24 Oct 2022


How to Set and Achieve Your Goals with Goal Setting and Motivation

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Academic level: Master’s

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I recently set a weight lifting goal as a form of exercise program to achieve my long term health goals. I decided that I would be going to my local gym for weight lifting at least thrice per week. I then enrolled for the exercise program at the local gym and made arrangements with my instructor on how to make the program a success. Two primary factors influenced my decision to set the weight lifting goal. 

First, I had gained a lot of weight in recent years, which raised concern about the status of my health. My primary care physician had regularly advised that physical fitness is a significant precursor to good health. The goal-setting process was, therefore, significantly influenced by the need to shed off some weight to be physically fit. Secondly, I had realized that I was misusing much of my leisure time by engaging in unproductive activities such as watching movies. I needed to make better use of my leisure time by participating in an activity that would ensure I realize my life goals. Weight lifting goal would ensure that my lifetime goal of being physically fit and healthy even in old age would be achieved. 

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Also, there are motivational factors that influenced both the controlled and automatic processes in pursuit of this goal. For instance, a psychological factor such as self-efficacy has a significant influence on the controlled process in the quest of the weight lifting goal. Self-efficacy means having confidence in one’s ability to achieve a goal (Trost et al., 2002). In my case, it means that I believe in my ability to achieve my weight lifting goal successfully. Self-efficacy, therefore, ensures that I am consistent with the workouts and adhere to the exercise program. Self-efficacy has influences controlled processes such as keeping time and consistently attending the sessions in pursuit of the goal. Also, I have found that I enjoy doing weight lifting. I often do the weight lifting to help me relax and get rid of stressful thoughts. The pleasure that I derive from the weight lifting has become a motivational factor that influences the pursuit of my goal. Enjoyment affects the automatic processes in pursuit of my goal (Whaley & Schrider, 2005). I do not have to put much thought or effort into doing the weight lifting. 

Goal setting and goal striving are two distinctive terms used in the context of the goals realization process. Goal setting involves choosing which goals an individual wishes to follow while goal striving involves directing a particular behavior towards the realization of a specific goal (Oettingen, & Gollwitzer, 2004). For instance, I set a goal by choosing a weight lifting goal. I strived to realize the goal by actively attending the exercise sessions at the local gym. 

Secondly, goal setting involves coming with a strategy to evaluate the realization of the goals. Goal striving, on the other hand, involves strategic planning and execution of actions that will ensure the achievement of the set goals. Also, goal setting significantly involves controlled cognitive processes. An individual has to pay attention to details in goal setting. Goal striving, on the other hand, requires much of automatic processing. A repeated behavior directed towards the realization of a goal eventually becomes automatic. 


Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2004). Goal Setting and Goal Striving. 

Trost, S. G., Owen, N., Bauman, A. E., Sallis, J. F., & Brown, W. (2002). Correlates of adults’ participation in physical activity: review and update.  Medicine & science in sports & exercise 34 (12), 1996-2001. 

Whaley, D. E., & Schrider, A. F. (2005). The process of adult exercise adherence: Self-perceptions and competence.  The Sport Psychologist 19 (2), 148-163. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). How to Set and Achieve Your Goals with Goal Setting and Motivation.


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