goals as well, although it may be a very bad time to do it at the beginning of a new semester…

  2. doviende says:

    listening is something i can do anywhere, since i got a cheap mp3 player. I keep it in my bag wherever i go, so that i can listen on the train or bus. I listen at work, I listen when I’m shopping for food, I listen when I’m cooking dinner.

    It’s easier for me to pay closer attention when I’m watching a video, but the small mp3 player can go anywhere with me. This is why i made a separate goal for listening, because it can happen in situations where i can’t watch a video.

    As for TV, i think it’s easiest if you find a series that interests you, and get the whole series (either by downloading or by buying DVDs). For instance, i just got some DVDs of The Simpsons, so if i have some spare time i can just sit down and watch that for a while. If i get bored, i can switch to my DVDs of Star Trek: DS9. I just need to have lots of stuff that i like watching.

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