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“Will we succeed? The science of self-motivation”


Will we succeed? The science of self-motivation is the title of an article describing a new study related to goal-setting and motivation.

In a nutshell, the study found that people who wrote their goal as a question (“Will I…?”) as opposed to writing it as a statement (“I will…”) were more successful at achieving their goal.

Here are some excerpts from the report:

By asking themselves a question, people were more likely to build their own motivation.

The results of this experiment showed that participants not only did better as a result of the question, but that asking themselves a question did indeed increase their intrinsic motivation.

I think I can how this might work. Asking yourself a question sort of requires a stronger affirmation than just stating a goal.

I use a lot goal-setting activities in my class (see My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals). Next year, I think that I might try this new idea in one or two of them. For example, when students make posters highlighting their goals they can frame them as a question, along with their answer (“Will I read a harder book this month? YES!”).

It can’t hurt.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Larry,
    Thanks for the idea. Am I going to try that with my students on Monday? Yes. 🙂

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  3. Wow…you have got alot of information here….I am going to use the question technique on MYSELF!!! Thanks!

  4. hi mr ferlazzo.i’m comfrome iran.your web site is very useful for me. thanks.I produce it to my class rooms.

  5. I just became a teacher of ENGLISH in an english centre in Sofia, Bulgaria. I found the post very useful

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