When I’m setting my goal, I want to make sure it relates to my life. It should be something that has an impact for me. I should feel good if I reach the goal, and it should make sense to me. I gave you a lot of examples of goals you can use on the way to improving your pronunciation, but you probably have some personal experiences that can help you figure out a meaningful goal for yourself.
Let me give you an example from my life, and then we can look at some ideas related to pronunciation. If you were part of our first SMART goals class, you know that we set a specific goal. My goal is to practice 30 minutes a week on my singing because I want to become a better singer. The reason this goal is meaningful for me is that I sing in a choir, and I enjoy my rehearsals and concerts more if I’ve prepared well. I want to be a better singer so that my choir sounds good, and so I can do well with challenging music. I get a lot of pleasure out of singing, and I will feel more confident as a singer if I can improve. I’d like to be able to sing confidently in any situation, and I know that practicing frequently can help me with that.
Another reason to make sure that your goal is meaningful is motivation. If you are trying to make a change, even a small change, that can be hard to do. When I tie in my specific goal to something that is personally meaningful, I can stay motivated to work towards the goals, even if it’s hard. I can think about the impact reaching the goal can have for me, and I will be more likely to stick with it.
So, think about how your accent or your pronunciation affects your life. Is there something you’d like to see change? Maybe it’s just that you’re tired of being asked where you are from. Or maybe people ask you to repeat yourself. Maybe you would like to feel more confident when speaking English. Whatever the motivation, when you are picking your SMART goal, think about how it ties in to your personal experience. Make sure you’re working on something that will have a positive outcome for you. Maybe it’s as simple as getting your order right at the coffeeshop, or as complex as being a great public speaker, but when your SMART goal is meaningful, it will be effective.