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Goal Acceptance vs. Goal Commitment


A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person envisions with a deadline. People set goals for various reasons, but the idea is the same: to achieve the desired outcome within a time frame.

When dealing with the concept of goal setting, it is important to keep in mind the difference between “goal acceptance” and “goal commitment.” It’s possible to accept a difficult goal but not demonstrate the commitment to that goal over time. Commitment should be distinguished from acceptance when you’re talking about difficult goals. Research shows that goal commitment is more predictive of performance than goal acceptance.

Goal commitment refers to the determination to try for a goal (Locke et al, 1981). Commitment implies the extension of effort over time and emphasizes an unwillingness to abandon or to lower the original goal (Campion & Lord, 1982, p. 1). Goal acceptance is the agreement to achieve a defined goal; it does not determine the long-term effort you will put into the goal over time.

Research tells us that in order for goals to be meaningful, they need to be challenging. There are many factors that go into goal setting, including the individual’s perception of their ability to perform. Some researchers suggest that self-esteem levels can affect an individual’s success in achieving their goals.

Below is a chart of the factors that researchers have correlated with commitment and therefore success!

When setting a goal in the new year, keep in mind not only the difficulty of your goals but these other factors as well. Goal commitment is long-term work! Whatever your goals are, the team at Custom Performance is here to keep you healthy and strong along the way!

*Source:Hollenback and Klein. Goal Commitment and the Goal-Setting Process: Problems, Prospects, and Proposals for Future Research Journal of Applied Psychology 1987, Vol. 72, No. 2, 212-220.

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