I had two different New Years’ resolutions in two different years. One was to quit smoking, and one was to make a specific income. Spoiler alert, I achieved both. However, one took a number of years and one happened the first year I tried.

What makes the difference?

What if I told you, in both cases, the biggest factor in the success of each was the same thing?

I call it believability.

The degree to which a person actually believes in his or her ability to achieve the goal set in front of them.
The strategy is important, the situation is important, and the personality of the individual is also important. However, if an individual does not believe in their ability, none of that stuff matters.

Believing in ourselves, in our abilities, in our teams, and even in the broader organizations we work with is not something that just happens. And, as much as we are told, “you just gotta believe in yourself (your team, etc),” I’ve never seen the statement magically turn a group or individual around.

Belief is Built. Believability, the degree to which we believe in our ability to achieve a goal, is something we can develop. A motivational quote on Facebook is a nice way to get a boost. But doing the work necessary to believe in our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves is rocket fuel.

Belief is built through looking at our history. We have things we have gone through and “evidence” of our ability to achieve the goal or not. Have you assessed your history to find the pieces that will assist you in this goal? The experiences that have directly helped your prepare for this? Write them down, see how the belief feels.

Belief is built through varying amounts of preparation. Creating what if plans for when things get tough, building support for when we might lose faith, identifying a plan that will match our own unique skills, and doing an honest assessment of what we do well so to avoid unnecessary obstacles are a short list of activities we can do to build our believability muscles.

There are many other activities we can do to build belief in ourselves or others. What is important is understanding that what we do before we set goals has as much impact on achieving them as the strategy for achieving them, perhaps more.

As you look toward your goals for 2016, what are you doing to build the belief in yourself, in your team or in your company necessary to achieve them? Whether you are quitting smoking, making money, starting a business, or growing your team, none of it will happen until you truly believe it can.

In 2016, don’t leave believability to chance.