This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the unique effects of goal setting on behavior change, as well as to identify the circumstances and individuals for whom goal setting is most effective. The analysis showed a small but positive effect of goal setting on behavior change. Further insight gathered from moderator’s response revealed that goal setting was particularly effective when the goals were challenging, public, and set as group goals. There was also minor evidence to support that combining goal setting with external monitoring by others without feedback and delivering it face-to-face enhanced its effectiveness. The study concluded that goal setting is a valuable technique for behavior change interventions and suggested ways to optimize its effectiveness.