Goal setting and implementation intentions: Preliminary support for increasing exercise behavior

D. S. Downs, R. N. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of exercise-related goals with implementation intentions (e.g. specifying where, when and at what time participants pursued their goals) versus goals without them for increasing performance on curl-ups and sit-ups fitness tests. Participants were 53 male and female university students enrolled in two elective exercise/wellness classes. The group forming implementation intentions was hypothesized to outperform the no implementation group on post-test assessments of a 1min curl-ups and 1min push-ups tests. Data were analyzed with 2 x 2 (Group x Test) repeated measures ANOVAs. Findings indicated significant group x test interactions for curl-ups, F = (1,48) = 5.26, p < 0.05 and push-ups, F = (1,48) = 8.39, p < 0.01. While both groups performed more post-test curl-ups and push-ups compared to pre-test, post-hoc tests revealed that the implementation group outperformed the no implementation group at post-test. Preliminary support is provided for goals set with implementation intentions in exercise settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-432
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Movement Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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