At the risk of sounding cliché, several goal-setting methods don’t work for most people.
Because a lot of people are trying to do what’s secondary to their personality types.
In life, there are different things that interest us, and different things that energize us.
And these differences are rooted deep into the type of person we are (our personality types). This has an effect on the ways we execute our goals.
These personality types also affect the rate at which we are motivated to work on certain goals.
The problem is that most people don’t take the time to get to know their goal-setting personality types. And they don’t set goals that are coherent with their personality types.
This is one of the main reasons why a lot of people abandon their goals midway, irrespective of the methods of goal setting they adopt.
Before we get into personality types, let’s take a look at the various stages of goal setting that any goal can be broken down into.
The three stages of goal setting
There are three different stages of goal setting.
- The goal-setting/planning stage
- The execution stage (Getting started)
- The completion stage (Staying the course)
Each of these stages requires different abilities from us and can characterize people into different goal-setting personality types.
With that said, it’s counter-productive to teach you several goal-setting methods without first teaching you how to know the methods that’ll work best for your personality type at each stage of your goal.
Several goal-setting personality types based on the three stages of goal setting
For the following personality types, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re either one or another. Personality types are not written in stones.
You might find yourself being a personality type at a certain time, and at other times, being another.
But, you’ll find that one personality is predominant for you over the others.
So, let’s get started!
Do you know that experts have revealed that when it comes to the goal setting and planning stage, there are three different types of goal setting personalities?
These personalities are;
[TYPE 1] [ANALYTICAL] Those that write and plan out their goals
For this personality type, goal planning makes it easier for them to achieve their goals.
THESE group of people are analytical, they enjoy planning their goals down to the last detail before they start taking any form of action on their goals.
All the common goal-setting models like the SMART model and the GOOP model will work very well for these personality types.
[TYPE 2] [INTUITIVE] Those that don’t write and plan for their goals
This personality type doesn’t feel comfortable writing their goals and plans down.
When they force themselves to do so, they might start feeling overwhelmed and might procrastinate.
What these people need is to be really convinced that the goal is reasonable, and they go for it.
They just need their subconscious mind to lock-on to a goal and they are good to go.
Using the SMART method of goal setting can really help this personality type in figuring out the reasons why a particular goal is Relevant/Reasonable for him/her.
[TYPE 3] [HYBRID]
These are people that oscillate in-between being analytical and being intuitive with their goals.
There are some goals they get really analytical about, and there are some goals that they just wing.
When it comes to the execution stage of a goal, there are two different personality types that experts have identified.
[TYPE A INDIVIDUALS] HARD-CHARGING PERSONALITIES
This type of personality is really goal-driven and go after their goals with everything they have.
They are competitive in nature and like to challenge themselves.
They really excel at performance-based goals and target-based goals.
For the hard-charging person, it doesn’t matter how big or overwhelming a goal seems, they go after it.
These people also like to gamify the process of executing their goals like using targets, goal-tracking apps, and so on.
Using goal-setting methods like the BIG AUDACIOUS goal-setting method can be highly beneficial for this personality type.
[TYPE B INDIVIDUALS] LAID-BACK PERSONALITIES
If you are this type of personality, you are likely more motivated with goals that are more specific and are broken down into smaller chunks.
This personality type feels comfortable approaching and working on their goals milestone by milestone.
With each win they rack up, they feel much more confident and much more comfortable working on the goals.
These people are mostly analytical and like to create a plan for their goals. They also tend to make goals very specific before they start working on their goals. And in the planning stage, they are likely going to break the goals down into smaller chunks.
The SMART method of goal setting will work really well for this personality type.
The last stage of any goal is the completion stage. At this stage of goal setting, there are also two different goal personalities that experts have identified.
[TYPE 1] STARTERS
Starters are people that have no problem getting started with their goals. They are always inspired to get started on the brightest ideas.
But, as these people go further along in working on their goals, as the goals start exiting the excitement phase, start getting repetitive, they get bored easily, and they can easily abandon the goal.
Starters often find it difficult to get involved in the nitty-gritty part of goal execution. And as a result of this, starters often find it difficult to see a goal to completion.
That doesn’t mean that starters don’t get things done. It just means that they need to set goals that excite them in the first place. They need to find a way to keep it interesting by constantly raising the bar and they also need to learn how to delegate or outsource the uninteresting aspects of their goals.
As a matter of fact, most successful CEOs fall into this personality type. They are always big on ideas.
Because they are good goal starters, they have the ability to get themselves and their team started on the goal in a very good manner. And after that, they delegate or outsource to the appropriate personnel.
If you are this type of goal setting personality and you’ve been having a hard time completing your goals, what you need to do is learn how to outsource or delegate better.
[TYPE 2] FINISHERS
All that this personality type need is to find a goal reasonable enough.
Finishers have no problem setting goals, start working on the goals and seeing it through. Irrespective of whether the goals remain interesting and exciting or not.
If you are this personality type, the only problem you might encounter is you might find it difficult to pivot on the goals you are already working on.
Regardless of whether a goal is working or not, the finisher has a hard time changing course. The side-effect of this is that you can end up wasting valuable time and resources on a goal that isn’t working.
The truth is sometimes, for a goal to work, all you need to do is readjust or pivot on the goal.
For this personality, the SMARTER method of goal setting, which is a variation of the SMART model will be of great help.
7 EFFICIENT goal setting methods you can try
BSQ [Big Small Quick]
This method of goal setting has to do with thinking BIG when setting your goals.
You don’t need to worry about if you have the ability to achieve the goal or not.
The next step is to aim to take SMALL action towards achieving the BIG goal that has been previously set.
And the last layer is to make sure that the SMALL action you are going to take is QUICK and immediate. Don’t dilly dally about it. Don’t overthink it. Just make sure you take QUICK action.
An example of this goal-setting method in action is;
- BIG goal: I want to lose 30 pounds this year
- SMALL action: I will start running around my house five times in a day
- QUICK: I will put on my sneakers and start NOW!
This method of goal setting doesn’t leave much room for planning. This method will be best suited to the INTUITIVE, HARD-CHARGING personalities.
Also, a STARTER would be motivated to take action because the goal is BIG and challenging. And as a result, it’ll be exciting for him or her.
GOOP [Goal Outcome Obstacle Plan]/WOOP [Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan]
Studies have revealed that when we focus too much on the outcome of our wishes or goals, our performance reduces, and we actually fall short on achieving the outcomes we are so focused on.
But, when we think about the likely obstacles we’ll encounter while working on our goals, and make a plan for these obstacles, there’s a higher chance of achieving the goals.
GOOP is an obstacle-based goal setting method that incorporates detailed planning.
It also utilizes the IF-THEN planning strategy that researchers have found to be the most effective goal planning strategy in more than fifty years of research on goal setting.
This is my favorite goal-setting method (because I am an ANALYTICAL person in nature).
How GOOP work is this;
- You choose a GOAL, like, “I want to lose 20 pounds this year”
- You imagine the best possible OUTCOME of achieving the goal, like, “Imagine yourself having the body of a supermodel and putting on the perfect dress and walking down the street and everybody staring in awe”.
- Then you think of the likely OBSTACLES that can prevent you from achieving the goal, like, “feeling fatigued when I start working out at the gym”, “the smell of doughnut at the bakery down the street”, “working hours not allowing me to cook and eat healthy foods”, and so on.
- And finally, draw an IF-THEN PLAN for each of these obstacles, like, “IF I start feeling fatigued, THEN I will take a day off and no more than that”, “IF I start craving doughnut, THEN I will take three deep breaths to slow my heart-rate down and increase my willpower”, “IF my working hours start causing me to eat junks, THEN I will start cooking in bulk on the weekends”, and so on.
The GOOP method of goal setting is as simple as that and it’s very effective. It helps to stay on course irrespective of situations that might arise.
Because it involves a great deal of planning, it is best suited to ANALYTICAL and LAID-BACK personality types.
This is not to say that HARD-CHARGING personalities can’t utilize this method also.
As good as the GOOP model of goal setting is, its limitation is that it doesn’t cater to the reasons why you are setting the goals in the first place.
And there will be days that you’ll really need these reasons for motivation to allow you to stay on course.
SMART [Specific Measurable Actionable Reasonable Time-bound]
This is the most widely used method of goal setting.
The SMART method of goal setting is widely accepted because it is a comprehensive method of goal setting.
When done correctly, it has something to offer each of the personality types we mentioned earlier.
The SMART method of goal setting is particularly effective when setting goals for teams and staff at work.
SMART goals are specific in nature, comes equipped with ways to measure your progress, have a stage to plan for your goal-actions, can also help you figure out if the goal is relevant and reasonable for you, and it comes with deadlines.
Here is a post about the process of setting SMART goals with the history of SMART goals and different examples.
SMARTER [Specific Measurable Actionable Reasonable Time-bound Evaluate Readjust]
This is a variation of the SMART model of goal setting. The only difference is that it leaves room for you to evaluate and readjust your goals when the need arises.
This particular method of goal setting will be effective for those people that are STARTERS.
They can take advantage of the ability to re-evaluate their goals with this method of goal setting.
And instead of abandoning their goals, they can readjust it.