A goal is an outcome that an individual sets and strive to accomplish. Goals motivate people to act in order to reduce the discrepancy between what they are and what they want to be. They can be understood with reference to the vision of the future that each individual constructs for himself. Goals have been understood and classified in- various ways.
They can be:
- Short-term goals are those which seem achievable in the near future. They involve less time as, the required time can be specified.
- Long-term goals are those which are distant and oriented towards the future.
- Personal goals deal with the needs and motives of the individual and are self-rewarding.
- Societal goals are those which are concerned with changes in society, such as wanting better gender equality, sensitivity towards the poor, etc.
- Tangible goals are those which are clearly definable and achievable like wanting to be a doctor.
- Abstract goals are those which deal with qualitative changes that are difficult to specify and measure quantitatively.
Goals help to direct our attention to the task at hand, they mobilize our effort, they increase our persistence. at the task and they also help us to adopt new strategies when old one fail to help us. Murphy and Alexander (2000) have written about Many goal orientations which help us to understand students’ learning and performance. Learning goals are entirety based on the personal intention to improve abilities and understand a concept, idea or issue, no matter what one’s performance is. Performance goals are based on the personal intention to perform well in the eyes of others. Students with performance goals are more concerned about winning, being toppers and outdoing other students.
Interest is one of the most essential factors which mediates learning and which motivates to act. Without it, there can be no learning. Interests are actually deep rooted constructs and are determined by the need structure of an individual. An individual with strong social needs such as belongingness, affiliation, and recognition will direct all his energies into activities which enable him to fulfill these needs such as meeting people, going to clubs, associations, parties, meetings etc. Interests are usually classified on the basis of the nature of activity involved, for example, spiritual interests, recreational interests, scholarly or academic interests, social interests etc.