Adherence to an exercise regimen is challenging. Motivation is an important factor that can enhance exercise adherence. A key component of motivation is the setting and accomplishment of specified goals. Therefore, it is important to understand the relationship between patients' motivation and goals. Motivation and goal orientation in 14 participants with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were assessed. Participants were also interviewed to explore their exercise and activity goals. Motivation was significantly associated with goal orientation. In addition, participants reported many explicit activity goals, but few participants had set specific exercise goals. The inconsistency between activity and exercise goals has not been reported previously. Findings from this preliminary study provide novel and relevant information that may help care providers understand factors that may influence exercise adherence in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.