Adaptive goal processes and underlying motives that sustain mental wellbeing and new year exercise resolutions
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Exercise resolutions are the most common goals people set each New Year. However, research has rarely examined adaptive goal processes and motives that may maintain wellbeing and resolution pursuit. We therefore investigated if (1) personal goal flexibility and tenacity maintain mental wellbeing and adherence to New Year exercise resolutions and if (2) underlying intrinsic and extrinsic motives maintain wellbeing and sustained exercise resolution adherence. A community sample (N = 297) completed an online longitudinal study. At baseline, participants listed their most important exercise-related New Year resolution. Participants then completed measures to assess goal flexibility and tenacity, resolution motives, and mental wellbeing at baseline. At three follow-up surveys over a two-month period, participants completed self-report measures of wellbeing and adherence to their exercise resolution. As predicted, goal flexibility and tenacity each independently predicted wellbeing across time. Counter to prediction, neither goal flexibility nor tenacity predicted sustained exercise adherence. Notably, underlying intrinsic motives (but not extrinsic motives) maintained mental wellbeing and exercise adherence across time. Our findings indicate that goal flexibility and tenacity are beneficial in maintaining mental wellbeing and that pursuing resolutions for internalised motives is beneficial for one’s mental wellbeing and exercise adherence.
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Dickson, J. M., Hart, A., Fox-Harding, C., & Huntley, C. D. (2023). Adaptive goal processes and underlying motives that sustain mental wellbeing and new year exercise resolutions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(2), Article 901. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20020901