Tips For Goal Setting


Your commitment to being active is the first step towards goal setting and maintaining physical activity.

What are your reasons for participating in physical activity? Some examples include: stress reduction, energy level, sense of well-being, social reasons, flexibility, disease prevention, enjoyment, endurance, fun, ton/shape body, weight loss, overall health benefits, competition, family time, cardiovascular fitness and strength.

Use the Goal Setting exercise below to identify your reasons for being physically active and to set goals based on these motivations.


  • Intrinsically motivated goals are goals that are autonomous and originate from the self (like sense of well-being and enjoyment), while extrinsically motivated goals are those derived from external sources, including sociocultural pressures and norms. Research shows that extrinsic goals may be more controlling and less motivating than intrinsic goals (Segar et al., 2008).
  • Examples of extrinsic goals include weight loss, competition, and overall health benefits. If your goals are extrinsic, refer to the Benefits of Physical Activity section on page 34. Review your personal benefits of physical activity and think about how you can incorporate them into the goals you set.

Continue to think about your main reason for participating in physical activity as you read about types of goals on the following page.

Next step

Learn about different Types of Goals.