On the last post I said that I would go into depth on each Declaration and explain how it can help you to achieve success with your Japanese studies.
If you haven’t read that post yet, then click on the link below and get your complete copy of the declarations.
So let’s take a look at the first declaration, MY GOAL IS TO BECOME FLUENT IN JAPANESE, and break it down so that you fully understand it.
The Definition of a Goal
When asked about their goals, most people only have a vague idea of what they want. Things like, “lose weight”, “make more money”, or “learn another language.”
The problem is that these are too vague and weak to be a goal. These are simply things that would be nice if they happened all on their own. The problem is that they probably won’t just happen.
Here is what an actual goal is:
(1) A goal is CLEAR and DEFINITE
(2) A goal is WRITTEN down on paper
(3) A goal has a DEADLINE
(4) A goal has an accompanying PLAN of ACTION
Let me give you an example of what most people think is a goal, and then what an actual goal is so that you can clearly see the difference.
Not a goal, just a want: “I want to learn Japanese this year.”
An actually goal (written down on paper): “My goal is to become fluent (B2 Level) in written and spoken Japanese by December 1st, 2017. My plan is to do XYZ each day and week.”
Do you see the difference?
One is wishful thinking and and only leads to more wishful thinking. The other is a clear map of where you want to go and how to get there – this other one leads to success.
Why and How Goals Work
Having a real goal works for several reasons. The first one is CLARITY. You cannot clearly define what it is that you want until you are able to put it down on a piece of paper and have someone else read it and understand it.
Clarity is power because it allows you to know exactly what you want. You are then able to make decisions based on if those same decisions will take you closer to your goal or not.
Goals also work because they are TIME BOUND. This is important because it focuses your brain and gives you a sense of urgency to work on achieving your goal.
A deadline is really just an ambitious estimate. Still, it’s important to have for the reasons mentioned above. If you fail to meet the deadline, don’t worry about it. Just set a new one and keep going. And remember, you might actually achieve your goal sooner than you thought.
Now that your goal is clear and has a deadline, you will know which actions you need to take. You are able to write out daily, weekly, and monthly actions so that you are always moving towards accomplishing it.
What is (B2) Fluency?
Since you will want to be clear in your goals, let’s explain what it means to be fluent in a language.
When most people use the word “fluent” they simply mean being able to express one’s thoughts at a normal conversational pace. Or being able to understand someone else at that same pace.
There are actual official levels of comprehension in language learning. The lowest level of proficiency is A1. It then increases to A2, B1, B2, C1, and ends at C2 (mastery) which is probably where you would be considered at for your native language.
Even though you are probably considered a C2 in your native language, B2 is considered by many to be the standard level of fluency. At this level you can use the language with ease.
So now that we are clear on what fluency is, let’s take a look at why it should be your goal.
Why Aim for Fluency?
If you plan on just visiting Japan for a week and nothing more, then perhaps your goal should just be to learn some useful phrases. But if you are serious about learning Japanese, then there are couple of reasons why you will want to set fluency as your goal.
(1) – Fluency will allow you to watch Japanese shows, read Japanese manga, and play Japanese video games with ease. Fluency is the point where you’re not always focused on understanding the language. Instead, you’re focused on using it and having fun!
(2) – When you aim for fluency you will practice and study at a higher level. You see, if your goal is to only learn a few phrases, then it’s easy to slack off and not work each day.
But when you are aiming for the top, you go into each study session with the right mindset. You know that each day is important and that little by little you are making progess. If you want to be a winner, then train like winners do.
(3) – Even if you don’t hit your goal of fluency within your deadline, at least you will be close! It is very rare than a person hits HIGHER than where they aimed. But by aiming to be fluent, you should at least be conversational by the deadline and able to talk to Japanese people pretty well.
“If you aim for the stars you’re at least going to hit the moon!” -T. Harv Eker
So now that you know HOW and WHY you should use goals, it’s time to do it.
Take out a pen and paper and WRITE down your goal to become fluent in Japanese. Write down your DEADLINE and write down your daily, weekly and monthly actions that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Some examples of actions are:
- Daily: Do one lesson in Japanese course.
- Weekly: Watch a show in Japanese with no subtitles.
- Monthly: Have a 30 minute conversation with someone only using Japanese.
And remember, be sure to use the declaration “MY GOAL IS TO BECOME FLUENT IN JAPANESE” each day in order to stay focused and remind yourself daily of your goal.
So what is your goal for learning Japanese? What is your deadline for achieving it? And what are some of the actions you are going to take?
Write them down in the comments below!