Know your preferences: Self-regulation as need-congruent goal selection.

Theory and research on self-regulation is dominated by a social–cognitive perspective that places an emphasis on postdecisional (i.e., volitional) control processes of goal-maintenance in response to dual-motive conflict. In the current contribution, we focus on research on self-regulation that acknowledges the affective fundamentals of motivated action, and we highlight processes of goal selection as vital parts of self-regulation. From our perspective of motivational competence, affective and cognitive processes work together rather than oppose each other in self-regulation, rendering effortless rather than effortful goal pursuit as the hallmark of efficient human action. A precondition for such motive- and self-congruent goal pursuits is that individuals have insight into their basic preferences and (can) act accordingly. Therefore, we address capacities, such as mindfulness, which may take effect in predecisional (i.e., motivational) action phases, thereby determining all subsequent action processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)