Research on the psychology of goals suggests that successful goal pursuit hinges on solving two sequential tasks: goal setting and goal implementation. The distinction between the setting and the implementing of goals was originally emphasized by Kurt Lewin (1926; Lewin, Dembo, Festinger, & Sears, 1944). This distinction turns out to be very useful for understanding the many new findings produced by the recent upsurge of research on goals (Bargh, Gollwitzer, & Oettingen, 2010; Oettingen & Gollwitzer, 2001), and thus we use it to organize the present chapter. We first discuss research on the self-regulation of setting goals, and then turn to findings on the self-regulation of implementing set goals. Finally, we propose a self-regulation-enhancing intervention that capitalizes on acquiring and using these goal setting and goal implementation strategies.
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