Although numerous factors have been demonstrated in laboratory settings to lead to more successful health goal attainment, their actual use in daily goal pursuit is unknown. This study examines spontaneously reported health goals and their characteristics in a sample of 557 American adults. Participants responded to questions about health and health goals, with items assessing motivation, social support, and implementation intentions. In all, 66 percent of respondents had a health goal, 26 percent of participants had implementation intentions, and 47 percent received support from close others. Results suggest that interventions should focus on encouraging goal setting, teaching implementation intentions, and educating close others in providing support.

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Journal of Health Psychology
Department of Psychology

Milyavskaya, M, & Nadolny, D. (Daniel). (2018). Health goals among American adults: Prevalence, characteristics, and barriers. Journal of Health Psychology, 23(10), 1350–1355. doi:10.1177/1359105316656227