Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1435–1450 | Cite as

The Effects of Short-Term Personal Goals on Subjective Well-Being

  • P. StecaEmail author
  • D. Monzani
  • A. Greco
  • M. D’Addario
  • E. Cappelletti
  • L. Pancani
Research Paper


Several studies demonstrated that subjective well-being is associated with goal value and perceived progress but their validity is affected by methodological biases. Moreover, a few have analysed the influence of short-term goals. We aimed to analyse how the levels of and changes in short-term goals progress and value influence subsequent levels of and changes in subjective well-being. This study adopted a three-wave longitudinal design with one-month intervals. Four hundred nine participants (186 males; age 19–71) reported their subjective well-being and their two most important goals and rated each over time in terms of value and progress. A latent difference score model revealed that levels and increases in goal progress positively influenced subsequent levels of subjective well-being. Goal value increases led to decreases in negative affect. These findings provide insights on the promotion of subjective well-being. Given the importance of goal progress in promoting subjective well-being, we propose the implementation of goal-setting programmes that are aimed at fostering successful goal pursuit.


Personal goals Short-term goals Subjective well-being Goal progress Goal value 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Steca
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Monzani
    • 1
  • A. Greco
    • 1
  • M. D’Addario
    • 1
  • E. Cappelletti
    • 1
  • L. Pancani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Milano – BicoccaMilanItaly

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