Personal goal setting as a mediator of the relationship between mindfulness and wellbeing

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Simon Grégoire
Thérèse Bouffard
Carole Vezeau

Abstract

Although the evidence suggesting a positive relationship between mindfulness and wellbeing is rapidly accumulating, the mechanisms by which this relationship operates remain unclear. This study explored the relationship between mindfulness, wellbeing and a self-regulatory process, namely personal goal setting. It was hypothesized that people reporting higher levels of mindfulness would strive for goals having a greater degree of autonomy, which would in turn have a beneficial impact on their wellbeing. University students (n = 114) completed questionnaires aimed at assessing their level of mindfulness and wellbeing. They were asked to identify five personal goals they were currently pursuing and indicate the reasons (extrinsic, introjected, identified or intrinsic) they were pursuing these goals. A bootstrapping analysis supports the mediating hypothesis and suggests that students who reported being more attentive and aware tended to be engaged in personal endeavours that were more autonomously motivated, which in turn appeared to foster their wellbeing.

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