This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material.
After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.
[P1] Inspired by Herschel Walker, I recently created a goal to get to the point of being able to do 200 pushups every other day. I asked myself if I could be 10 percent as good as the football legend who does 2,000 in a day and I believe I can. The whole point is to get into better shape and bodyweight exercises are something I can do between emails without leaving the confines of my home office. I haven’t reached my goal yet, but I’m up to 140 (not at one time, and all on my knees) which is pretty good for a middle-aged individual such as myself. I fully expect this endeavor (which also includes 300 squats) to be body-transforming.
[P2] Regardless of what you want to transform in your life, you’ll need a specific goal if you want to make it happen. Here’s what research has to say on the subject (including the fact that I just broke a fundamental rule of goal-setting).
Setting a goal will help you achieve more.
[P3] According to research conducted at the University of Leicester in England, people who have goals work harder and perform better. Participants were tasked with adding several two-digit numbers together. One group was told it was expected to get at least 10 problems correct, another instructed to get at least 15 right, and a control group was not given a goal. Both groups given goals calculated their answers faster and more accurately, with the higher-goal group performing best of all. There was a gender difference, as well, with men outperforming women when given a goal. “One reason could be that the goal creates a competitive environment, which is consistent with the literature on how competition affects men and women differently,” the study author writes.
The most effective goals are specific and difficult.
[P4] Researchers have found that when people are told to do their best, they don’t because having no external reference point allows for a wide range of performance levels. It makes sense. If you want to lose weight you’ll do it faster having a goal to run five miles a day instead of saying to yourself “I’m going to run every day.” If the latter was your goal, running one mile-;which would burn roughly 100 calories-;would meet the goal. If you run five miles, however, you’ll burn 500 and get slimmer faster.
If you really want to reach a goal, keep it secret.
[P5] While it may seem that announcing your goal to the world will help keep you accountable, researchers have found a weird psychological phenomenon happens, instead. When other people take notice of your goal it gives you a premature feeling of having accomplished it. That false sense of achievement works as a detriment to hitting your target.
Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.
|confine||(n) the limits or edges of something
e.g. the narrow confines of academia
|endeavor||(n) a serious effort or attempt
e.g. He failed despite his best endeavors. [=efforts]
|control group||(n) a group of people who are used for comparing another group to in a test or experiment
e.g. The larger the control group sample is, the more reliable and repeatable the results of the promotion will be.
|premature||(adj) happening too soon or earlier than usual
e.g. is retirement seems premature.
|detriment||(n) something that will cause damage or injury to something or someone — usually singular — often + to
e.g. He saw the new regulations as a detriment to progress.
Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.
- Summarize the article in your own words.
- Share some of the goals you have for this year.
- What are some qualities of the most effective goals?
- Do you agree with the author that keeping your goal a secret is better? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!