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.
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.