How to Set Goals and Make Plans in English
To set goals and make plans in English, you need these three structures:
We use going to to talk about plans decided before the moment of speaking.
- I am going to do exercises every day
- I am going to buy a new house
- I am going to buy a new car
- She is going to get a new job
- He is gonna start a new major
- Are you going to do exercises next year?
- Are you going to get a new job in 2018?
- Is she going to start med school?
We use will to talk about plans decided at the moment of speaking.
|I will buy a new house||I won’t buy a house|
|She will start her own business||She won’t start her own business|
|He will move to another country||He won’t move to another country|
|We will get married||We won’t get married|
|They will fix their old car||They won’t fix their old car|
- Will you buy a new house?
- Will you get married in 2020?
- Will you go abroad?
- Will you move to another country?
- Will you fix your old car?
We can also use the present continuous to talk about future plans
- I am teaching a class next week in England.
- I am leaving tomorrow, I am going to start my major.
Type of Goals and Plans
|Financial Goals||Love Goals|
|Academic Goals||Career Goals|
|Personal Development Goals||Fitness Goals|
|Health Goals||Relationship Goals|
|Spiritual Goals||Travel Goals|
Examples of Goals and Plans
|change career||Get a promotion|
|retire||buy a house|
|pay off loans||save enough money|
|learn another language||read more books|
|go to church regularly||get more free time|
|get married||have children|
|stay fit and active||buy a car|
The most common method to teach people to set goals and make plans in English is the Acronym “SMART!
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic
- T: Timely
Example: I am going to run twice a week in 2018
- Is it specific? Yes
- is it measurable? Yes
- Is it achievable? Yes
- Is it realistic? Yes
- is it timely? Yes
Expressions to Talk about Goals and Plans
- I really want to start my own company .
- I am going to learn a new language
- I am going to start university
- I will spend more time with my family
- I would like to travel more
Let’s Talk about Goals and Plans
You will read about 6 people talking about goals and plans
I want to lose some weight and that’s why I want to start doing exercises, I will start going to the Gym and running in the morning.
I will spend more time with my family, specially with my daughters, I will stop working too much and I will dedicate more time to my daughters and I will spend less time on social media.
I will try to travel more, There are many beaches in Costa Rica that I would like to visit, I am thinking about visiting beaches in Guanascaste First and then Puntarenas and move on from there.
I really want to stop working too much, I would like to have my own company and work from home, an online store can help me do that.
I really need to buy a house, I am tired of renting an small apartment. I would like to buy a house near the beach. A car is not bad idea, I would like to buy a Toyota Rush. I have to start saving some money though.
My Goals are professional goals, mostly academic goals, I want to learn a new language, Portuguese and English. I am planning to start the university next semester.
Let’s Talk about Plans and Goals
Answer these questions based on the reading
Lesson Plan – How to Set Goals and Make Plans in English
Objective: To set and talk about smart goals in different contexts of Life
Task#1 (10 Mins)
- You must
- Create a Powerpoint Presentation with images of people doing something.
- Cut parts of the picture so people don’t know what the person is doing.
- Ask the students to guess what the person is doing.
For example: You can show this image and ask students what’s she doing?
Let student’s guess what the picture is all about and then show the whole picture
Since the topic is about how to set goals and plan, this activity can help review and introduce some vocabulary
Pre-Task (40 Mins)
- Introduces key vocabulary about example of goals, type of goals and examples of smart goals using a Powerpoint Presentation and this video
- Students are sent this youtube video or this video in pairs, they have to: identify the top ten resolutions that are talked about in the video.
- Students write down 5 goals that they have and they share with their classmates.
- Half of the students are given a reading and the other half is given a set of questions. They have to complete the task by communicating to each other.
Have students sit in pairs so they interview their classmates using a powerpoint presentation that can be seen on their smartphones, computer or tablets. That Powerpoint might include the same visual that you used in the prior presentation.
Would you like to give up smoking in 2018?
Would you like to exercise more?
- You can create a quizlet set with the target grammar and ask students to classify the goals into different categories:
- Health and Fitness Life
- Intellectual Life
- Spiritual Life
- Family and Love Relationship
- Social Life
- Financial Life
- Academic and Professional Life
Main-Task (30 Mins)
- When students are finished, they would work with their classmates creating Smart Goals, they make sure the goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
- Students rehearse telling their smart goals to their classmates.
- Students talk about their goals to their classmates
Post- Task ( 30 Mins)
- Teacher makes three groups, then students are given a sheet with sentences, those sentences have mistakes that students need to correct as a group. When students finish fixing the sentences. They share their results with the group.
If you want more lesson plans based on Task-Based Learning Approach, this is the page where you need to go right away: Task-Based Language Learning