Have you ever felt inspired or excited when you started working on a new goal, then observed as you made progress and got closer to achieving that goal, that your excitement gave way to more of a sense of relief? Have you noticed that you favor different strategies in pursuing your goals when you start versus toward the end of goal pursuit? Do you see your goals as hopes and aspirations in the beginning of goal pursuit but more as duties and “must meet” standards as goal attainment nears? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we might know why!

In our latest research, we wanted to test whether making goal progress influences how people think about their goals, and whether the type of motivation that drives goal pursuit changes as individuals move from early to late stages of the goal gradient. Specifically, we looked at two types of motivation: promotion motivation and prevention motivation.

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