Episode 50: Dialogue – How to Set and Achieve your SMART Legal English Goals

How can you achieve your Legal English goals? How can you improve your Legal English? How can you achieve your dream job in a top international law firm!? Find out in today’s short episode. After you’ve listened to this episode why not set a SMART goal? Tweet it @legalenglisher, share it on Facebook, or leave me a comment!

SMART goals are:

– Specific
– Measurable
– Attainable
– Relevant
– Time-Bound

Today I announce that I’ll take a short break but I’ll be back in September 2018 with more episodes.

Here is the original article which inspired this episode.

Smart Legal English Goals

Smart Legal English Goals

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Transcript

OPENING

00:00:00: LOUISE: You’re listening to the Study Legal English Podcast,
00:00:07: the world’s first Legal English podcast, helping lawyers and law students become fluent in Legal English.

INTRODUCTION

00:00:20: Hello and welcome to episode 50 of the Study Legal English Podcast. I’m your host Louise and today is just a short episode to talk about
00:00:30: achieving your Legal English goals.
00:00:34: I also wanted to announce that I’m having a short break in August and I’ll be back with more podcast episodes in September.
00:00:43: In September Study Legal English turns one year old and it has been a really great year.
00:00:50: I started the podcast because I love teaching Legal English and I wanted to help students and teachers in this area and well… I just decided to go for it and now the podcast is listened to In…
00:01:02: 112 countries around the world – wow! Thank you all for listening and for sending in your comments I really like hearing from you.
00:01:12: When I return in September you can expect a few more episodes about the English Legal System and then moving forward we have lots of exciting interviews
00:01:21: and we’ll be covering new topics such as legal writing and contract drafting.

SMART GOALS

00:01:28: Today I’d like to share with you some tips about setting goals which you can apply to your language learning.
00:01:35: It’s inspired by an article I read with one of my students on the www.entrepreneur.com website called “how to set career and financial goals you’ll actually achieve”.
00:01:46: My student, like some of you out, there is a lawyer who dreams of working in a more international environment using Legal English on a regular basis, but her level
00:01:57: really needs to improve to achieve this goal and to get her dream job. Of course, this is easier said than done!
00:02:05: This article that we read together stressed the importance of setting SMART goals.
00:02:11: Now you probably know that ‘smart’ has a few different meanings in English – it can mean ‘intelligent’ or ‘clever’.
00:02:19: It can also mean ‘well-dressed’ for example, if you’re wearing a suit
00:02:25: you might look smart, meaning you look well-dressed and professional, not necessarily intelligent. However, smart in the context of SMART goals is an acronym and,
00:02:38: this means that each letter stands for a specific word. ‘S’ for ‘specific’: meaning that goals should be detailed.
00:02:48: ‘M’ for ‘measurable’: meaning that you should have criteria for measuring your progress.
00:02:55: ‘A’ for ‘attainable’: meaning do you have the ability to achieve what you want?
00:03:02: ‘R’ for ‘relevant’: meaning your goals should be consistent with your values,
00:03:09: and ‘T’ for ‘time-bound’: meaning goals should have a time frame for completion, you should have a deadline.
00:03:19: I’ll give you an example of a goal which is not a smart goal:
00:03:25: ‘I will improve my Legal English’.
00:03:30: This is vague, how can we measure your improvement? When do you want to do this by?
00:03:37: Now compare this with a SMART goal: ‘I want to learn 100 new Legal English words within 6 months.
00:03:47: I will listen to the Study Legal English Podcast on my commute to work Monday to Friday and write down each new word I learn.’
00:03:56: This example is specific – it says exactly what you want to do.
00:04:01: You can measure it because at the end of the 6 months you can test yourself and see whether you have, indeed, learnt 100 new Legal English words.
00:04:12: It’s attainable, everything you need to achieve this goal is in your control –
00:04:17: you have a smartphone or computer, you’ve got some free time during your commute.
00:04:22: It’s realistic – there are 182 days in 6 months so you only have to learn one new word every couple of days.
00:04:32: It’s relevant because it helps you achieve your goal of improving your Legal English, perhaps to get that dream job and it’s time-bound – there is a deadline, you’ve given yourself 6 months.
00:04:45: This article which I read also suggests that you write down your goals and put them somewhere you can see them so you are always reminded about it every day.
00:04:56: Maybe you could set yourself a reminder in your calendar or put a sticky note above your desk.
00:05:03: Another point is to create an action plan – put your vision at the top, for example, your vision might be you in a year’s time in a top international law firm.
00:05:15: Your action plan should then break down your goals into smaller actions and set out how you will achieve each one.
00:05:23: For example, if we think back to our goal, our SMART goal related to learning 100 Legal English words, you might think through the steps:
00:05:33: ‘On my commute I will listen to the podcast. When I arrive at work I’ll write down the new word that I learnt.
00:05:41: At lunch time I’ll try to remember this word and I’ll try to use it in a sentence and then on my commute home I’ll listen again to the podcast episode and try to remember what that word was that I learnt.
00:05:54: An important point mentioned in this article is ‘accountability’ and it relates to being responsible for your goals.
00:06:03: I’ll give you two examples to highlight being accountable.
00:06:07: In the first situation, you want to improve your Legal English. You set a goal to learn a new word each day and at the end of the first week things aren’t going very well.
00:06:19: You didn’t bother to do this and you think… ‘tomorrow I will start’. No-one is there to say ‘Hey…
00:06:27: Why didn’t you do it? What about your goal? Your dream? Don’t give up!’
00:06:33: In the second situation you tell a friend or perhaps your spouse about your goal.
00:06:39: Maybe you even tweet on Twitter or you share a post on Facebook, something like ‘I have a goal to learn a new Legal English word each day and so each day I’ll share it with you here on Facebook or Twitter’.
00:06:54: In this situation, at the end of each working day you tell your friend or your spouse the word that you learnt,
00:07:02: or you tweet, you put a post on Facebook, or even comment on the Study Legal English website the word that you’re learning in the comments section on the Podcast episode you listen to.
00:07:14: Don’t be scared to do this!
00:07:17: We are far more likely to achieve our goals if we are held accountable, if we take responsibility, if we share our goals with someone else.
00:07:28: You should also monitor your progress.
00:07:31: At the end of each week have a little review on your commute home think through the words that you learnt that week. Did you manage to learn new words this week?
00:07:41: If you did, you could treat yourself, give yourself a reward, say well done. And finally, let others inspire you.
00:07:51: Is there someone you know who is a non-native English speaker who has improved their Legal English? Take them as an inspiration and a role model.
00:08:02: And if you’re thinking: ‘Yes, but, I don’t have time, I’ll do it tomorrow’.
00:08:08: Remember your priorities. If you really want to achieve something, you must make it your priority.
00:08:17: There’s a nice Spanish proverb which says simply: ‘Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week’.
00:08:26: Don’t postpone what you can do today for tomorrow because there’s always another tomorrow and only one today.

ENDING

00:08:36: So, why don’t you set a smart goal today and let me know what it is?
00:08:42: Send me your comments to info@studylegalenglish.com or of course, if you want to be accountable send me a message on Twitter or Facebook. The Twitter page is @legalenglisher.
00:08:54: That is: ‘legal’ l e g a l ‘Englisher’ e n g l i s h e r
00:09:03: and the Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/studylegaleng. That’s: ‘study’ s t u d y ‘legal’ l e g a l
00:09:17: ‘eng’ E n g.
00:09:19: So, thank you so much for listening this year and I will see you in September with some more exciting episodes. Thanks for listening and see you next time!
00:09:30: (Music).

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