Happy New Year!!!

With the new year we all set ourselves goals. I want to learn Japanese, to pass the JLPT, to be able to read a manga. I’ve had similar goals in the past, but actually achieving Japanese goals has never gone quite as planned. There can be a number of reasons for this. The following is suggestions for achieving Japanese goals in 2017!

Break Down Your Goals

Saying “I want to teach myself Japanese” is a great goal! Buuut it’s not easy to achieve because it is so big. Even saying something like “I want to read manga” can be big.

Make a list of the things you need to do to achieve that goal. If you’re a beginner and have no idea where to start, ask others for suggestions. I have some suggestions here for complete beginners.

Break down your goals into manageable goals. I find having a goal every few days works really well. Daily goals can work, but you get out of the habit of studying quickly. Monthly goals you’ll probably leave too long and never do. Try to achieve something every 2 days.

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. If you find yourself thinking “I’ll do it tomorrow”, that’s the hint to get it done right now! Give yourself a sense of achievement before you go to bed. If you keep putting it off til tomorrow, you may never get it done.

Set yourself milestones. Set yourself small goals and then larger goals to achieve by a certain point. I.e Monthly milestones.

Achieving Japanese Goals Dont put off till tomorrow what you can do today

Be Prepared for Hiccups

Your well laid plans will always go astray, so prepare for that! Life happens, and that’s understandable, but don’t let it stop you completely.

Prepare your milestones with a little leeway, just in case you get a cold, or family stuff happens. This is why it’s important not to put off doing your smaller goals! If you did and something happened, you’d be even more behind!!!


Techniques for Goal Planning and Tracking

What Are Your Goals?

First it helps to know what your goals are and how you can achieve them.

  1. Write down everything you want to be able to do.
  2. Prioritize what you want to be able to do the most.
  3. Write down everything you need to do to achieve those goals.

Pass the JLPT N5
– Learn Hiragana
– Learn Hatakana
– N5 related vocabulary
– N5 related grammar
– Practice listening
– Do N5 practice questions

How Do You Achieve These?

This is where the daily goals and monthly milestones come in. Make notes next to each section on how you will achieve these? (Having a diary will help here too!). Check off your goals if you achieve them and cross them out if you don’t!

Pass the JLPT N5
– Learn hiragana (Monday – Learn “A, I, U, E, O”, Wednesday – Learn A, I, U, E, O vocab, etc.)

Take things one day at a time, and try not to plan too far ahead. This is because if you miss something you’ll feel like you need to rush to stick to your schedule. But rushing only makes you stressed and doesn’t help your learning.


Resources for Keeping Track

Diary – A good diary is great at keeping track and checking off your achievements. It gives you a visual representation of your progress too!

One of the best diaries I’ve ever had is a Japanese one with all the days of the month across 2 pages, space for notes on the side and below. As well as pages at the make for making notes and writing down my goals.

Bullet Journal – A bullet Journal is similar to a diary but is specifically for daily, monthly, and yearly goals and tasks. If you’re busy and ave a lot of plans, this s a great way to keep track of everything!

Apps – There are SO MANY apps designed to help you achieve your goals. From simple to-do lists, to more complicated daily and weekly goals lists, to even games where you get XP for completing your goal!

I don’t tend to use apps, I prefer my diary. But if you are on your phone all the time, then it’s worth researching apps that work for you.



The key to achieving your goal is to plan how to achieve it, then do it!

Set yourself smaller, manageable goals. Don’t delay in getting those small goals done. I mean even 15 minutes a day is better than 1 hour a week! These small things build up over time and before you know it you’re where you want to be!