Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this final Inner Circle of the year, we’re talking about...
Peter: The Satisfaction of Reaching Goals
Chigusa: And today, you will learn...
Peter: 1) How to Reach Your Language Goals
Chigusa: 2) How to Enjoy the Journey
Peter: and, 3) The Power of Rewards
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned all about the benefits of learning a language...
Chigusa: ...and we got to hear your take on it, Peter.
Peter: We talked about some immediately obvious benefits, like... you get to meet more people, you get to make more friends...
Chigusa: ...You enjoy new cultures...
Peter: And, you feel good because you accomplish a personal goal.
Chigusa: And Peter, there were other benefits, like “it boosts brain power” and “creativity.”
Peter: Ah, well, Chigusa, I think those were inconclusive for me...
Chigusa: ...but, speaking of personal goals, let’s get into your last monthly goal for the year. How’d it go?
Peter: Chigusa, good news, i barely made 30 minutes. In fact, I feel a little guilty...
Chigusa: Why?
Peter: Well, I went from 17 minutes last month to 30, and that’s a big jump.
Chigusa: It is a big jump!
Peter: So, towards 23, 24, I was taking up time by asking my teacher in Korean - what a word or a grammar point she used was...so...
Chigusa: Like, in the middle of the conversation?
Peter: Yep, she’d say something and I’d follow up in Korean, “excuse me but what does so and so mean?”
Chigusa: But you guys still kept it in Korean, right?
Peter: We did. I kept it all in Korean. The last 10 minutes though, something happened, and I think if you saw a breakdown of who speaking throughout the conversation, I think you would know when I ran out of things to say. It was towards the last 10 minutes. And Chigusa, how much do you think I spoke during that time?
Chigusa: Like 40%?
Peter: Less.
Chigusa: Less?
Peter: And do you know what tactic I used?
Chigusa: No, tell me Peter.
Peter: Asked questions. Then I did something very interesting. I listened. My wife strongly encouraged me for many years to practice this technique of listening but kind of thought I should listen more, even in my native language.
Chigusa: That might be true.
Peter: So, by asking questions and listening, asking a little more, delving down, it really really allowed me to reach that 30 minute goal.
Chigusa: So, Peter, I think you hit your goal for the year then.
Peter: I did and I think it counts, right?
Chigusa: Right, I think so too.
Peter: ...And this is related to today’s Inner Circle topic:
Chigusa: The Satisfaction of Reaching Goals
Peter: And let’s jump right in.
Chigusa: Part 1: How to Reach Language Goals &Get that Satisfaction
Chigusa: So, Peter, let me ask first, how do you feel? Now that you’ve hit your goal.
Peter: Well, I feel a few things. First, I’m not really done with learning, so it’s not like I’m fluent yet. But I can hold a kind of an advanced, basic conversation. Second, I am definitely done for this year. So, I need to take a rest.
Chigusa: I feel you on that second one.
Peter: Now, third, I’m super excited. I want to get even better now. I also feel that I can take on any goal and hit it - language or not - simply because I hit this yearly goal...
Chigusa: Yes, and you hit almost all the small monthly goals along the way too.
Peter: Exactly, and Chigusa, the reason I want to talk about reaching goals is because it’s almost the new year.
Chigusa: It is. It’s New Year’s Resolutions time.
Peter: Chigusa, did you set your resolution yet?
Chigusa: No, but I'm thinking now. I should eat healthier. That’s a really, really good one.
Peter: That’s a great one. But you know, to be honest, New Year’s Resolutions are a bit of a joke - for some people nowadays.
Chigusa: Yeah, they are. You set a goal. You try to do it.
Peter: And a lot of people, myself included, you try for a week or 2. And then you give up.
Chigusa: That sounds about right.
Peter: But that’s because most people set big, vague goals, like “I want to be fluent,” or “I want to speak a new language.” Then they download an app or get a textbook. And they try to stick with it.
Chigusa: ...and by the 2nd week, they’re done because the goal is too overwhelming.
Peter: But if you set small, measurable monthly goals...
Chigusa: ...like we’ve been mentioning since January...
Peter: Listeners, you actually start reaching your goals .
Chigusa: You develop confidence in yourself, and your ability to get things done...
Peter: ...And at least, you can speak 1 minute of conversation by end of January...
Chigusa: ...3 minutes by the end of February, 5 minutes by March....
Peter: ...10 minutes by June...
Chigusa: ...Instead of giving up in the 2nd week of January.
Peter: And by setting these small goals, you allow yourself to succeed.
Chigusa: Yes, you get to feel that accomplishment. Even if it’s a small goal.
Peter: In other words, you can enjoy your learning journey. And that’s part 2. Let’s get into that.
Chigusa: Part 2: How to enjoy the language learning journey.
Chigusa: Peter, I have a question: if we’re always focused on goals and results… what if you miss a goal? How can you enjoy that?
Peter: Wow, that’s a great question, Chigusa. If you make the goals small and realistic enough, like learning 100 words in a month, that’s 3 to 4 words a day, then it’s not painful at all. And it’s very easy to accomplish. And when you hit that... reaching goals generally feels good. And it’s not like school where there’s pressure where you either pass or fail.
Chigusa: That’s true.
Peter: So, I think smaller goals make it more enjoyable. And for me, learning itself is enjoyable.
Chigusa: Really!? How so?
Peter: Well, I run a business, so I am super busy. So many things going on every day. And sometimes it feels like there’s no progress. You walk into work with a long list of things you want to get done. And sometimes, it feels like you cannot even dent the list. So when it comes time to do a session with my tutor or do some audio lessons, I enjoy it. Because I only have one thing to focus on - the language.
Chigusa: Ah, almost like meditation! You don’t have to think about anything else.
Peter: That’s a great way of putting it. And also, when you start listening or start speaking a language, it really also allows you to understand your progress, right? It’s like when you’re really good at a sport. And you get out there, you’re doing that sport, you feel like - as you’re moving - you feel all those hours of input that you spent as you’re playing. So, when you’re listening or speaking, all those hours that you put in, are reflected in your understanding of the language.
Chigusa: I see, but Peter, what if you’re making mistakes? Like, if you’re talking or practicing with a native? I think for most learners, that wouldn’t be very fun.
Peter: Mistakes are great. In my experience, there hasn’t been one situation where I looked back and thought, "How embarrassing. That was awful." Well, again, related to language and speaking. In fact, some of the stuff I remember the most is the mistakes I made.
Chigusa: Maybe it’s your mindset.
Peter: Could be, but, if anything, making mistakes always has a positive: the right answer gets seared into your brain…
Chigusa: ...yeah, you’ll never forget it.
Peter: I never ever forget all the questions I got wrong when all eyes in the class were on me. I’ll never forget the big mistakes. But Chigusa, here’s what makes language learning most enjoyable: new friends, connections and experiences you make because of the language.
So, for example, this year I’m studying Korean, went to Korea, reconnected with some old friends. We met her, her husband who I never met, and her 3 children. This was an incredible experience. From there, we made some new Korean friends just by chance. And the fact that I was studying Korean, for them was so interesting. It helped make that connection deeper faster because of the understanding. “Oh, you’ve been to Korea” “Oh you can speak a little Korean” “Wow, this is so interesting.” So, when they invited us to go to a Korean restaurant, it was very fun for our family to go.
Chigusa: And also, i bet it helps if the language resource you use… is fun and easy!
Peter: That’s a great point, Chigusa. I think mindset, I like fun and easy. That’s what we try to do with the lessons… where all you have to do is hit play and listen to our teachers explain the dialogs and the cultural insights.
Chigusa: So listeners, to make language learning more enjoyable…
Peter: Set small, measurable goals that you can actually reach.
Chigusa: Make mistakes. If anything, it’ll be a fun story for later.
Peter: And use whatever language you know to create friendships and connections…
Chigusa: … or even travel to a country that speaks it.
Peter: There’s one more thing that makes the journey enjoyable. And it’s actually, Chigusa, dealing with failure, or missing your goals. Chigusa, you said you want to eat healthy next year, right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: So what happens when you miss a day of eating healthy?
Chigusa: You try to eat twice as healthy the next day?
Peter: Exactly. Another example is... my son and I are trying to rewrite google reviews and we miss a day, what are we going to do the next day?
Chigusa: Double the reviews?
Peter: Yeah and today we owe 40 reviews. One of the things about this mindset is... the power of restarting. Understanding that “okay,” I cannot double down and going back to that original small measurable goal. You cannot double up. You kind of have to take a step back and restart. And by doing so, forget fast, don't beat yourself. Start again. Push the goal out a little further and just build that routine. Otherwise, yeah, the journey will not be enjoyable if you have to sit down and write 20, 30 reviews in a day. Or eat only, what’s the most healthy thing you can think of? Lettuce?
Chigusa: Kale.
Peter: Eat Kale every day for a week. So, this is one more thing that makes the journey enjoyable. Okay, you didn’t hit your goal, okay, that’s fine, don’t double down. Don’t feel like you have to double up. Take a step back. Start over.
Chigusa: Great, then let’s jump into part 3.
Chigusa: Part 3: The Power of Rewards
Peter: So, Listeners, if you haven’t gotten into the practice of rewarding yourself for reaching a goal, start now.
Chigusa: Peter, what kind of rewards have you had for yourself?
Peter: So, my trip to Korea earlier this year - in a way - was a reward. When I started in January, I booked that ticket in the middle of the year for several reasons. One: as a powerful motivator, two: a hard finite deadline, three: it costs money, so if I didn't learn the Korean I was not going to have as good of time, but mainly I know how hard you set can be - whether it’s a language, whether it’s eating healthier, whether it’s working out, it’s not easy. Chigusa, agree or disagree?
Chigusa: Agree.
Peter: Every goal takes time. Anything worth something in life...
Chigusa: Takes time.
Peter: But when there’s something really nice at the end of the tunnel, it’s a powerful motivator during your journey. So what I did was, I booked ANOTHER ticket to Korea.
Chigusa: Oh, that’s exciting, so you’re going to Korea again.
Peter: I am.
Chigusa: So, I like rewards too, but how do they help with language learning?
Peter: Well, because you need positive reinforcement. It’s one thing to hit a goal and feel good about it. But, if you have a reward too, it seals the deal. It helps you keep the cycle going.
Chigusa: So, you need the carrot on a stick.
Peter: Exactly. And it works. You need something to look forward to. For me, it’s travel and restaurants. Chigusa, what about you, what kind of reward would you want? If we take “why would you want to eat healthy?”
Chigusa: Because I want to lose weight. I like to wear pretty dresses, so maybe my reward would be a pretty dress that might be a little expensive.
Peter: Perfect. So you can take that and put it on your desk. You can pre-order it. You can do many different things. And it doesn’t always have to be something - travel can be expensive, dresses can be expensive, but it can be something smaller. Earlier, when I first came to Japan, I would go - my reward would be to go to a sushi restaurant. Conveyor belt sushi. I had my order: $5. 5 dishes, each one $1, but going there and sitting at that counter was my reward for the hard work I put in. Because, let's be honest, again anything worth something takes time and effort.
Chigusa: Right, so, Peter, we’ve talked about setting small goals, enjoying the journey, having rewards… Now, what about next year? What language will you be learning?
Peter: Okay, so remember we said fun and easy and relaxing? This one’s not going to be fun. Hebrew.
Chigusa: Hebrew! Do you have a goal in mind yet?
Peter: As usual, I’ll likely be aiming for 1 minute of conversation, but let’s wait until January. My other reward is to take a break and rest.
Chigusa: Alright! Listeners, thank you so much for being part of the Inner Circle..
Peter: We hope you’ve taken action on the tips you’ve picked up in these lessons…
Chigusa: ...because when you take action, you start seeing results…
Peter: ...and you start reaching your language goals. So, thank you again for coming along with us, and we’ll see you next year. If you have an update on your language learning journey, please send it to us.


Chigusa: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye, everyone!
Chigusa: Thanks for listening!