According to Ormrod (2016), as we mature from childhood we begin to set goals for our behaviour based on the behaviour of others – one aspect of social cognitive theory. One of my main goals is to obtain and sustain optimal health and daily functioning. McClelland et al. (2018) note the importance of the ability for one to self-regulate, as this cognitive tool has important ramifications for one’s health and well-being. Self-regulation has been shown to predict academic achievement even after IQ is considered (McClelland et al., 2018). Additionally, Moffit et al. (2011) performed a longitudinal study unveiling that evidence of early-life self-regulation is a predictor of financial stability, occupational success, and the absence of substance-use and criminal convictions. Gollwitzer’s model to health outcomes and behaviour notes the importance of having both goal intentions and implementation intentions (McClelland et al., 2018). More predictive of health outcomes is one’s implementation intentions. This is an area myself and many others struggle with which simply requires one to set a plan of the what, when, where, and how they will carry out their intended health promoting behaviour. Also of importance, is that self-regulation habits can spread through social networks (Finkel, Fitzsimons & VanDellen, (2015). So, the direction for those seeking goal attainment is to solidify the goal, by making a clear plan for its implementation and include social supports.
Finkel, E. J., Fitzsimons, G. M., & VanDellen, M. R. (2015). Self-regulation as a transactive process: Reconceptualizing the unit of analysis for goal setting, pursuit, and outcomes. Handbook of self-regulation, 264-282. Retrieved from
McClelland, M., Geldhof, J., Morrison, F., Gestsdóttir, S., Cameron, C., Bowers, E., … & Grammer, J. (2018). Self-regulation. In Handbook of Life Course Health Development(pp. 275-298). Springer, Cham.
Moffitt, T. E., Arseneault, L., Belsky, D., Dickson, N., Hancox, R. J., Harrington, H., et al. (2011). A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(7), 2693–2698. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010076108.
Ormrod, J. E. (2016). Human learning (7 ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson.