As the New Year gathers pace, even those who didn’t make New Year’s resolutions – or have already abandoned them – are still thinking about making improvements in their lives in one way or another. When the calendar flips to January, it’s only natural to think about how the upcoming year might be better than the last one. Everybody does it to one extent or another.

But the question is, how can you actually make it better? Is there a way to make 2023 a year of true transformation, a year when the possibility of meaningful change is finally converted into reality?

One great way to open authentic opportunities for self-improvement is through personality typing. You may or may not know your Myers-Briggs or Enneagram type already but, even if you do know, you may not have put much effort into thinking about how personality typing could help you grow and evolve.

Personality tests absolutely can help you improve your life. In fact, that’s the main reason to take them. A plan for self-development that is aligned with the needs and characteristics of your personality type is far more likely to succeed than a plan that includes no deeper reflection or analysis. Personality typing tests reveal who you really are, and with that knowledge you can nurture what needs nurturing and change what needs changing.

Here are nine things you can accomplish with personality testing in 2023:

#1: Learn to set more realistic goals

You can conceivably set any type of goal for the new year that you'd like, and develop a comprehensive plan for reaching it that will look good on the surface. But if you choose a goal that is not really in tune with your core motivations, you'll be fighting against yourself and that will always be a losing battle.

Trying to be someone or something you're not will leave you struggling to progress. It's better to go with the flow than to try to swim upstream, which is why your goals for change should satisfy your most essential needs and desires. Luckily, that is precisely what personality testing can help you identify.

#2: Improve your meaningful relationships

Virtually everyone aspires to be a better spouse, partner, parent, friend, sibling or adult child. Personality typing can help you satisfy this perennial wish, by offering you crucial insights into your hopes and expectations for others, and by showing you what you actually want to get out of your most intimate relationships.

With a clearer idea of what you're looking for and what you need, you can have a frank and honest conversation with a loved one about how you'd like your relationship to evolve. If the other person goes through the personality testing process with you, these discussions can be even more fruitful and enlightening.

#3: Find an exciting new career (or your first one)

When you get the results of your Enneagram or Myers-Briggs personality test, you'll read in-depth discussions about the jobs or careers for which someone of your type is best suited. If you're happy with your current job or sure about your current course of study, you shouldn't take these recommendations too seriously.

But if you're dissatisfied with your job or conflicted or uncertain about the type of job you'd like to pursue, your personality test results can help you clear out the fog. You should think of your personality test results as the equivalent of wise and carefully considered advice coming from your closest friend, who knows you well and always makes great suggestions.

#4: Gain perspective on your failures and come to terms with your disappointments

Most people have a failure or two that stays with them for many years, if not for their entire lives. This happens when failure prevents you from fulfilling powerful desires, or when it forces you to confront the truth about your insecurities and vulnerabilities.

But personality typing can help you forget. Personality tests are designed to boost self-comprehension, meaning they can provide you with some mind-blowing insights that explain why you failed and why it still bothers you so much. This is valuable, because you'll then know what you have to work on to avoid huge disappointments in the future. After you complete this work you'll be much less likely to let fantastic opportunities slip by, and after a big success or two your "what´-if" ruminations will gradually fade away.

#5: Reduce your stress levels

People often feel stressed and anxious with no clear idea about what is causing their discomfort. In fact, this sort of thing is incredibly common in modern society.

Your personality test results could be an effective antidote to your ongoing stress problem. They will help clarify the most likely sources of your stress by identifying your greatest fears and the circumstances that are known to trigger them. Once you know what's going on, your feelings of helplessness in the face of stress will be replaced by a sense of empowerment.

#6: Learn to deal with frustrating people

There are always going to be people who confound you, who frustrate you frequently with their words and behavior. They may not do anything blatantly terrible, but they get on your nerves nonetheless.

Personality typing tests can reveal the real reasons why some people frustrate and upset you. Once you know your personality type you’ll understand why your behavioral preferences and communication style inevitably clash with those of some co-workers or family members. When you know what is happening, you’ll be better able to control your reactions as you’ll realize it's more about you than about them. As you calm down you’ll start handling your encounters with problematic people more diplomatically, knowing that it's up to you to make your relationship with this individual healthier.

#7: Improve your amateur psychologist skills

We all like to play amateur psychologists from time to time! Other people are a fascinating puzzle and it is fun to try to figure them out. It can also be quite useful if the people we're armchair psychoanalyzing are the ones we love the most (they can be the most perplexing and bewildering).

Personality typing can help us with all this, not from what it tells us about ourselves but from what it tells us about everyone. If you familiarize yourself with the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs personality testing frameworks in their totality, you'll know exactly what it means when someone says they’re an Enneagram Three or an INFJ, or any other possible permutation of these profound analytical systems. Your expertise as an amateur psychologist may then increase exponentially as a result of your enlightenment.

#8: Help your friends and family achieve their loftiest goals

You don't have to take a personality typing test all alone. You can make it a group activity, followed by a vigorous group conversation where everyone's results are discussed and debated and feedback is encouraged.

These personality typing jam sessions should be positive, uplifting and motivational, with everyone sharing ideas about how the others can finally get what they’ve always wanted out of life (now that the personality typing results have revealed more about what that is). The enthusiasm and energy generated by this process can inspire everyone to reach for the highest heights and dream the biggest dreams. 

#9: Turn your New Year’s resolutions into winners

If you made New Year’s resolutions this year, did you take them seriously? Or have your resolutions failed so many times that you’re just going through the motions at this point?

While a resolution made on a whim or backed by wishful thinking is unlikely to succeed, you can salvage at least some of your resolutions by reshaping or reimagining them from within the context of your personality type. Your initial lukewarm resolutions can be converted into powerful plans for constructive change, if you attach them to a deep critique of your personality that identifies your primary motivations and uncovers the truth about your self-sabotaging fears and insecurities.

Fine-tuned to harmonize with your true personality traits, your 2023 goals could function as your blueprint for an exciting personal renaissance.

Nathan Falde
Nathan Falde has been working as a freelance writer for the past six years. His ghostwritten work and bylined articles have appeared in numerous online outlets, and in 2014-2015 he acted as co-creator for a series of eBooks on the personality types. An INFJ and a native of Wisconsin, Nathan currently lives in Bogota, Colombia with his wife Martha and their son Nicholas.