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Learn English: Discussing personal and professional goals

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YOUTUBE: How to talk about your goals
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We asked people in Australia what goals — personal and professional — they have set for themselves this year. Watch this video to find out more and read on to learn some useful words and phrases related to this commonly discussed topic.

A 'goal' refers to something that needs to be achieved. You can 'achieve' your goals or want to 'reach' your goals. We can set different types of goals — personal or career goals. Career goals are also known as 'professional goals'.

You can 'set' goals by thinking about what things you want to achieve and making a note of them. It's a good idea to write them down so you can refer to them from time to time if you need to.

"I have set goals around achieving stuff at work but also achieving stuff personally."

You can have one goal or many goals.

If you are talking about a single goal you have, you can say:

  • "My goal is..."

If you are talking about more than one goal, you can say:

  • "My goals are..."

You can have 'specific' goals or 'general' goals.

If you are specific, it means you are referring to something in particular. Take a look at these examples:

"My goal this year is to expand my YouTube channel. I like to get the word out there and talk to people about Asian cinema and spread the word."

"Well, I've bitten the bullet. I've given up work and I'm following my dream. I'm going back to school. It's always what I wanted to do and I thought if I'm not going to do it now, then when am I going to do it?"

Take a look at the first example above. This person's goal is to expand his YouTube channel and get the word out.

To 'get the word out' means to tell people about something new. To 'spread the word' means to share information with a lot of people.

In the second example above, the person says she has 'bitten the bullet'. To 'bite the bullet' means to force yourself to do something unpleasant or difficult like quitting your job and going back to school after many years.

If you are talking about general goals, it could be a basic idea rather than something very specific. For example:

"My goal is to keep enjoying school and I am aiming to get a good career at the end of it."

If you come up with a long list of goals you want to achieve, you might be thinking of the 'main goals' and they are the goals you want to focus on because they are important to you.

"To do really well at uni, to be a better person within myself and just to do things properly. Those are some of my main goals."

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