Goal-setting can be an awesome tool to achieve your dreams. But if done incorrectly, it can lead to anxiety spirals and feelings of inadequacy. We don’t want that! Follow my tips below to set yourself up for success and create intentional goals that work with your Enneagram type’s deepest needs, not against them.
I hope everyone takes some time during this busy season to slow down and savor precious moments with friends and family. Go look at the big house on the corner with the fancy Christmas lights. Light the menorah every evening to remember the miracle of Hannukah. Burn your Yule log on Winter Solstice!
However you celebrate, make sure that you do!
But as 2023 comes to a close, it can also be exciting to think about the possibilities of the upcoming year. What do you want to accomplish? What habits do you want to create? What trips do you want to take? Goal-setting can be an awesome tool to achieve your dreams. But if done incorrectly, it can lead to anxiety spirals and feelings of inadequacy. We don’t want that!
Follow my tips below to set yourself up for success and create intentional goals that work with your Enneagram type’s deepest needs, not against them.
Type Ones are often bogged down by what they “should” be doing. You go after your goals dutifully but defer to others' expectations, which causes resentment.
Remember: Goals Should Bring Joy!
When thinking about your goals, follow these tips:
✅ Avoid perfectionism. Create systems that help you pursue goals, but don’t have to be completed to a tee. Give yourself space to “not get everything done.”
✅ Ask for help when you need it. If you have a goal, communicate that to your loved ones. Maybe your husband can do the dishes so that you can get an extra 15 minutes of writing in. Don’t let resentment fester.
✅ View your to-do list as a possibility, not a requirement. Put what you absolutely need to get done first, and remind yourself that it’s okay if you don’t finish it! There’s always more time tomorrow.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 1s: Pick an activity once a week that’s not something you “should do,” just what you want to do.
Type Twos will literally drop everything to help someone else. While this seems nice on paper, a lack of boundaries can lead to overwhelm and frustration.
Remember: Your Goals and Dreams Matter!
So consider these tips:
✅ When you nourish yourself, you’re better able to nourish others. Protect the time you need to accomplish your goals, and you’ll be a healthier, happier person to serve those around you.
✅ Always incorporate the meaning into your goal. Adding the “because” will remind you of why you need to set the goal in the first place. “I want to walk every day” becomes “I want to go for an hour walk every day BECAUSE my mental health improves when I’m moving my body and getting fresh air. This will help me in the other 23 hours of my day because I will be better equipped to help the people I love!”
✅ Make goals around self-care, not just what you can do for others. Helping others is second nature to you while loving yourself is not.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 2s: For a couple of days a week, do an activity that brings you JOY. Do it first thing in the morning, so that it always gets done!
Type Threes LOVE goals… probably too much! With a core desire to be admired and valuable, your goal-setting should be centered around understanding your limit.
Remember: Do Not Ignore Your Mental Health, Family, or Pets to Service Your Ambition.
Take a deep breath, and consider the following:
✅ Incorporate gentleness wherever possible. Instead of going straight from one activity to the next, take a minute to breathe and reframe the situation.
✅ Create a goal around something that makes you happy. I’m a Three who burns myself out all the time, so I know I need to close my laptop at 6pm to focus on joyful, pleasurable activities. Recently, I've been taking a visual journaling class from Engaging Cultivate!
✅ When making your goals, think about everything that defines you, not just your accomplishments. Remember that you are not the sum of what you do.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 3s: Take 10 minutes every week to write down what you’re thankful for that’s not related to your accomplishments.
Type Fours are ✨ dreamers ✨ brimming with ideas about how to make their lives better. But that initial passion fades, they forget why they wanted the goal in the first place!
Remember: Motivate Yourself Through Habits, Not Passion.
To make it to the finish line of your goals, munch on these thoughts:
✅ Start small and add more gradually. It’s easy when you’re inspired to go run ten miles, but that just leads to injury and pain the next day. Do one mile first, and slowly build up.
✅ Create a visual that monitors your progress. Use a planner or whiteboard to track your wins. Ask a friend to be an accountability partner and meet for weekly or monthly check-ins.
✅ Write your why. In one sentence, say why you want your habit. Starting an exercise routine could be because “I want to feel more energy throughout the day.” Place this in an area in your home where you’ll see it and feel more inspired to follow through on your habit.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 4s: After you eat breakfast, go on a 15-minute walk to start your day moving!
Type Fives long to be capable, so they often spend too much time thinking about what they need to do to meet a goal rather than actually doing it.
Remember: “Good Planning Without Good Working is Nothing.” (Thanks for the quote, President Eisenhower!).
To follow through without fear, utilize these tips:
✅ Ask for help. Reach out to a trusted friend for accountability. They can keep track and encourage you when the going gets tough.
✅ Spend time refreshing your inner well. Make sure that you leave time for things you enjoy, and don’t spend all your time thinking about your goal.
✅ Track your progress. Bullet journaling is an excellent way to visually see how much you’ve accomplished and get a view of the big picture.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 5s: If you want to meet the love of your life, try to go on two coffee dates per month. Then, meet with your accountabilibuddy (see what I did there?!?) once a month to talk about how they went!
Type Sixes are driven by the need to feel stable and supported. They can make all the lists in the world but struggle to follow through, leading to crippling self-doubt.
Remember: Break Down Your Goals into Small, Actionable Steps.
To do this, create goals using the SMART system:
✅ Specific: Clearly state what you want and how you will achieve it
✅ Measurable: Choose a way to measure the goal, such as a habit tracker, check in with a friend, etc.
✅ Attainable: Make sure it’s in your control to actually complete it. It can’t be “I’m going to win an Oscar,” but it can be “I’m going to reach out to 50 agents to try to get new representation.”
✅ Realistic: The goal should be something that you can realistically get done.
✅ Time-Bound: Give yourself a reasonable deadline and stick to it.
To feel supported, ask a friend if they want to complete a SMART goal together! That way, you can work together to meet your goals AND conquer your self-doubt.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 6s: Create a SMART goal for the area of your life that you feel needs to change the most.
Type Sevens are motivated by the desire for freedom and satisfaction in life. Stereotypically, they can be seen as flighty, but it’s just that they overcommit. There’s so much that they want to do!
Remember: Doing Too Much Takes the Joy Out of Everything.
Practice prioritizing the most important goals with these tips:
✅ Make a list of all the things you want to do and accomplish. Then, choose the TOP PRIORITY one and commit to that only.
✅ Cut excess goals so that you can focus on the one that brings you the most joy. You can do other things, but they don’t have to feel like obligations.
✅ There’s plenty of time in the year. After six months, revisit your original list and see if there are any goals that you want to make your priority.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 7s: Spend one night a week by yourself working on a project or activity that matters to you.
Type 8s love to be independent and powerful, so if they want something, they just do it (they’re Nike’s dream customer!). Unfortunately, assertively pursuing their goals at 100% leads to failure because if they don’t have time to do the whole goal, they’ll skip it entirely.
Remember: 95% Done is Better Than 0% Done.
Follow these tips to switch your goals from results-focused to process-focused:
✅ Avoid exact goals. Instead of saying “I have to work out for an hour every day” say “I’d like to work out for the time that I can every day because that makes me happy.”
✅ Remember the WHY of each goal. This will decrease the intensity of the results and avoid the extremes that come with pursuing a goal.
✅ Practice self-compassion. If you’re judging yourself harshly, be nice to yourself. Take a break from your goal for that day and just do something for yourself, like go to your favorite coffee shop, talk to a trusted friend, or start the book that’s been sitting on your shelf for ages.
An example goal for Enneagram Type 8s: Incorporate stretch breaks throughout the workday. This gives your brain a breather and can help you reframe your thoughts to remember the WHY of your goals.
My sweet Type 9s just crave harmony in the world! They strive for peace and sometimes avoid going after goals because they’re worried it will disrupt their comfort zone or cause conflict.
Remember: Your Wants Are Important.
It’s okay to change the norm, and do so by following these tips:
✅ Figure out what you’re passionate about! Make a list of all the things you enjoy, and circle your favorites. Create goals around those!
✅ Share your goals with trusted loved ones. Ask them to help you create actionable steps to reach these goals. Now that they know what to expect, you won’t feel like you’re disturbing the equilibrium when you prioritize your goals.
✅ Reframe your fears. They’re bound to creep up when you start trying your goals! For example, “I’ll be bad at improv class” turns into “I’ll listen to my improv partner and be as encouraging as possible. It’s okay to make mistakes; we all will! We are learning.”
An example goal for Enneagram Type 9s: Ask a friend or your partner for coffee to talk about what you’re passionate about and create some actionable steps!