Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Every January 1, 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The most popular ones involve losing weight, exercising more, and getting healthy—probably because of the food and drink frenzy most of us partake of each December. Other common commitments are to spend less money and get organized. Well intentioned as we are, only 8% of us end up keeping our resolutions. Don’t despair: you can become your best self next year! You have a better chance of improving yourself in 2018 if you know what your MBTI type is.
Idealists (ENFP, ENFJ, INFP, INFJ)
It’s no surprise that Idealists are the most likely to make New Year’s Resolutions: they were made for them. The main drivers in Idealists’ lives are people and possibilities, so they have no problem dreaming big and imagining how different their lives could be. As Henry David Thoreau once said to an ENFP walking beside Walden Pond, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Build your castles in the air—picture yourself healthy with a solid savings account and an uncluttered house. Then put foundations under them. Download apps that can help. Consider using a bullet journal—INFJs and INFPs, if you aren’t currently bullet journaling, you must start! Read books on habit by Gretchen Rubin and Charles Duhigg. If you have ESTJ or ISTJ friends, ask them what they do to make big changes in their lives.
Traditionalists (ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ)
Traditionalists are the second most common type to set yearly goals. They are probably the most successful, because they are all about planning and systems. The only reason 100% of Traditionalists do not make resolutions is they don’t need to wait for January 1—if they want to make a change, they just do. The ESTJs and ISTJs are especially good at this: they have a goal in mind; they determine the steps needed to achieve that goal; and they begin at step 1.
So what do Traditionalists have to learn about resolutions? Consider resolving to have more fun! If you wish you could spend more time with your neighbors, organize a dinner club. If you want to develop your latent creative side, sign up for art lessons. Resolve to take pictures every week and upload them into an automatic album creator. You already know how to use your attention to detail and decisiveness for the serious parts of life; apply that know-how to the fun parts too.
Conceptualizers (ENTP, ENTJ, INTP, INTJ)
Less likely to make resolutions are the Conceptualizers. These skeptics scoff at the idea that a calendar event should precipitate a change. If they want to improve an area of their lives, they will analyze the problem and come up with possible solutions. Unlike the Traditionalists, they quickly discard solutions that aren’t working and often move on to the next puzzle that interests them.
Conceptualizers share a passion for possibilities with Idealists, though they are interested in possibilities for projects and systems rather than for people. They are excellent at analysis and innovation, but they get bored with the details. For Conceptualizers to make real change in their lives, they need to outsource the process. In some cases, you can enlist the help of employees, spouses, and children. If you want to get more exercise and you have an assistant, have your assistant block off your calendar and reroute your incoming calls so you can hit the running trails. If you have a spouse who works out, go to the gym together. You can also outsource a lot of your resolution management to the apps mentioned above. Once you make your peace with delegating, you will be more effective in every area of your life.
Experiencers (ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, ISFP)
Experiencers are the least likely to make or keep resolutions. These free spirits don’t like being tied down, and they value fun and excitement. The idea of spending January 1st scribbling in a notebook vows to stop wasting money at Starbucks or pledges to eat more kale is dismal indeed to the Experiencer. When these types want to make a change, it’s usually to make things more pleasant. If they want to be able to dance all night at a club or hike with their dogs, they might choose to lose weight, but they will rarely do it just because it’s best to be healthy.
Experiencers should tie their goals to the things they like to do. You will be more likely to lose weight if you choose a diet that allows you to eat foods you enjoy and an exercise plan that is fun. If you want to declutter your house, start inviting people over regularly. Extraverted Experiencers especially should work towards their resolutions in a group, whether that’s a team or a casual group of people who are interested in the same thing. Don’t choose something too regimented, or you’ll come to resent it.
Self-knowledge is the foundation of personal growth, in resolutions and in most other parts of our lives. If you would like to arrange for MBTI testing for yourself or your team, please contact LMC’s Certified MBTI Consultant Stephanie Carnes at email@example.com.