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More Info On Asking If You Can Achieve Your Goals (Instead of Just Setting Them)


Last month I wrote the post “Will we succeed? The science of self-motivation,” which told about a new study suggesting that it is better to ask yourself if you can achieve a goal instead of just setting it.

The study said:

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.

Today, Daniel Pink has written an article in The Telegraph elaborating on the study.

It’s worth reading, and quotes one of the researchers:

“…asking questions forces you to define if you really want something and probably think about what you want, even in the presence of obstacles.”

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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


  1. Hi Larry,
    What a good read.
    I am in the process of teaching SMART goal setting to my graduate teachers and this article will be a great warm up activity for our session today.
    Thanks : – )

  2. As a newbie to blogging, I really liked this post. I also enjoyed reading the article. It is an interesting approach to goal setting, and declaring one can do something, and won’t let anything get in the way. In reality, we do have to ask ourselves if we can do it, otherwise it happens to us anyway, and we are humbled through experience.

    Last year, I said to my students repeatedly, “You can do this!”, as I know they are capable of learning, this article brings the question to mind, maybe I should ask them, Can you do this?, but in a way they believe in themselves.

  3. Pingback: From Butterflies to Wings by Janet Bianchini #30Goals | Teacher Reboot Camp

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