Goal Setting and Behavior Change (Replay of Episode 71)

In this episode from the archive, Eric and Greg have a long, evidence-based conversation about the research on setting effective goals and successfully changing health behaviors. The discussion yields several evidence-based tips for setting better goals and maximally supporting your ability to achieve them.

Time stamps

Intro/Announcements (0:00)

Research Review: Goal setting and behavior change (1:04)

Fake urgency (3:17)

Success rates of New Year’s Resolutions (5:47)

Temporal landmarks (13:30)

SMART goals (18:42)

Creating a goal hierarchy (21:30)

Superordinate goals (25:27)

Equifinality and Multifinality (32:23)

Mental contrasting (35:23)

Approach versus avoidance  (43:48)

Flexible versus rigid restraint (0:49:56)

Process versus outcome (55:07)

Mastery versus performance (59:44)

Goal difficulty; “slack with a cost” (1:07:23)

Setting specific goals (1:16:51)

Implementation intentions (1:17:26)

Stimulus control; modifying your environment (1:24:03)

Social support and feedback (1:26:47)

How MacroFactor supports evidence-based goal striving and behavior change (1:38:45)

Video version

Support the podcast

Join the Research Spotlight newsletter: Get a two-minute breakdown of one recent study every Wednesday. Our newsletter is the easiest way to stay up to date with the latest exercise and nutrition science.


  • If you want to learn more about our MacroFactor diet app, check it out  here.
  • To join in on the MacroFactor conversation, check out our Facebook group and subreddit.


  • Get personalized training and nutrition plans from our expert coaches: Learn more here

MASS Research Review


  • BulkSupplements: Next time you stock up on supplements from BulkSupplements.com, be sure to use the promo code “SBSPOD” (all caps) to get 5% off your entire order.
  • Sports Nutrition Association: Learn more or become a member of SNA. The Sports Nutrition Association is dedicated to ensuring the sustainable prosperity of the Sports Nutrition Profession, and they offer a unique pathway to robust insurance coverage for your sports nutrition business.
Scroll to Top