We have all been there at some point or another. We start with great intentions to develop our vocabulary, but something happens, and our efforts fizzle out.
It’s frustrating, especially when you know that vocabulary development can enrich your life. But don’t despair yet.
Staying inspired to develop your vocabulary involves setting SMART goals. This post will cover what SMART goals are and examples of SMART goals to keep your vocabulary development on course.
What is a SMART Goal?
First introduced in 1981, SMART goals are crucial to helping you develop your vocabulary. This framework is a powerful tool in your arsenal for meeting your vocabulary goals.
Here is a deeper dive into what each SMART component entails:
- Specific: The goal should ideally be clear and well-defined. It answers the question, “What exactly do I want to achieve?”
- Measurable: Make sure you track and measure your goal progress. In other words, how will you know if you are successful?
- Attainable: Ensure your goal is achievable and realistic. It does you no good to create unrealistic goals for yourself.
- Relevant: Why is this goal important? Does it align with your interests and values?
- Time-based: A time-based goal has a strict deadline. You can answer the question, “When do I want to accomplish this goal?”
For your aim to promote vocabulary development, following the SMART goal-setting framework will boost your chances of success. After all, having a roadmap is much better than aimlessly wandering around.
11 SMART Goals Examples for Vocabulary Development
Do you want to be more proficient in your chosen language? Here are several examples of SMART goals to develop your vocabulary:
1. Expand Functional Vocabulary
“I want to improve my functional vocabulary by 10% over the next year. I’ll do this by reading one non-fiction book per month outside of my normal reading material and by looking up the definitions of one new word per day in the dictionary.”
Specific: Your goal is to improve functional vocabulary by 10%.
Measurable: You will track progress by reading one book per month and looking up one new word each day.
Attainable: This goal is achievable if you commit to reading and expanding your vocabulary daily.
Relevant: This goal relates to your desire to improve your functional vocabulary.
Time-based: You will achieve this goal over the course of one year.
2. Deepen Your Understanding of Words
“I will increase my vocabulary by 10 new words per week for the next three months. I’ll look up definitions of these words, use them in conversation, and write them down in sentences to better remember their meaning.”
Specific: This is specific because the person wants to learn 10 new words per week and will use various methods to remember them.
Measurable: Track the number of words learned each week and ensure you understand their definitions.
Attainable: Learning 10 new words per week is definitely achievable if you dedicate time to studying vocabulary.
Relevant: Understanding words on a deeper level is suitable for anyone who wants to increase their vocabulary.
Time-based: The goal is to learn 10 new words per week for the next three months.
3. Use a Thesaurus
“Over the next four months, I’ll expand my vocabulary by using a thesaurus to find different words for common terms for 15 minutes every day.”
Specific: You have a precise action available—use a thesaurus to build your vocabulary terms daily.
Measurable: Make sure you use the thesaurus for at least 15 minutes daily.
Attainable: This is a reasonable goal, assuming you make time every day.
Relevant: This goal relates to your primary objective of expanding your vocabulary.
Time-based: You should expect goal achievement within the next four months.
4. Understand Word Roots
“I will increase my understanding of word roots by reading a book on the subject matter within two months. I’ll take notes on what I read and look up any words I need help understanding. I will also quiz myself on the material every few days to ensure I retain the information.”
Specific: This goal tells you precisely what needs to be done (read a book and take notes) and how often you need to review the information (every few days).
Measurable: Count the number of pages you read each day and how well you do on your quizzes.
Attainable: Reading a book on word roots is an achievable goal.
Relevant: Learning about word roots will help you understand vocabulary words better.
Time-based: You want to complete this goal within two months.
5. Learn to Use Context Clues
“I’ll aim to improve my ability to use context clues by reading one chapter from a novel daily. As I read, I will highlight any words I don’t know and look them up. At the end of the month, I’ll take a practice quiz on context clues to see how much my skills have improved.”
Specific: The goal is clear and concise, stating precisely the objective and how it will be accomplished.
Measurable: Check the number of chapters read, the number of words looked up, and the score on the practice quiz.
Attainable: This goal is feasible by reading one chapter of a novel every day.
Relevant: This is pertinent to vocabulary development because it will improve the ability to use context clues.
Time-based: There is a one-month timeline for accomplishing this goal.
6. Take a Vocabulary Test
“I want to take a vocabulary test at the start of every week to improve my understanding of new words. I will track my progress and strive to increase my score by 5% each week.”
Specific: This statement is about taking a vocabulary test to increase understanding of new words.
Measurable: Make sure you take a vocabulary test at the start of every week to track progress.
Attainable: This is a reasonable goal if you free up time to study vocabulary words regularly.
Relevant: The goal is relevant to vocabulary development.
Time-based: There is a deadline for taking the test at the start of every week.
7. Try a Word-of-the-Day Calendar
“I’ll learn and practice at least one new word every day for the next month by using a word-of-the-day calendar. At the end of two months, I will be able to use these new words in conversation and writing.”
Specific: The SMART statement includes the number of words learned, the time frame, and how the words will be used.
Measurable: You can measure progress by the number of days the calendar is used and how often the new words are used in conversation and writing.
Attainable: This is realistic because it is possible to learn and practice one new word daily.
Relevant: Focusing on learning new terms every day relates to vocabulary development.
Time-based: There is a two-month time frame for completing this goal.
8. Read More Often
“I hope to read for at least 30 minutes daily within three weeks. I will track my progress by keeping a reading journal to record the books I read and my thoughts about them.”
Specific: The individual wants to read for at least 30 minutes every day.
Measurable: The person will check their progress using a reading journal.
Attainable: This goal is achievable because it’s a realistic amount of time to read each day.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate since it will help the individual expand their knowledge.
Time-based: Three weeks is the specific end date for meeting this time-bound goal.
9. Play Word Games
“I plan to play at least one online or offline word game for 10 minutes each day to improve my vocabulary. For the next 5 months, I’ll keep track of my progress by keeping a tally of the words I learn in a notebook.”
Specific: The goal is well-defined. The individual knows they need to play word games to improve their vocabulary.
Measurable: The individual will measure progress by playing for at least 10 minutes daily and keeping a tally of the words learned.
Attainable: Anyone can accomplish this particular goal with intentional effort and time.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate for the individual’s desire to improve vocabulary.
Time-based: Goal attainment will be met within 5 months.
10. Get a Tutor
“I will find and work with a tutor for one hour per week to help me learn vocabulary words. I hope to learn and understand 20 new words by the end of the month.”
Specific: This goal lays out what you need to do (get a tutor and work with them for one hour per week) and how often you need to do it (once a week).
Measurable: Track your results by counting the number of hours you’ve spent with a tutor and the number of new words you’ve learned.
Attainable: Finding a tutor and working with them for one hour per week is definitely doable.
Relevant: Learning new vocabulary words will help enhance your language skills.
Time-based: Goal completion is expected by the end of one month.
11. Listen to Audiobooks
“I will diversify my reading list by listening to at least two audiobooks per month. I’ll focus on novels from different cultures and time periods to gain a new perspective and broaden my vocabulary in the next 6 months.”
Specific: This is specific because the person has a reading list and wants to focus on novels from different cultures.
Measurable: The individual must listen to at least two audiobooks monthly.
Attainable: You have novels from different cultures that you want to focus on, so this goal is reasonable
Relevant: The statement relates to your desire to broaden your vocabulary by listening to audiobooks.
Time-based: This goal should be accomplished in the next 6 months.
Expanding your vocabulary is a challenging task. Fortunately, creating SMART goals is a fantastic approach to ensuring your objectives are reached. While the SMART framework could be applied for career development, it also has plenty of uses outside of a professional setting.
A rich vocabulary will help you better comprehend texts when reading. And you’ll be able to boost your writing skills; using precise, descriptive words will make your writing more exciting and compelling.
That said, these 11 listed examples of SMART goals will enhance your reading and writing skills. Once you put in the proper time and effort, vocabulary development can make you more well-rounded overall.
This post may feature products and services that we think you’ll find useful. Please read our disclosure for more information.