Here’s Which New Year’s Resolution You Should Make, Based on Your Enneagram Type

published Jan 4, 2021
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While New Year’s resolutions can be met with groans and eye rolls, there’s something about this year that feels… different. Many of us are craving a fresh start after a challenging year that made us question a lot and seek deeper fulfillment.

In other words, this may finally be our chance to say buh-bye to those over-hyped New Year’s resolutions your friends post all over Facebook but then quietly abandon in February, just like 80 percent of the population

The problem with traditional New Year’s resolutions isn’t just vagueness or that they’re overly-ambitious: They’re often rooted in achievement and drastically changing behavior, rather than process and understanding your motivation. If you’re looking to redefine resolutions from something dreaded into something meaningful, the Enneagram is a great tool for helping you do so. 

Not familiar with the Enneagram? It’s a personality tool consisting of nine different types and their motivation styles. If you don’t know your type, you can take the official Riso-Hudson Enneagram test online for $12 or take a free, unofficial test online.

By bringing awareness into how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are reflective of your motivation, you can grow into the best version of yourself as well as create goals that align with you.  

Credit: Emma Fiala

Type One, The Reformer: Start a journaling practice to confront your inner critic.

Themes to explore: perfectionism, anger, letting go, tenseness in your body

You have a deep desire to improve every aspect of your life as well as live according to your high standards. Behind your strong moral compass, organized to-do lists, and “right way” of doing things, there is a tough inner critic.

It’s time to get that inner critic in check in 2021—not by avoiding it, but by confronting it. Give it a name and talk to it on a blank page. Stream-of-consciousness journaling, where you set a timer for 20 minutes and journal whatever comes to mind, is a great place to start if you’re a newbie. For a more structured, creative approach, you might try writing a letter or dialogue directly to your inner critic when it acts up. Notice how your critic stems from the fear of imperfection instead of the reality of how strong and resilient you actually are.

Type Two, The Helper: Schedule 30 minutes of “me-time” daily. 

Themes to explore: people-pleasing, repressed needs, developing worth outside of others

Type twos are the empathetic caretakers of the Enneagram. We see you for listening and going out of your way to fix other people’s problems. Underneath your helper nature though, is the deep desire to be needed—if you even know what it is that you need. 

Spending 30 minutes of alone time daily in the new year will give you the space to process your own thoughts, feelings, and desires. Perhaps your 30 minutes can be journaling, taking a walk, or teaching yourself a new hobby or skill. The important thing is to spend time exploring yourself outside of other people while checking in with how you really feel beyond the surface—because getting in touch with your needs is how you will step into your power.

Type Three, The Achiever: Volunteer or donate to a cause you care about (without telling anyone).

Themes to explore: shame, who you are beyond what you do, redefining success 

Simply put, you want to be the best at everything you do. Once you have a goal in mind, there’s no stopping you until you get what exactly it is that you want. Recognition is important to you, but if you’re not careful, you may lose yourself in a facade and become detached from the things that bring you joy and a sense of meaning. 

It’s time to reestablish that joy in 2021 by doing something that feels good instead of focusing on how it makes you look. Find a cause you’re passionate about and identify why it’s so important to you. But here’s the catch: Don’t tell anyone about it. The point is to develop what you truly value without the attachment of praise. 

Credit: Minette Hand

Type Four, The Individualist: Create a meaningful wellness ritual to feel your very best.

Themes to explore: longing, attaching to your emotions, true identity 

You’re known as the sensitive artist-type of the Enneagram, as you have a deep appreciation for beauty and passion for self-expression. You’re also probably guilty of romanticizing pain, sadness, and the way things could be. It’s time to leave behind the longing and start taking action in a way that’s meaningful to you. 

Creating a ritual that nurtures your well-being is your key to positive action and focus in the new year. If you want to enhance your creativity, for instance, you may try a routine where you sage your space and make a cup of tea before you draw, paint, or write. Make 2021 the year you actually put your creative ideas into action, because the world needs them more than ever—and recognize that baby steps will pay off in the long run.

Type Five, The Investigator: Give yourself brain breaks with (at least) 10 minutes of daily movement.

Themes to explore: fear, connection, body awareness

You value being independent and self-reliant and find a lot of comfort in exploring the depths of your own mind. Retreating to process information and ideas is your natural tendency, but as you know, it can be tough to escape your own thoughts—especially when they’re taken over by your underlying sense of fear.

This is why movement is a great way to help you disconnect from your overactive mind and reconnect with your body. Many Fives can relate to getting lost in the day without drinking a sip of water or standing up to stretch. So, in the new year, prioritize your wellbeing through at least 10-minutes of healthy movement a day, such as with this simple morning yoga session. It’s important to note that these brain breaks aren’t meant to take away from your genius ideas—it’s to help you recenter and process them without you consciously forcing them.

Type Six, The Loyalist: Commit to learning something new every week.

Themes to explore: fear, self-reliance, expanding out of your comfort zone 

You love to have a plan and be prepared, which stems from your core desire for safety and security. This past year probably hasn’t been easy for you given all of the uncertainty which sends your mind into a spiral of “what ifs” and preparing for the worst (ahem, stocking up on all the toilet paper).

While it’s easy for you to hyperfocus on what could go wrong, it’s important to find ways to keep your mind active without entertaining paranoia. Dedicate time to learning something new every week in the new year. Whether it’s making a new recipe, signing up for a class, or subscribing to a daily email like Wikipedia’s daily article mailing list, this allows you to productively engage your thoughts and feel secure in your own knowledge. You also thrive on routine and enjoy committing to things, so integrating this into your daily or weekly practices can easily become a natural habit. 

Credit: Jessica Rapp

Type Seven, The Enthusiast: Develop your passion project through daily single-tasking.

Themes to explore: slowing down, organization confronting “negative” emotions

You live life in the fast lane chasing new experiences and possibilities. Because your mind is always spinning with innovative ideas, focusing can be a challenge—especially when you’re inclined to jump to the next thing (you can’t always help it!). What do you say about 2021 being the year you thoughtfully organize—and follow through on—your passion project?

Let us introduce you to single-tasking, which is exactly what it sounds like: The opposite of multitasking (a productivity killer), where you focus on one task for a designated period of time. Before you say “thank you, next,” know that this is proven to boost your mental performance, efficiency, and even sharpen decision-making skills. Block off 30 minutes a day and dedicate it to a creative hobby, project you’re working on outside of work, or exploring one of your many ideas. Committing to this time will help you ground your focus and work in small steps without feeling compelled to rush through something or move onto what’s next.

Type Eight, The Challenger: Consume more sustainably and commit to a greener lifestyle.

Themes to explore: vulnerability, justice, channeling anger in a healthy way 

You are bold, charismatic, and have a strong sense of justice. As you feel it is your duty to protect those in vulnerable positions, you value using your influence to create a better world. Make 2021 about taking the steps to get there by committing to a greener lifestyle.

You have the power to control what you buy and how you buy it to live more sustainably. This can be ditching big, harmful brands in favor of shopping small or second hand. Or, it could be committing to a zero-waste lifestyle where you cut down on plastic and disposing of materials. Change starts on an individual scale and with your natural ability to take others under your wing and lead a cause, this could be the positive change you—and the environment—need. 

Credit: Chloe Berk

Type Nine, The Peacemaker: Take control of one thing every day.

Themes to explore: forgotten anger, taking a stance, prioritization 

You are easygoing and value inner peace and harmony, and for this reason, you have the tendency to go along with what the group thinks rather than standing your own ground for fear of conflict. 

2021 is the year to step into your power, and it starts simply by taking control of one thing daily. This can be as simple as choosing to invest in yourself through taking a course or working with a coach. It can be saying “no” to someone when all you want is to lay on the couch and binge watch Selling Sunset, or it can be completing one small task daily on your passion project. The point is to practice what it feels like when you take responsibility for your priorities and passions and not fall asleep to them—because you have so much to offer the world.