Goal setting is an important issue in self-development circles because it’s a great way to set your priorities so that you get things done. Goal setting itself is fairly easy, you simply decide what you want and write it down. But achieving that goal can be more difficult as life, the world, the people around us and even our own brains get in the way. But if you set goals according to your personality type, to the priorities and tendencies in your own character, there will be less resistance against the work you have to do to meet them.
Keep in mind that none of this is set in stone. Every individual is unique, with their own mix of personality traits, past experiences, and quirks that make them who they are. This all means that even within the same personality type, what works for one person might not work for another. However, there are general tendencies that come with each of these types, and if you’re setting goals, it’s a good idea to work with and not against those tendencies.
With that in mind, we’ve created this quick guide to setting goals according to your MBTI personality type classification.
ENTJ’s are probably the best personality type when it comes to setting and meeting goals. They’re ambitious, they have big dreams, and nothing makes them happier than taking action to meet those big goals. If you’re an ENTJ, the best advice is for you to let yourself dream and plan. Even if your goals seem too big, with your driven mind and personality you’ll probably leave them in the dust and move on.
The INTJ personality type loves to set goals. There’s something about the logical, clearly defined, organized appearance of a future life set out on paper that appeals to the rational minds of this type. So take advantage of that. Use your extremely logical mind to plan your goals, the steps you will take to get there, and any problems you’ll encounter along the way. Just remember that you have to execute at some stage too, this can sometimes be a problem for this type.
ENFJ’s are extremely people focused. They spend a lot of their time making sure that the people around them are happy now, and will be happy in the future. This tendency has to be considered when you’re setting goals. Choose goals that will not only improve your life but the lives of the people around you at the same time. And if you can’t do that, at least make sure your goals won’t cause harm to others. Otherwise, you might find that your motivation suddenly vanishes when you realize what’s about to happen.
This personality type often doesn’t like setting goals. They’re driven by what feels right, which can change from moment to moment, and the idea of having set rules for what you want in life can seem stifling. So for INFJ’s, the key is to set goals that you truly believe in with both your mind and your heart. No matter what area of your life you’re trying to change, when you find and set a goal that is alignment with your heart and your mind, you’ll be absolutely unstoppable.
ENFPs love new things. This quality leads them to explore the world and their life, but it can be a problem in goal setting and achievement. They usually set goals easily, but then get bored and abandon them or find something more interesting to do. If you’re an ENFP who needs to set a goal, you also need to have measures in place to keep you on track. It will also help if you ensure that your goals are in alignment with your deepest values and beliefs.
INFP’s usually find setting goals and working towards them too constraining. They like to explore, to change, to act according to their internal compass and beliefs and the specificity of goals can feel like chains. To overcome this, try setting goals that are bigger and more open than most sources would recommend. Aim to be a writer, rather than to write ten pages a day. And reserve the right to change your mind at any time according to what your emotions tell you.
Setting goals are usually not much of a problem for this type, they are famous for their big dreams. Where they have a problem is sticking to the goal to the very end. ENTPs like to explore and change, and the idea of being locked into one goal for a long time is stifling. So if you’re an ENTP, make sure you get plenty of novelty in other parts of your life. Set goals for your career, but feed your restless brain in your personal life, in your relationships, and in your hobbies. This will help you to cut down on the urge to run after the next amazing thing that flies by.
Goal setting doesn’t come naturally to INTPs, they’re much more likely to have a vague idea of where they’ll be one day and leave it at that. If this works for you, and you actually do get things done, then go with it. But if you find yourself quitting and never accomplishing anything, you may need a more structured approach. To start, make sure your goals are what you really want, very often this type gets caught up in what society wants or thinks is right. And set up some social support so there are consequences to not achieving your goal. INTPs tend to shine when they see a need to achieve something, rather than a want.
This personality type is good at achieving their goals. They like getting things done in the external world and find meaning in it. Just make sure that your goals are practical, nothing annoys an ESTJ more than the abstract, and short-term rather than long-term. ESTJ’s tend to live more in the moment and find motivation in getting things done now.
ISTJ’s are patient and determined, two qualities that are of great benefit in goal achievement. They often work quietly and without a fuss to achieve what they want and find pleasure in ticking everything off their list. Integrity and following through is very important to this type so if you need a little extra push to achieve your goals, make sure you tell others about them.
Most ESFJs are task orientated as well as people orientated and love to get things accomplished. This makes them happy to set and work towards their goals. Their only weakness in this area is a tendency to focus too much on the now. For them to achieve and grow, they need to consider the future they want and set long-term goals for their life.
ISFJs are reliable and hardworking and have the patience necessary to work towards their goals. However, they have to be careful not to overextend and try to achieve too many goals at a time. ISFJs are so service orientated that it can drive them to set too many goals to help the people around them. Instead, keep it simple. Think about what you want from your life and don’t overbook because it will only lead to disaster.
ESFP’s have a key blind spot when it comes to goals. They’re not usually interested in or motivated by the long term, so their goals tend to be limited. This results in people who very much enjoy the moment, but tend to move through life without clear direction. If you’re an ESFP you’ll probably need to learn to think about life in a more strategic way, at least some of the time.
The ISFP personality type can seem aimless to other, more driven types. They’re present focused, need a lot of freedom and autonomy, and have trouble planning for the future. If you’re an ISFP, make sure that your goals are based on behaviors and actions, as you’re probably very action focused. Goals that are abstract and impractical will demotivate you every time.
ESTPs often have trouble sacrificing their present, all the things they could be doing and experiencing, for the future that a goal offers. This is one of their biggest problems with goal setting, and they will often abandon their goals if they interfere with their present enjoyment. ESTPs need practical, short-term goals that they can see a clear need for. Long-term or big goals aren’t motivating for this type, but they do like to get things accomplished so smaller goals will work well at driving them forward.
ISTPs have a unique connection to the outer world that is their greatest gift and strength. They often set loose goals in this area of life, and achieve them as well, but this tendency doesn’t always carry over to other parts of their life. For this type, they should continue with their physical pursuits but also try to stretch themselves in other areas. They can do this by setting small goals that push them outside of their favored realm and let them experience a new part of the world around them.
So this is goal setting for the personality types. Does your type ring true for you? Why or why not?