Believing is succeeding

So, you have formulated your New Year’s resolutions and you are now considering the best strategy to achieve them.

You have carefully considered the steps that you need to take to achieve those goals and the barriers that you are likely to face. You lined up a number of treats to reward yourself at key milestones, because you believe in delayed gratification. Or you went public with your resolution – actually, according to this talk by Derek Sivers you should reconsider that:

What else can you do to ensure that you achieve your goals?

According to research conducted by Anirban Mukhopadhyay and Gita Venkataramani Johar, the key to achieving your New Year’s resolution is… believing that you can do it! Or, in technical terms, it all depends on your level of perceived self-efficacy.

Perceived self-efficacy is the belief we hold in our own abilities to complete a task or to organise the resources required to achieve a goal. Individuals with high perceived self efficacy attribute failure to lack of personal effort. Conversely, those with low perceived self efficacy consider that failure is the result of lack of personal ability.

The research is reported in an article entitled ‘Where There Is a Will, Is There a Way? Effects of Lay Theories of Self-Control on Setting and Keeping Resolutions’ published in March 2005 in the Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 31, issue 4, pages 779-786.

What Mukhopadhyay and Johar (2005) found was that:

the stronger the perceived self-efficacy, the more vigorous and persistent are people’s efforts. That is, self-efficacy beliefs influence the amount of effort that people invest in a task and how long they persist when confronted with obstacles or in the face of failure.

That is, those that believe in themselves try hard and don’t give up easily. Consequently, they are more likely to succeed.

So what?

If you sell a product or service connected to a New Year’s resolution, the first thing that you want to do is to convince your customer that they have the skills and the resources to succeed.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution? If you are setting out on a major personal journey such as loosing weight, quitting smoking or getting promoted, remember that the key is in you and your determination to succeed. Not gimmicks.

4 thoughts on “Believing is succeeding

  1. Happy New Year Ana!

    I will keep my goals secret as you suggest – but I did wrap up New Years day with a bit of Napoleon Hill – Cant do any harm

    Wishing you good energy for the start of the year and beyond



    1. Well, as Napoleon Hill himself wrote, “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit”.

      Have a great 2013 and let’s get that ‘ideation’ project rolling.


  2. Believing is achieving, and also as powerful as this statement is achieving is believing.
    I have a personal journey on my own, I took baby steps towards my goal, and now I have physical evidence that I can achieve it. I believe after this achievement, what to be a dream to be real, and I do believe that a great part of it will be achieved very objectively in 2014.
    I have a firm belief of that.
    Have a great 2014, And do believe that your goals are achievable.


    1. It is a very interesting cycle, isn’t it? The more you believe in your self, the harder you try and that, in turn, means that you are more likely to succeed. On a side note, this paper made me think about the importance of building confidence in our children and our students, not just technical or practical skills.

      PS – I loved the idea of printing the book to help you visualise the final product!


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