The emergence and implementation of health goals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern theorizing on goals is applied to an analysis of the implementation of the health goal. First, a model of action phases and its concomitant concepts of implementation intentions (Gollwitzer,1990; 1993) are used to explore how the initiation of health goal directed behaviors can be facilitated and how the performance of the health goal directed action is enhanced. Second, recent theorizing on the psychology of thinking about the future (Oettingen, 1996, 1997) is employed and processes of the emergence of health goals. It is suggested that contrasting positive fantasies about the future with reflections on the negative aspects of the reality create binding health goals that reliably affect people's behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-715
Number of pages29
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Action phases
  • Fantasies about the future
  • Fantasy-reality contrast
  • Implementation intentions
  • Mindsets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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