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									     IJSEP, 2009, 6, 89-100                                              Goal Setting and Exercise Motivation
     © 2009 ISSP

     effect of goal SettIng on motIVatIon and
     adherence In a SIx-Week exercISe program
     kylie wilson1       and   darren Brookfield2
     University of Wales Institute Cardiff, UK

     EdgeHill University College, UK

         The aim of the study was to utilize a goal-setting intervention to examine the impact
         on motivation and adherence during a six-week exercise program. Sixty recreational
         exercisers (M age = 31.17, SD age = 11.77; 33 Males; 27 Females) were randomly
         assigned to a process goal group (n = 15), an outcome goal group (n = 15), and
         a no-goal control group (n = 30). Participants completed the Intrinsic Motivation
         Inventory (McAuley et al., 1989) at the beginning and end of the six-week exercise
         program and adherence was monitored throughout the program and at three and
         six months. Repeated Measures ANOVA results indicated that the participants in
         the process goal group scored significantly higher interest/enjoyment and perceived
         choice, significantly lower pressure/tension, and had significantly greater adher-
         ence compared to the outcome goal and control groups.
              Keywords: process goals, outcome goals, intervention

     The physiological (Blair, Cheng, & Holder, 2001) and psychological (Biddle, Fox, &
     Boutcher, 2000) benefits of regular physical activity are widely recognized (Nieman,
     1998). However, recent research has shown that over 50% of individuals who take
     part in a fitness program will drop out after the first six months (Berger, Pargman, &
     Weinberg, 2002; Matsumoto & Tekenaka, 2004). Phillips, Schnider, and Mercer (2004)
     suggested that primary reasons given by exercisers for dropping out of an exercise
     program were (a) failure, (b) lack of improvement, and (c) changes in motivation. Goal
     setting is a common tool within organizational/industrial/sport settings to enhance moti-
     vation (Locke & Latham, 1985). The aim of the current study was to utilize a goal-setting
     intervention to examine the impact upon motivation for, and adherence to, a six-week
     exercise program. This research was underpinned by Self-Determination Theory (Deci,
     1975, Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002).
           Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci, 1975, Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002) is a sub-
     theory of Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET; Deci & Ryan, 1985) and predicts that events

     Corresponding author: Dr. Kylie Wilson, Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC),
     Cardiff CF23 6XD, UK. Tel: 02920 416327, Fax: 02920 416768, Email: kwilson@uwic.ac.uk

89                                                                                                                    89
     K. Wilson and D. Brookfield

     that enhance self-determination and competence will facilitate intrinsic motivation. SDT
     forecasts th
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