Goal Setting: A Key Proactive Source of Academic Self-Regulation
We are, in a very real sense, deﬁned by the goals that we set for ourselves. Our goals commit us behaviorally to a particular standard or outcome: “A goal is the object or aim of an action, for example, to attain a speciﬁc standard of proﬁciency, usually within a speciﬁed time limit” (Locke & Latham, 2002, p. 705). This standard becomes a source of personal feedback about our effectiveness and self-regulatory control. The importance of goal setting to the attainment of one’s aspirations was ﬁrst studied by Lewin and his colleagues (Lewin, Dembo, Festinger, & Sears, 1944). Today, there is an extensive body of research, encompassing diverse areas of expertise, indicating the importance of goal setting to one’s learning proﬁciency and performance attainments (e.g., Burton, Nayler, & Holliday, 2001; Locke & Latham, 1990; Schunk, 1989, 2001).