Lesson Transcript

Hey everyone, welcome to your Monthly Review!
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Okay, today’s topic is…
“How to set achievable language goals and resolutions. Your New Year’s Resolution Solution.”
So, for those of you have that set a language goal for 2019, what is it? Leave a comment and tell me. And for those of you that laugh at New Year's Resolution because they just don’t work, this is for you.
Stick around. Today, you’re going to learn:
1) The top 3 reasons why language goals fail
And 2) what YOU can do to succeed with your resolution. In other words, how to set successful language goals.
But first, here’s what’s going on in Japan right now: January 2019.
If you’re planning on visiting Japan in January, you should know that flight tickets and hotels are extra expensive this time of year. And that’s mostly because of the spike in travel during the holiday season. January is also one of the colder months and after the New Years holiday has passed, there are a lot less tourists. So, this makes it a great time to visit hot springs, shrines in Kyoto and ski resorts, and not deal with crowds. Actually, this month is peak ski season since this is when resorts report having the heaviest snowfall.
Now, if you are in Japan in the beginning of January, then you should know about “Hatsumoude” which means “the first shrine visit of the New Year.” As a New Year custom, Japanese people visit Shinto Shrines to pray for the New Year to be a good one. And everyone is welcome to do this ritual, even if you don’t follow the Shinto Religion. Senso-Ji in Asakusa is one of the more popular shrines in Tokyo, and from January 1st to the 5th, you can also see traditional dance performances there, which bring out large crowds.
Another January Japanese tradition is “coming of age day” or “seijin no hi” in Japanese. This happens on the 2nd Monday of January and is a national holiday. On this day, anyone who turns 20 years old this year celebrates their entry into adulthood. They gather for a special ceremony held by their local city office and then go out with their friends. 20 is also the legal drinking age, so many will take advantage of their new status. So, you’ll typically notice large groups of young women in kimonos or young men in suits or kimonos with hakama.
And finally, January is a big shopping season. On January 2nd, many department stores offer “fukubukuro” bags, or lucky bags which contain around 5 items. The catch is, you won’t know what’s inside until you’ve bought it and every bag usually contains at least one expensive item. But remember, it's all up to chance. You might get some expensive item that you don’t really need.
Let’s jump into today’s topic:
How to set achievable language goals and resolutions.
And speaking of New year’s resolutions, it's almost like a joke nowadays, isn’t it? You set a resolution. You try to do it in January. By February, there’s no progress and doing it isn’t fun anymore, you quit and put it off until many years later, when you start regretting all the things you’ve never done. So what’s the problem with setting resolutions and why do we keep failing?
Let’s jump into part 1. The top 3 reasons why language goals fail
First of all, regardless of what most people say, setting resolutions or goals, is a GOOD thing. You have to know where you’re going and what you want to achieve, right? Otherwise, you’d spend days, months, years watching YouTube, and have nothing to show for all the time you put in.
But the problem with most resolutions is, it’s usually something like “I want to master Chinese” “I want to lose weight” “I want to be fluent in Japanese”. People set very, big vague, goals.
And that’s the first reason why resolutions fail. Resolutions fail because they are nonspecific and unmeasurable.
What do I mean by that? Take a goal like...“I want to be fluent in English, Korean or Japanese this year.” The problem is, that’s a very vague goal, right? What do you mean by “fluent”? And can you measure how much progress you need to “be fluent” in the language? You can't. It doesn’t tell you anything about how much Japanese you should learn today, tomorrow, how many minutes of Japanese to speak by month 1, by month 2, what resources to use, and when to stop and take a rest. So, again, the first reason is: Resolutions fail because they are nonspecific and unmeasurable.
The second reason is: New Year’s Resolutions fail because they are unrealistic.
And you might say “but isn’t it good to aim for the stars and set huge goals.” Sure, it’s not bad to want to go far, but if you say “I want to be fluent by September” and you just started learning a language today? It’s NOT impossible, but are you ready to commit yourself to nothing but language-learning? 6 to 8 hours a day, non-stop? If not, you need to be a little more realistic about your goals.
The third reason is: resolutions fail because there is no action plan. The problem is... you will still fail even with a specific and realistic goal if you don’t know when and how you’re going to do it. For example: When will you study? How long will you study for every day? And how will you study?
So, resolutions fail for 3 reasons:
One: they’re nonspecific and unmeasurable.
Two: they’re unrealistic.
And Three: there is no action plan.
Now, how do you set New Year's Resolutions and actually succeed?
Your goals should be 1) specific and measurable, 2) realistic and 3) have an action plan. So, the complete opposite of the mistakes most learners usually make.
And there are 2 more rules. 4) You need to set a deadline. And 5), break down your yearly goal into smaller monthly goals. So, how would this work?
Let’s say my New Year's Resolution is to have a 30 minute conversation in Japanese by December 31st, and a not a “I want to learn Japanese one day.. Hopefully… “, Take a look. Already, you can see that it’s 1) specific and measurable. You can measure 30 minutes, right? 2) it’s realistic. I’m aiming for 30 minutes, not fluency. There’s a clear deadline: December 31st. Before we get into the action plan, there’s another important part: I break my resolution down into smaller, monthly goals. So, let’s say my goal is to speak 2 minutes of Japanese conversation by January 31st, 2019. Again, it’s small and measurable Just 2 minutes. I can time myself and see how far along I am.There’s a clear deadline. It’s realistic. I’m not looking to master the whole language.. just reach the 2 minute conversation mark.
Now, what about your action plan? For that, you just need to answer these questions.
When will you study?
How long will you study every day?
Where do you plan to study?
How will you study?
What is your study schedule?
This is the most important part because this tells you when and how to study. So…
When will you study? - I’ll study at 9PM on weekdays. So, 5 days a week.
How long will you study every day? - I’ll study for 15 minutes.
Where do you plan to study? - I’ll study at home, in the living room, on my computer.
How will you study? - I‘ll listen to 1 or 2 JapanesePod101.com lessons a day, to fill up the 15 minutes.
What is your study schedule? Monday through Friday for 15 minutes a day.
This makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?
Instead of saying “hopefully, I’ll learn Japanese or some other language some day”... and never take action on your goals, by setting these small, measurable goals, you know what you need to do.
Ok, let’ recap. To set successful language goals, Your goals should be 1) specific and measurable, 2) realistic, 3) have an action plan, 4) a deadline and 5) be broken down into small, monthly goals.
So, instead of saying “I want to be fluent in 2019,” try “I want to speak 20 minutes of conversation by December 31st, 2019.” And then go even smaller, and set a small, monthly goal.
So, guys, it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell me what’s your small, measurable monthly goal and what's the deadline? Here are some examples you can steal for yourself:
Learn 100 words in 1 month. Deadline January 31st.
Speak 1 minute of Japanese in 1 month. Deadline January 31st.
Do 20 audio lessons in 1 month. Deadline January 31st.
Now, speaking of lessons...
Here are this month’s new lessons and resources.
First, The Ultimate Listening Video Master Course. Honest question — How sharp are your listening skills?
With this video master course, they’ll be as sharp as a razor. Download it right now.
Next, The Talk About Your Body PDF Cheat Sheet
With this cheat sheet, you’ll learn words for parts of your body in your target language.
Then, there’s the “Most Common Texting Slang” word list. If you want to text in the language you’re learning, you’ll love this. You learn how to say “lol” and other words in your target language. And finally, the “How to Express Quantity” vocab list, where you learn … how to say if there’s a lot, few, a little bit of something.
To get these free lessons and resources,
Just click the link in the description below.
All right everyone, in the last monthly review, we asked you to submit a video or audio file of yourself speaking the language -- introducing yourself in the language.
So, thank you to all of you that sent in submissions! You’ve all received a Premium PLUS subscription as a reward.
Now let’s take a look at some of the videos!
(Alisha plays English videos here and adds own commentary and reactions)
(Note: select and gather the media files in one location that you can access from the studio iPad before the shoot.)
Here to help me analyze all of your great submissions is my fellow JapanesePod101 host, Risa! Over to you, Risa!
Hi everyone! Alisha sent me some of your submissions, and I can’t wait to take a look at them! So let’s just dive right in.
Amazing work, everybody! Thank you so much for your submissions. Back to you Alisha!
So, which entry did you like the best? Leave a comment below.
Or, do you think you can do better?
Here’s the challenge for you. Yes, everyone watching this.
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Introduce yourself in the language.
Share your name,
where you’re from,
and why you’re studying this language.
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Then fill out the form.
Attach the audio or video file.
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To submit a recording, click the link in the description and follow the instructions on the page.
So, thank you for watching this episode of Monthly Review
Next time, we’ll talk about:
The 7 Tested Timeless Ways to Learn a Language
In the meantime, submit your recording, if you’re brave.
Like and share this video, and leave a comment to tell us what language learning tactics you’d like us to talk about.
See you next time! Bye!