Vocabulary  for Achievement and Goal-Setting

silhouette of a graduate who achieved his goal

Here are some example sentences and a couple of vocabulary activities to practice important words related to goals. (Many of these words are on the Academic Word List, as well as in the essay “SMART Goals.”)

You probably won’t know all these words. That’s O.K. This isn’t a test. It’s just a chance to play around with words. Take a guess, then scroll to the bottom of the page to check your answers and see explanations. The purpose of these games is to make it easier to recognize these words when you see them again.

Example Sentences 

silhouette of a graduate who achieved his goal

The graduate and his parents were proud that he had achieved his goal and made all his efforts and their financial sacrifices worthwhile.

Our organization’s goal is to raise enough money to be well-established and financially secure. However,  we are financially unstable currently, and we must operate within severe budget constraints (= be very careful with our limited money.)

Sales people often receive financial incentives such as bonuses (extra pay) if they meet or exceed their targets (goals) for the month.

A resolution is a statement of one’s purpose to work toward a goal. We can resolve to lose weight or to learn a new language.  (Resolve and resolution can also be used when people find a solution to a problem. For example: “The conflict was resolved by changing the date of the meeting.” Resolve can also be used as a noun meaning 'determination'-- a person has decided something and will not change.)

The Goal Planning Process:

1. Identify the goals you want to reach. (It’s O.K. to aim high, but be realistic.)

2. Establish specific, measurable criteria (standards to judge by) so you can recognize when you have attained them.

3. Plan the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

4. Carry out your plan.


Vocabulary for Achievement Activity 1: Odd One Out  

All of these but one have very similar meanings. Which is the odd one that does not mean the same?

1. accomplishment, achievement, attainment, establishment

 2. goal, image, objective, target

3. decide, hope, intend, resolve

4. constraints, limitations, objectives, restrictions

5. before, eventually, previous, prior 

6. definite, precise, general, specific

7. benefits, criteria, requirements, specifications

Achievement Words Activity 2: Matching

Instructions: Match words in column 1 with their meanings in column 2. Then click on "Check."



Activity 1. The Odd one is:

1. establishment (The others all involve reaching a goal: getting what you wanted.)

2. image (The others are all goals to aim for.)

3. hope (The others all show a definite purpose to work for something, not just a desire for it.)

4. objectives (The others are all limits on what you can do.)

5. eventually (The others all talk about something that occurred--happened-- earlier.)

6. general (The others all describe one thing in particular, not just anything similar. General is actually the opposite of specific.)

7. benefits (The others are all words for a list of the exact things someone is looking for.) 

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