It’s that time of year again, people! Come January 1st, many will be joining new gyms, starting new projects and laying down their vices in the name of self-improvement. My dieting resolutions only seem to last a hot second, but I remain a fan of goal-setting. Setting a goal is as much an acknowledgment of vulnerability as it is a hope for personal improvement.
Each Myers-Briggs personality type has its own specific struggles to overcome. Some of us are risk-averse, others are commitment-averse or emotions-averse — and most of us can stand to make progress in some area this year. Whether you’re into resolutions or prefer more consistent evolution, here’s what I would suggest each type consider this year for growth.
Oh, and happy 2019!
INTJ: Take more risks, even if you can’t predict the outcomes.
INTJs are naturally risk-averse, because they think they can predict the future. But all those assumptions you make and conclusions you jump to could keep you from having the most exciting, unexpected adventures of your life. As a growth-oriented type, know this: The things that scare you most — a.k.a. all that’s unpredictable — are the keys to becoming a better version of yourself. Failure is better than the regret of unrealized potential.
ENTP: Go after that one thing you can’t shake.
ENTPs are so naturally capable, they often chase many threads into a state of exhaustion. But if you never choose a path, you’ll end up going nowhere. How do you choose? Try chasing whatever you can’t shake, that thing you’ve felt deep in your bones for a long time — a career path, a love interest, a side hustle. The thing that seems to hold endless potential for learning and excitement. Whether something brilliant awaits you or an important lesson, it’s worth the try.
INTP: Flex your empathy muscle.
INTPs are content and even-keeled on the surface, and they’re easily lost in their books, theories and goals. However, if you’re an INTP, your Achilles heel is dealing with the emotions of others. But the thing you hate may be the key to a more satisfying life; relating to people,and learning to understand and coexist with friends and colleagues will likely facilitate your goals. So while you get impatient with people who indulge their moods, remember that these feelings are just part of life. When someone is going through a rough patch, try asking how you can help instead of expecting them to get over it.
ENTJ: Develop your personal life.
ENTJs can be all work and no play. While you certainly know how to unwind, your relationships and personal life often suffer from an inexhaustible work ethic. But this is your 2019 truth: If you don’t take some time off, you might be stunting your productivity — and you will certainly be missing out on strong friendships and romantic love. This year, invest in building stronger relationships and connecting with loved ones more frequently. Missing a flight to your cousin’s wedding because you were working late on a project is no way to live.
INFJ: Step into your power.
INFJs are typically known as wise, diligent types in the Myers-Briggs system. You combine intuitive understanding of the topics you seek to master, with an ability to read others’ emotions in social settings. You’re both creative and analytical. Are you catching my drift? You are a powerful force! But you often hide your talents out of shyness and fear of the spotlight. In 2019, do not hide your power. Step into it. Apply for the promotion. Start publishing those essays you write. Sign up for the poetry slam, or give that talk. It’s okay to feel unsure, but be bold in your passions. The world needs more of your strong, steady voice.
ENFP: Replace impulsivity with serenity.
ENFPs are at their best when they’re carefully considering their possibilities. However, you have a tendency to chase ideas (and people) that pique your interest without considering if they’re actually worth your time. While your impulsivity makes you a fantastic friend for those who could use a little more spice in their lives, a little patience and calm consideration could get you further than ever in 2019.
ENFJ: Enjoy the ride.
ENFJs are ordered, regimented, scheduled and planned — so much so that you may be overly focused on reaching your goals, checking boxes and passing milestones. Although you’re a grade-A accomplisher, you can often feel exhausted and miss the joy in the ride of life itself. At the end of the day, life is meant to be savored. So this year, don’t rush. It’s okay if you take a day (or a week) to achieve nothing noteworthy, especially if you’ve paused to do something you love.
INFP: Take more initiative.
INFPs are quite capable when they put their minds to something. But whether you’re asking someone out on a date or applying for jobs in a field you may enjoy better than your current one, you’re often crippled with self-doubt and uncertainty. This year, try to check that instinct. You’re one of the deep-thinking, empathetic types, so you’re usually able to take big steps and make sure it works out. You’re adaptable. Trust yourself.
ISTJ: Throw away the rule book.
ISTJs are the dutiful backbones of society. But when you dig deep down, you might find big dreams buried in your heart that you’re afraid to chase. You might find that you make safe choices — like choosing the major where there’s the most career opportunity, or following the directions exactly while cooking — because you fear the regret that might come from ignoring the rule book. As the saying goes, though: Life starts at the end of your comfort zone. Failure is only failure if you look at it that way. At worst, you learn; at best, you innovate. This year, why not go for it?
ESTP: Get committed.
If there’s one type that gets a bad rap for commitment, it’s ESTP. You live in the moment, love to be spontaneous and impulsive, and hate feeling bored. While you shouldn’t abandon the core of who you are, don’t be afraid to let something or someone center you. Invest in a relationship with someone you care about, or go after the job track that requires eight years of schooling. That centering force may just help you grow into deeper, fuller version of yourself. Commitment doesn’t have to be scary. And remember, ESTP: You like pushing yourself into the unknown. For you, this is actually it.
ISTP: Accept help.
ISTPs rarely ask for help because they deem themselves “self-sufficient.” And you are! But, you’re also happier when you have a core group around you who have similar values. Focus on removing the emotional guard that keeps you from truly getting close to others this year. An easy way to do this is by asking for help. You do so much on your own. If you take baby steps toward vulnerability — asking for dating advice, calling a friend up when your car breaks down — you’ll be a stronger person for it.
ESTJ: Seek to understand instead of execute.
ESTJs are the natural bosses. As such, you’re probably always running the show in some capacity — and getting things done with stunning efficiency. And while it’s great that you have the leadership skills to execute, you can sometimes demand too much from the people on your team (or in your life). Everyone has different working styles. It’s okay to do things slowly and methodically, as well as quickly and efficiently. Learn the strengths of your team or friends, and shape your expectations around those instead.
ISFJ: Learn to be selfish.
ISFJs are so selfless, they’re used to putting others’ needs before their own. While this is the place you feel most comfortable, it’s also what causes your emotions to build up and your energy to wear down. Remember, this coming year, that it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to be tired, take a break, run a bath — even if there’s a social event going on the same night. Sometimes selfishness can be as restorative as selflessness.
ESFP: Grow roots, not just wings.
ESFPs are known for chasing everything… hobbies, careers, travel, new romantic interests, and so much more. And while it’s easy to get caught up in life’s sheer abundance, sometimes you disconnect from your feelings in the process. Deep down, you know what you really want. So what is it? Pour your passion (you have a lot of it) into one specific area of development this year, forgoing the excess in which you feel most comfortable. Maybe it’s finally moving back home to be closer to your family, or perhaps it’s finally focusing on that business venture you know you’d slay. You tend to fear boredom and resist constraints, but, for you, life will get lonely if you don’t honor your deeper feelings.
ESFJ: Fall madly in love… with yourself.
ESFJs just want to love. Your big heart is one of your most endearing qualities, but it can also lead you to people who don’t have the capacity to love you back and reveal bigger insecurities about needing to feel wanted versus finding a true partner or even great friends. In 2019, consider taking some time to focus 100% on yourself. Put energy into your own goals, travels, hobbies and friendships. Maybe set your partner (or the act of dating) aside for a short while. Things may come into focus when you finally internalize that you’re enough, all on your own.
ISFP: Stand up for yourself.
ISFPs are wonderful advocates. You probably have several issues that keep you motivated. But while you’re fierce when it comes to protecting others, you sometimes don’t stand up for yourself. Next year, focus on voicing your needs clearly in your relationships and at work. Despite your social reserve, which borders on mystery, you’re a great commentator. Articulating your beliefs every day is your key to creating real change, on a smaller scale, in your own life.
Collage by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.