“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
– Bill Copeland
Where am I going?
What are your Goals?
Think about it – if you could achieve whatever you wanted, what would it be?
To be a better English speaker? To become Rich and Famous? Achieve World Domination? (I’m working on the last one).
Most of you have come to ILAC (or will in the future), and doing something amazing, like going to live and study in another country, shows you already have a good idea of how to achieve your goals.
But let’s look even more closely at what it takes to reach our dreams. First of all, how do we get there? Well, what do you do when you want to get somewhere but you don’t know how? You need a map! And how do you get this map? Well, since you’re the only one who knows where you want to go, you have to create it!
You can do this by physically writing out your goals in detail. There is something about committing your inner desires to paper that makes it real. It puts your dreams out into the universe and says “Hey World, look! This is what I want!” It also helps you to focus and define your goals clearly.
Here are three steps to creating a reliable map that will lead you to unimaginable treasures! (And hopefully not into a booby-trapped pit of death).
1. Think about what you really want. Not what your parents want. Not what your friends want. Not what your boyfriend or girlfriend wants. Of course, if the one thing you want most is to make any of these people happy, then by all means, take their wants into consideration. But first think: If you could be anything, do anything, have anything, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to think BIG!
2. Commit to paper. Or screen. After you figure out what you want in each of the important areas of your life, (warning: this may change often), write out your goals. Make sure to include as many details as possible. Think SMART!
Specific (clearly defined – what, where, when, etc.)
Measureable (How will you know when you achieve it?)
Attainable (Sorry, you may not be able to fly no matter how hard you try.)
Realistic (Is it possible to achieve based on your resources, etc.?)
Timely (What is the timeframe? Set clear, reasonable, but motivating dates.)
3. Think and Write in the Positive! The more positive we think about something, the more it affects our subconscious and conscious mind. You should do this in all areas of your life, especially in the areas you want to set goals. For example, you can have Career goals, you can have Educational goals, you can have Personal goals and you can have Health goals (Who doesn’t want to lose that last five pounds?). Whatever you want to change or try – you can do it!
“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.”
- American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard
So get started! Start small, think about your goals relating to your English studies here at ILAC in Canada. Your goals in English can help you to achieve other goals, like getting your certificate or diploma at ILAC, which helps you get into a good university, which helps you get a good job, which helps you to become financially secure, which gives you the freedom to travel and see the world!
Ask your teachers for their advice: what areas of your English do you need to work on? Maybe it’s your listening skills, maybe your pronunciation. If it’s your speaking skills, your goal might look like this:
I will be able to have a five-minute conversation with a native English speaker where we both understand each other perfectly by December 1, 2012.
This goal is Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
And Remember: Don’t be afraid to aim high! As Walt Disney once said:
“All dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.”