#busuubetteryou: S.M.A.R.T. GOALS


Here at busuu, we know what an important role goals play in motivating you. Goals are the fuel that’ll drive you towards language success! So, let’s look through a handy little memory trick that’ll save you in the slow times – S.M.A.R.T. 

It means setting Specific, Measurable, Agreed On, Realistic, Time Bound goals. It’s fun, honest.


Being specific is useful in making your goals bite-sized and manageable. There’s a difference between saying “I want to be an excellent skier” and “I want to ski down a black diamond hill in the Alps without falling on my butt”. The latter example gives a set of criteria for success, breaking down the core skills needed to achieve those skiing dreams. Whereas, being an “excellent skier” means different things to different people.


How long is a piece of string? Well, that’s the beauty – it can be as long or short as you like. Just make sure you can measure the time it’s taking you to complete your goal (for example, complete A1 in a month). What’s nice about setting milestones is that if you know when you’ve achieved your goal then you can eat cake to celebrate!

Agreed On

If there’s anyone else who is counting on you to achieve your goals (for example if you’re learning a language for work) make sure all those involved know what your goals are as you set them. This isn’t so they can catch you out – rather, it’ll help you know who to ask for help and give you a sense of fellowship. Like Frodo.


It’s nice to shoot for the stars, but your rocketship only has so much fuel. Setting realistic goals with the resources and time you have will mean you achieve them – which will spur you onto achieve more.

Time Based

This is a tricky one – you want to give yourself enough time to achieve your goals. But not too much time, as this can affect your motivation. Play around and see how you work best – having a deadline in sight means the finishing line is approaching!

And remember, if you ever need any help getting S.M.A.R.T, our wonderful busuu community are going through the same as you. We’ve also got Premium features like the McGraw-Hill Certificate and level tests to help you structure your goals. Now, let’s kick this into gear!

Katya was a Russian Language Expert at busuu. She is from Moscow, where she studied to teach Russian as a foreign language and later moved to Paris to study French and English translation. Katya loves nothing more than a good run and swim. She also enjoys cross country skiing on a chilly day and wouldn't say no to a Russian banya (that's a Russian bath and spa for those of you who don't know!)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here