Phrases for plans, goals, hopes, dreams

YouTube video

In today’s video you’ll learn the sentence structures we use for talking about plans and goals, hopes and dreams – with lots of examples.

But first let me ask you – Do you have a plan for improving your English this year?

If you DON’T have a plan…

❌ you won’t know what to study

❌ you won’t feel like you’re making progress

❌ you’ll lose motivation

But if you DO have a plan for your English learning…

✔️ it’s easier to study consistently

✔️ you’ll know exactly what to learn next

✔️ you’ll be confident that your English is improving day by day!

When you join my Complete Program, you’ll get ALL my courses and e-books at 50% off – AND a suggested study plan that takes you from the easier lessons up through the more advanced ones.

Now is the perfect time to join!

Phrases for plans, goals, hopes, dreams Espresso English

All right, now let’s look at some sentences for talking about plans, goals, hopes, and dreams.

I’m going to / I’m not going to

Use these to state promises and intentions. Add the word “definitely” for extra emphasis. For example:

  • This year, I’m definitely going to learn a new language.
  • From now on, I’m not going to eat at McDonald’s.

In spoken English, “going to” is pronounced gonna.


These phrases express your firm emotional commitment to your goals.

  • I’m determined to grow my business this year.
  • I’m determined not to lose my temper with my kids.
    “lose your temper” means to explode in anger

I’M planning…

This phrase is for plans that are more definite; you’ve already taken steps to make them happen.

  • We’re planning to visit Disneyland in July.
  • I’m planning on taking some dance classes – I’ve already signed up.

Note that we say “planning TO + base form” and “planning ON + -ING form”


Use these phrases for things you want, but there’s less certainty that they will happen.

  • I hope to get into graduate school this year.
  • I’d like to find a better-paying job as soon as possible.


Use these when YOU’RE not completely certain; you are only considering the idea.

  • I might get a dog, although I’m not sure if my apartment’s big enough for a pet.
  • I’m thinking about having another child this year.

Don’t use TO with might, may, or thinking!

  • I’m thinking to buy a new car.
  • I’m thinking about buying a new car.

Phrases for excitement / anticipation

Finally, let’s look at some phrases for expressing excitement and anticipation about something that will definitely happen in the future.

  • I’m looking forward to + ING
    I’m looking forward to starting guitar lessons.
    I’m really looking forward to visiting my cousins in June – I haven’t seen them in five years!
  • I can’t wait to + base form / I can’t wait for + noun
    I can’t wait to see the new Star Wars movie.
    I can’t wait for summer vacation!
  • I’m counting down the days until…
    I’m counting down the days until the end of the semester.
  • Informal: I’m psyched/pumped to + verb / about + noun
    I’m psyched about the opportunity to go to China.
    I’m pumped to start my new job in February.

Now it’s your turn to practice! Try writing your own example sentence using each of the phrases from this lesson.

Learn more: How to start a conversation in English

If you’re determined to take your English to the next level this year, I’d love to help you inside my Complete Program for English learning.

Your Complete English Learning Program:

Phrases for plans, goals, hopes, dreams Espresso English

Learn more & Sign up