As an Enneagram type 8, I am a natural goal-setter. 

Since I was very young, I remember setting targets and goals to reach. These ranged from New Year's resolutions to grades for my classes in school, and splitting university into a four-year plan to accomplish everything I wanted to do. In my working life I’ve done the same – and I still have a whole list of things I want to achieve this year!

There are some secrets to achieving goals and most of them are to do with mindset. To succeed in your aims, you need to have a can-do attitude, determination and the ability to ask for help when you need it. You also need to have the confidence to ignore the nay-sayers and go for it! 

Here are 5 secrets to achieving goals, for Type 8s and every other Enneagram type!

1. If at first you don’t succeed… 

Achieving your goals is rarely a straightforward line from start to finish. With most challenging goals, you probably will experience setbacks and have to work around barriers that appear along the way. The secret to achieving your goals is the ability to pick yourself up and keep going!

You will need to find an inner drive to achieve your goals, even when it seems like the odds are against you. Whether you are focusing on your career, school, fitness or anything else, the same principles apply. There will be points where you feel like you’re going backwards or you just can’t make it to your final goal. That’s the time to borrow from the Type 8 traits of grit, focus and sheer force of will to see your goals through to the end.

2. Be confident in your abilities

Type 8s are naturally confident and they take pride in being capable. This is a big plus when it comes to achieving goals because they rarely stop to think about whether or not they can do it… they just get on with it! 

Many types struggle to achieve their goals because their lack of confidence stops them from ever starting. To be successful in your aims, you need to borrow from the strength and solidity of the Type 8, whose classic assertiveness comes from their inner confidence and go-getting attitude. 

An easy way to get started is to reframe your goals, rather than “I’d like to…” say “I will…”. Be confident in your ability to shape your life how you want to and don’t back down!

3. Evaluate and adapt!

Many people also tend to miss the importance of adaptability when working towards their goals. It’s a good idea to assess your progress regularly and, if necessary, adjust your course. Type 8s are extremely good at critically evaluating their actions and changing their approach when needed. This type of self-evaluation can be a big help when working towards your goals. 

For example, if you’re trying to achieve a fitness goal, you might be going to the gym regularly but not seeing the changes you want. Maybe you need to check your form, switch up your workout routine or take a look at your diet. All these things will have an impact on your final goal. Your goals will also change as you progress, so step-by-step assessment is a key part of your journey. If you need to make any changes, approach the task with confidence and enthusiasm – you’ve got this!

4. Invest energy into achieving your goals

Achieving goals takes energy – lots of energy! Stamina is a hugely important aspect of achieving your goals, and this is one of the things that makes Enneagram Type 8s experts at it! The natural ambition of Type 8s gives them huge amounts of drive and energy and they invest it all into achieving the tasks that matter to them. You can borrow from this trait, regardless of your type.

Keep in mind the saying “Focus on the step in front of you, not the whole staircase”. Pour your energy into reaching the first step, then go for the next step. If you can break your goals down into chunks they will be much easier to achieve. That way, you can approach every stage with power and passion.

5. Ask for help from others

Despite their independent and self-assured attitude, Type 8s also know that no one is an island. No matter how capable you are, you often need to get help from others in order to achieve your goals. 

As much as you want to succeed, you won’t be able to do that without the necessary knowledge. It’s very rare that you can achieve your goals without some extra expertise from other people. Olympic athletes don’t just train alone and then win a gold medal, they have a whole team of supportive, knowledgeable people who help them get there!

Type 8s respect people who are competent, regardless of their age or status. This means they have a special ability to find the people who can help them achieve their goals, sometimes in unexpected places. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others when you need it. Believe me, it won’t take away from the final goal – but it will make it easier to get there.

Achieving your goals, the Type 8 way!

Experts at goal setting, Enneagram Type 8s have a lot of practice in achieving their goals. They thrive off of their ability to approach tasks with confidence and commitment and they work extremely hard to succeed in their aims. They instinctively know that to achieve goals, you have to invest time and energy. Success rarely happens instantly!

Whilst everyone is different, other types can borrow from the natural abilities of Type 8s as they push towards goals achievement. By acknowledging the secrets that Type 8s already know, you can take another look at the way you approach your goals. If you often give up after a failure, make an extra effort to push through. Remember the importance of evaluating your progress as you go and being adaptable. These simple changes can make a massive difference in your goal-setting and can hopefully get you where you want to be.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at