How to Set Goals Based on Your Personality

woman writing on notepad

When you set a goal, you know the end result you want. How you get there, however, is up to you.

Have you ever tried a new motivation method that a friend found successful, but that you abandoned after a short time? When you want to set up a new goal for yourself, you never intend to fail, but without proper planning, it can happen time and time again. Tactics that work for others may not work for you — have you ever wondered why that may be?

Our personality styles have strengths and weaknesses that trickle down into how we approach a new problem. When you set a new goal, you are challenged to uncover a path from where you are now to your goal. Identifying potential road blocks, such as your weaknesses or de-motivators, is a proactive way of avoiding an early downfall and ensuring you stay on the right track.

Not sure of your personality style? Take this free DISC personality test to see where you fall, then jump to the section that describes you so you can take the first step toward successful goal setting.


  • Direct
  • Leader
  • Self-confident
  • Risk taker
  • Problem solver
  • Self-starter

You’re motivated by…
Taking on new challenges. The decisive personality reacts positively to tasks with tangible results and rewards. Changing your work environment and avoiding repetition will keep you enthusiastic.

You may struggle with…
Overstepping authority. When you see yourself as a leader, following does not always come naturally. If you need to work with others to accomplish your goal, be mindful of your tendencies to not listen, ignore details and take on too much.

Tactics that could work for you

  • Reward-based accomplishments — D’s really like the feeling of achievement and success. Break down your goals into smaller goals, then reward yourself for each step completed. This helps with your desire to check off tasks and feel accomplished.
  • Refresh — D’s do not like repetition, so ditch the methods you’ve tried in the past. Tackling a new strategy is one of the ways you can entice yourself to stick with your goal. For example, if you want to get fit, don’t just run on the treadmill. Try different classes or do something more unconventional like rock climbing or aerial yoga.


  • Enthusiastic
  • Persuasive
  • Trusting
  • Works well in a team
  • Optimistic
  • Talkative

You’re motivated by…
Approval and flattery. Having outside affirmation of your efforts drives you forward. You tend to work best in a fun environment and with groups. You especially appreciate flexibility and going with the flow.

You may struggle with…
Your tendency to just let things happen. Limited planning tends to translate into a lack of attention to detail and generally being unorganised. Your enthusiasm sometimes gets in the way of your ability to listen to others.

Tactics that could work for you

  • Record your dreams — I’s love to dream big. Make sure you put pen to paper and write down all your aspirations. Then, break them down into smaller components so you don’t overlook something or get distracted. Prioritise them with a timeframe to keep your goal true-to-life. Dreaming big is great, but make sure you take the steps you need to turn those dreams into reality.
  • Find someone to keep you accountable — As someone who tends to be a people-pleaser, you’ll benefit from a partner. Share your plan to meet your goals with someone and set calendar reminders to check in. You’ll succeed by talking through it with someone else and thrive from the feeling that you’re in this together.


  • Stable
  • Even-tempered
  • Sympathetic
  • Generous
  • Good listener
  • Loyal

You’re motivated by…
Low-risk tasks. You appreciate security and predictability. You’re a relationship-oriented person, so you like to avoid conflict at all costs — you’ll prosper with a goal that has little chance of fluctuation.

You may struggle with…
Jumping right into your goal. As an S personality, you tend to feel uncomfortable and shy away from change or quick adjustments. It will be crucial for you to focus on the benefits of reaching your goal and how it will help you and maybe even others. Since you tend to shy away from conflict, you may struggle with pushing yourself into the change, but don’t let that derail you.

Tactics that could work for you

  • Visual reminders — Place an object or photo in your home in a place you frequent often (like your kitchen) or on your desk at work that represents your goal. Seeing the photo or object helps in two ways. First, it will get you more and more comfortable with the idea of it, making it more familiar and less like something is changing. Second, you’ll focus on the result at the end of all the change you want to avoid, encouraging you.
  • Set a timeline — S’s tend to procrastinate because they’re afraid of change. A timeline with set dates will be crucial to your success. The dates will help keep you accountable along the way. Being able to anticipate your “due dates” will also get you more comfortable with the impending completion of the project.


  • Detail-oriented
  • Analytical
  • Systematic
  • Creative
  • Good problem solver
  • Passive

You’re motivated by…
Being well informed — having a wellspring of information and logic to work with. You’ll excel when you have clear parameters and instructions, and the ability to see the project through to its end. You love a to-do list and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from completion of a task.

You may struggle with…
Taking on too much. A C-type personality wants to do it all, and as a result, may bite off more than they can chew. Your drive will help you accomplish any goal you want, but your struggle to say “no” may hinder you.

Tactics that could work for you

Gather all the details — You will kick off your goal strong if you spend the time to research it and make a plan. C’s love to dig into the background and collect all the important information before they begin, which is very valuable to achieving your goal. Once you have the information you need, set a plan with basic goals. Once you have, simplify it even further — cut some things out that aren’t necessary. Your intuition will be to include extra tasks to make sure you’ve completely your goal perfectly. However, taking on those extra tasks may slow you down to the point you lose your motivation.


Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find out more about her on Google+.


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