Goal-setting, Writing About Uncertainty, Health and Productivity



At RSM, an on-line goal-setting intervention among first-year students was related to enhanced academic performance of 21%, and an increased retention rate of 22%. In general, goal-setting improves people's health and their productivity, in both the academic and industrial/corporate realms. There are a number of competing theories about why. Some lines of research suggest that writing about anything uncertain (or threatening) produce benefits to health, for reasons that will be discussed, but those reasons do not account for goal-setting's apparent effect on motivation. Other theories, which will also be discussed, are required for that purpose. Several new approaches to goal-setting for adolescents, such as an interactive online version involving the use of avatars, will also be discussed.