Learning French requires time and effort. Your success is directly related to the actions you take. It won’t feel like an unsurmountable mountain if you follow some basic rules.
Planning your success with S.M.A.R.T. goals
Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? They first appeared in the early ’80s specifically for management goals. They are now widely used by coaches and businesses to help managers, coaches and professionals set up goals that make sense and that are actually achievable.
What makes them S.M.A.R.T?
The acronym is very well chosen. The planning required gives you the exact path to achieve said goal. No more New Year’s resolutions where you just throw something in the air like “I want to stop smoking”, “I am going to lose weight” or “I want to be bilingual” and hope for the best. With these “goals”, how can you even tell if you have achieved it? Antoine de St-Exupéry said it very well: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.
The nice thing about setting proper goals is that it is almost impossible to fail. It is a very positive approach and it allows you to be autonomous in your learning. It also allows you to reflect on your progress. No need to beat yourself up about not achieving your goal though; just take a few minutes at the end of your allotted time, reflect and see what happened. Did your situation change in the middle of the cycle? Was your goal a bit too big? How can you tweak it to make it work for next month?
How does S.M.A.R.T. goals work in relation to learning the French language?
In language coaching, we use the same concept to walk you through and help you establish an action plan. Some people are more organized than others but we are always here to help. Instead of throwing in the towel, close your eyes and visualize what you would like to achieve. It could be to be able to have a 5-minute conversation about your hobbies, make a 10-minute business presentation on a specific topic or read a 400-word article about your favourite subject.
Narrow it down as much as possible. It all depends on your situation and how far along you are on your journey to learn French. A good goal would look like this: By the end of the month, I want to prepare for a 5-minute interview with a native or coach about my work. To do so, I will work every Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. After that, the only thing you need is to build your action plan.
Still with me? Great! Do you feel ready to start building your action plan? If the answer is ‘yes’, click below to sign up for our FREE 3-day training!
If the answer is ‘no’, we’d love to hear your feedback. What have we missed in our attempt to help you take that first step? What obstacles might we have overlooked?
Write in the comment what language goals you have for the next week or month. Take it little by little and you will see that you can achieve a lot more when you are working toward a S.M.A.R.T. goal than hoping for something outside of your control to happen.