New Year’s Resolutions for Every Personality Type

Confession: I love making resolutions. As a Mediator, the whole “new year, new you” thing makes my heart beat a little faster. A few years ago, I set no fewer than 13 resolutions, and I even made a handy little chart to track my progress.

Now, did I actually stick with any of those resolutions for the full year? Well…no.

Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation in the past. Or maybe you’ve gone the other direction – sticking with a resolution because it seemed like the “right” thing to do, even if it didn’t make you feel better or happier.

Whatever your resolutions may be for 2020, you’ll have a better chance of success if you choose one that suits your personality type. With that in mind, here’s a list of New Year’s resolution ideas for every type.



Resolution: Volunteer.

Volunteering might seem like the “eat your vegetables” of the resolutions world: wholesome, unsurprising, and not much fun. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you approach volunteering with the ingenuity of an Architect.

The great majority of Architect personalities believe that doing things on their own makes them happier than helping others. But, as you probably realize, humans can be poor predictors of what will actually make them happy. Sure, we have hunches, but we rarely take the time to investigate those hunches rationally. So, in 2020, why not challenge your assumptions and run an experiment on what actually makes you happy? Sign up for volunteer opportunities and track your mood before, during, and after. Compare the results with days when you focus on your personal goals.

While you’re at it, use that Architect ingenuity to find ways to help the organization you volunteer with work more efficiently and effectively, whether that’s figuring out how to speed up the lines at the food pantry, coming up with a new fundraising idea for a local homeless shelter, or streamlining the application infrastructure for an animal rescue.


Resolution: Keep a microjournal.

If you’re a Logician, chances are you don’t feel so great about what you’ve achieved in life. Now, is that because you actually haven’t achieved enough? Or is it because your Intuitive personality trait keeps you yearning for big things and looking to the future, while your Prospecting trait keeps you restlessly searching for the next great thing?

Spoiler: you’re not actually achieving less than everyone else. The more you tell yourself that you’re just not the kind of person who gets things done, the less likely you are to go after your goals in a steadfast way – and, you know, actually get things done.

The solution, dear Logician, is evidence. Every night before bed, write a single sentence about something worthwhile you’ve done that day, whether that’s reading an interesting book, fixing a broken kitchen appliance, or shoveling your neighbor’s sidewalk. Although they may seem small, these daily “wins” are what make for a productive, worthwhile life – but only if you remember that you’ve done them. Collect these sentences in a single notebook or journal so you can refer to them whenever you’re feeling bummed about your accomplishments.


Resolution: Hone your coaching skills.

If you’re a Commander, then I don’t know why you’re even reading this article. Fine, I’m kidding. (Kind of.) The truth is, as a Commander, you probably already know strategies for identifying your priorities and getting things done.

You might wonder why everyone doesn’t just do things the way you do. Chances are you regularly give your friends and loved ones advice on how to be more effective – and throw up your hands when they just won’t listen. Here’s the thing: your strategies, sound though they might be, won’t work for everyone. What feels like a reasonable effort to you might feel to someone else like white-knuckling – and white-knuckling is rarely sustainable.

That said, you are in a strong position to influence the people around you for the better. You just have to find a more effective way of doing it. This year, challenge yourself to help your friends and loved ones actually make progress toward their goals. That doesn’t mean telling them what to do. Instead, you’ll need to think outside the box, ask the right questions, consider their deeper motivations, and listen with care in order to figure out what will work for them. It won’t be easy, but fortunately, you’re up to it.


Resolution: Make art.

Debaters have a reputation for being outspoken adrenaline junkies who love controversy the way my dog loves her pink dragon toy – by which I mean, they love sinking their teeth into anything controversial and shaking it around.

But that’s only a small fraction of what makes a Debater a Debater. According to our research, 69% of people with this personality type describe themselves as “very artistic.” And 90% of Debaters say being creative is a “big part of who they are.”

So, this year, make art. Maybe you’ll do a photo essay on martial artists, create a Borat-style comedy persona, or rope some friends into making a short film together. (You may find yourself wanting to play the villain, and that’s totally cool.)

Fair warning: some misguided souls might try to tell you that Analysts aren’t artistic. Prove them wrong.



Resolution: Try something impossible.

Advocate personalities aren’t known for doing things halfway. In the past, you may have been told that you’re too intense, or that your expectations are too high, or that you need to be more reasonable. When people hear about your goals and ideas, they might reply, “But is that realistic?”

Sure, realistic goals are good – but they may not energize you the way a grand challenge does. In 2020, resolve to do something that seems impossible. Maybe you’ll challenge yourself to raise $100,000 for charity, help all of the animals at a local shelter find their forever homes, revitalize your hometown, or become a world-champion ballroom dancer. Whatever it is, go for something big.

One caveat: in a few months, you might forget that you chose this goal precisely because it seemed impossible – and then you might get frustrated. Before the clock strikes midnight on January 1, write a note to your future self. Remind yourself that the point of this resolution is to go after a grand challenge, not to achieve something “doable.” And keep that note handy as a motivator for when the going gets tough.


Resolution: Simplify.

Mediators are all about self-improvement, so you might have a list of resolutions a mile long. You might also have:

  • a bookshelf crammed with books you thought would change your life,
  • a closet full of gear for hobbies you thought would be fun, or
  • a hundred browser tabs open with articles you really should get around to reading.

Mediators tend to think of themselves as lacking self-discipline – but that isn’t necessarily true. Instead, these personality types may feel inadequate because there are just so many things they want to do and learn and fix and change. But, alas, the more you surround yourself with unread books and half-finished projects, the more you’re at risk of convincing yourself that you’re not the kind of person who gets things done.

Resolve to give yourself a free pass to move on from anything that feels like unfinished business. Donate the unread books, let go of the unused gear, and close those unread browser tabs. In the process, you might free yourself from guilt you didn’t even know you were holding on to.


Resolution: Do something selfish.

Based on our research, Protagonists might be the health-nuttiest personality type.* For example, 75% of Protagonists say they take “great care” to sustain a healthy lifestyle – more than any other type. Additionally, 84% say that, for them, physical exercise is a good outlet for anger or stress, 83% say they feel more energetic after exercising, and 80% say exercise boosts their self-confidence.

*They’re also the type most likely to own several houseplants, but that’s another story.

“Great,” the Protagonists among you might be thinking. “So, we’re already doing everything right.” But Protagonists are also the personality type most likely to say they’re so focused on taking care of others that they forget their own needs.

Taking care of others is great and all, but it becomes unsustainable when you do it at your own expense. This year, why not set aside time to do something just for you? Take a day trip to the beach, go to a dance class, attend a seminar on houseplants – whatever feeds your soul. You might be surprised by just how different you feel on the other side.


Resolution: Set a shopping ban.

Campaigners are spontaneous – it’s one of their most charming attributes. Who else would call you up on a random Tuesday and say, “Hey, want to go visit a historic mansion with this group of paranormal investigators I just met?”

If you’re a Campaigner, however, you might have noticed a weird paradox: being spontaneous now can make it hard to be spontaneous later. This is especially true when it comes to spending. Campaigner personalities who make one unplanned purchase after another may find themselves short on funds when a truly exciting opportunity shows up in the future – for example, if you decide to travel around the world with those paranormal investigators and make a documentary about them.

If your spending feels out of control, try a shopping ban: a set period of time when you don’t buy anything that isn’t a necessity. (And no, ghostbusting equipment is not a necessity.) Turn it into a creative experiment and look for fun ways to repurpose things you already have. In the long run, you might find that the creative challenge is nearly as rewarding as the financial freedom you create for yourself.



Resolution: Master the art of the compliment.

Sure, there are plenty of self-serving reasons to compliment a person on something they’ve done well – hence the expression, “Flattery will get you everywhere.”

But compliments don’t have to be self-serving or phony – and thank goodness. A genuine compliment can motivate someone to keep going through adversity, help reinforce positive behavior, and strengthen relationships. How do you, as a Logistician, offer a compliment that’s helpful and meaningful? One strategy is to congratulate a person on something they’ve done (I learned so much from your presentation!”) rather than complimenting a feature of theirs (You have such great eyelashes.”)

Why not strive to give a genuine, meaningful compliment every day? It may not feel easy or natural at first, but with time you might find that it’s surprisingly enjoyable to share your positive opinion with someone.


Resolution: Be a diva.

You know what stinks? Feeling unheard and unappreciated. Alas, many Defenders find it hard to speak their mind, demand recognition, and stand up for what they need. Because these personality types are so averse to rocking the boat, conventional advice about effective communication may not go far enough for them.

So here’s some unconventional advice: be a diva. Now, being a diva doesn’t have to mean being rude, difficult, or obnoxious. And it definitely doesn’t mean throwing a TV into a swimming pool like an old-school rock star.

Instead, think of being a diva as speaking openly, levelly, and honestly – even when other people might not love what you have to say. Believe it or not, this communication style can actually strengthen your relationships by preventing passive aggression and establishing a clear baseline.

The next time your usual communication style leaves you feeling frustrated or unheard, experiment with being a calm, polite, and assertive diva – and see if the situation improves.


Resolution: Do a life audit.

Few personality types would be excited at the prospect of doing an audit, but Executives just might be among those types. Fortunately, the audit we’re talking about doesn’t have anything to do with taxes or balance sheets.

Instead, set aside a few minutes at the beginning of each week to audit how you’re spending your time and energy. Only 27% of Executives say their major goals often change, which isn’t a bad thing – but it does mean that you need to check in with yourself regularly to make sure those goals still make sense for you.

So, every Sunday night or Monday night, take just a few minutes to make sure you’re putting your efforts where you really want them. It won’t take long, but it can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.


Resolution: Make a fresh start.

Compared to other personality types, Consuls seem to care the most about setting resolutions at the start of a new year. That might be because of the clarity that comes with a 365-day commitment (or it might be because it feels so good to have a fresh start).

Nearly all Consuls 97% say they always do their best to finish what they’ve started, which is more than any other type. That can be a wonderful thing. But sometimes it’s all right to let go of what we’ve started. Taking a break isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness. Instead, it can be an opportunity to try something that might turn out even better.

This year, look for opportunities to create fresh starts for yourself. If a hobby isn’t enjoyable for you anymore, take a break from it. If you’re in over your head on a project, ask for help – or see if you can delegate it to someone else altogether. And if you decide on February 15 that your New Year’s resolution isn’t making your life any better, then don’t be afraid to let it go and try something else.



Resolution: Don’t make a resolution.

Resolutions don’t seem to be in Virtuosos’ nature. Only 27% of these personality types say they set resolutions. They’re also significantly less likely than other types to say they set difficult resolutions, with only 11% agreeing.

So, if you’re a Virtuoso, it seems you have two options: work with your personality or fight against it. While expanding your comfort zone can be an important part of growth, working against your nature is something else entirely.

Many Virtuosos have a rebellious streak, and they may want to rebel against even their own resolutions. This year, skip the resolution-setting and the painful self-discipline. Instead, find ways to use your rebellious energy for good. Maybe you’ll try something that people tell you can’t be done, go deeper into a pastime that other people find uncool, or tackle a project that no one else wants to take on. Whatever you do, it’ll be 100% you – and that’s just as it should be.


Resolution: Brag a little.

Adventurers do great things – but do they talk about those great things? Not so much. This humility can be a beautiful thing, especially because it’s so often underpinned by a sincere desire to see others shine.

But there is a benefit to speaking up about the good things we’ve done. Acknowledging your successes can help you see yourself as the kind of person who does good things. And that can help when people in your life are trying to mold you to their agendas, even if it’s something as simple as a friend badgering you to hang out when you know you need to study. (More than half – 52% – of Adventurers say they tend to give up easily when faced with someone stubborn.)

Speak up about some of the good things you do this year – whether that’s making progress on a creative project, mastering a new recipe, or writing a paper of which you’re really proud. Acknowledging those successes, however small, will make it easier for you to stand your ground the next time someone tries to talk you out of doing what you need to do.


Resolution: Start a support group.

“Excuse me,” you might be thinking, “but do the words ‘Entrepreneur’ and ‘support group’ really belong in the same sentence?”

Hear us out: sometimes, the best way to enrich your life is to push against your assumptions. That doesn’t mean acting inauthentically. It means testing the boundaries of what you think you would enjoy or find helpful. How else can you actually find out what will add value to your life?

If you’re an Entrepreneur, you probably have a reputation for being rational and ambitious. That’s just one aspect of your personality, however. You also excel at helping people maintain perspective and work through their problems – and you know how to evaluate and adopt good ideas when you hear them.

So, this year, why not put those traits to work by starting a support group? Don’t worry, it can be practical rather than super serious or emotional. If you’re trying to learn a new language, for example, why not start a discussion group? Or, if you’re trying to become a better coder, why not set up a monthly coffee date with people who share your interest? You might just be amazed by how gratifying it is to help – and be helped – by others.


Resolution: Set a microhabit.

What’s a microhabit, you ask? A microhabit is a super quick, easy-to-complete action – such as flossing one tooth or putting out your exercise clothes – that helps you cultivate positive habits.

Creating a preposterously easy daily habit can be the gateway to making big changes in your life, and not only because flossing one tooth makes you that much more likely to floss the rest. Microhabits help you view yourself as the kind of person who gets things done. Once you believe that, it becomes so much easier to create and maintain momentum. That can make a surprisingly big difference for Entertainer personalities.

Commit to doing one easy microhabit each day, and make it really, really easy. For example, instead of vowing to make your bed, resolve to pull up the sheet or straighten the pillows – or instead of committing to going to the gym every morning, commit to putting on your gym clothes as soon as you wake up. Sure, you can go ahead and make the bed or head to the gym afterward, but even if you don’t, you’re still maintaining your goal streak. That will help you feel so much more ready to tackle and keep up with your goals in the future.

You Tell Us: Will This Year Be Different?

So, dear readers, what resolutions will you be making for 2020 – and how will you help yourself stick with them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And, if you have a friend who needs to read this article, send it their way!

Further Reading

New Year, New You?

You Say You Made a Resolution: How Your Personality Traits Might Give You an Edge

Which Personality Types Love a Good Challenge?

“New Year’s Resolutions” Survey

“Happiness and Life Satisfaction” Survey

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