You made it through the holidays without causing any irreparable damage to your relationships and now you are into the final stretch of 2020. Your last challenge in this turbulent year is to set your new year intentions for 2021.

If there is anything 2020 taught us, it is that there are many things in life we can’t control.  With that as the backdrop, let 2021 be the year where we go within. This isn’t the year to check things off our bucket list. Instead, this new year presents an excellent opportunity to work on our internal world. 

Below are some suggestions to kick start your intention setting based on your Enneagram type. The Enneagram, referred to as the GPS of wisdom, gives us a great compass for 2021!

Perfectionist Type 1: Work Less, Play More

The remote nature of work in 2020 likely didn’t serve your hyper-efficient, super responsible personality well. You worked way too much, and it has left you exhausted. It is hard to know when to turn off when the office and the home front are now the same place, so in 2021, let’s have some clear goals for you to work less. 

Take a digital detox at least once per week—a 24-hour period with no social media, no checking email, no surfing news sources for the latest injustice in the world. Take that day and go outside to play. You might need to start with small bites Type 1, like a 12-16 hour detox, but work your way up to 24 consecutive hours. You’ve got a full year to master it so start now.

Helper Type 2: Nourish Your Body

You eat for emotional reasons, and there was a lot to feel emotional about in 2020. Before you beat yourself up about those extra pounds you’ve gained, give yourself credit. You helped a lot of people during 2020 and truly did make the world a better place. 

For the new year, set your intention to nourish yourself with healthy, nutrient-dense food and beverages. One easy way to do that, Type 2, is to take an afternoon each weekend to plan your meals and prepare healthy snacks for the upcoming week. And remember each morning to set out a big bottle of water and drink it before the day ends. You deserve this, and your body and mind will thank you for it.

Achiever Type 3: Volunteer (And Don’t Tell Anyone)

You are a goal-setting machine and 2020 kept you busy. You had to pivot and reinvent yourself several times. All this focus on your own goals might have left you a little out of balance so let’s have 2021 be the year you give back. 

Find a regular volunteer opportunity supporting those in need and take it, Type 3. You don’t need to keep it a secret but no social media posts about this one—this intention is yours alone. You grow a lot when you truly connect with the less fortunate, and we love it when you go deep and act from your heart. The goal isn’t recognition and outside approval. This is between you and you—no outside audience. 

Individualist Type 4:  Create Something Original

You do so well when you focus your emotional intensity and manifest it into something the rest of us can enjoy.  In the Greek language  “meraki” means to create with your soul, creativity and love, and your 2021 goal is to do just that. Pick a creative project or process and put your essence into it. 

We’re not asking for a complete trilogy or a musical symphony, Type 4, but in 2021, commit to manifesting at least one creative project. You love making an authentic expression of yourself so put some energy into sharing that with us this year. 

Investigator Type 5: Share Your Knowledge

You know so much about so many things but sharing your knowledge isn’t always easy for you. We know it can feel draining to put yourself out there, but let 2021 be the year you make the world a better place by sharing more of yourself. You can do it in a way that suits you: a podcast, a blog, a one-time seminar, class or workshop. 

Whatever it is Type 5, take that thing you are already really passionate about and find a way to share what you’ve learned about it with the world. You may realize you really do enjoy contributing. Knowledge grows when you share it with others.

Loyalist Type 6: Do Something That Scares You

You have an unconscious habit of staying within the confines of what you know. Routine and familiarity are comforting to you, but to make the most of 2021, you need to get outside your comfort zone. 

Once a month, find something that scares you and do it Type 6. It can be big, like skydiving, or small, like striking up a conversation with a stranger. Whatever it is, bring conscious intentionality to it. And whatever the outcome, congratulate yourself for your honest effort afterwards. This isn’t easy for you, but this is how you grow.

Enthusiast Type 7: Focus On A Single Goal

Your goal, ironically, is to do less in 2021. Let this be the year you focus deeply and get better at a single thing. Maybe it is golf, yoga, salsa, writing-whatever it is, pick one thing this year and try to really master it. 

Resist your temptation to add a new hobby when this topic starts to feel dull, Type 7. Feeling “bored” is part of the journey to mastery so stay the course. Let this be the year you focus all your abundant energy on a single topic, work through your negative emotions, and develop mastery.

Challenger Type 8: Learn To Surrender

You have a way of dividing the world into friends and foes and believing that most people fall into the “foes” category. This belief gets communicated to the rest of us subconsciously and makes your life harder than it needs to be. Let 2021 be the year you believe in the best in others. 

If you aren’t sure how to do that, Type 8, then observe young children. They are your role models for 2021, and your job is to channel their openness and innocence. It may feel hard to observe your progress with this intention so keep a journal of all the positive things you notice about the people you interact with each day, like “the barista was friendly,” or “my co-worker was kind.” Let this be the year the world doesn’t feel like a battlefield.

Peacemaker Type 9: Step Into Your Power

You are the most powerful type in the Enneagram when you truly understand just how powerful you are. Let this be the year you advocate for yourself and engage in healthy conflict. You are allowed to tell other people what you want, and you will likely be surprised at how willing other people are to accommodate you. 

Once a week, find a single topic, big or small, and stand your ground Type 9. It can be simple, like what you want to eat for dinner, or more complicated, like how you don’t want your best friend constantly dominating the conversation. Whatever it is, find a topic per week and start to exercise your inner power muscle. Let 2021 be the year you realize your power.

With these intentions, no matter what goes on in the outside world, 2021 may turn out to be your best year yet. And remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination. Tune in tomorrow, when we'll be looking at some specific tools and tricks for achieving all these goals you've set, and achieving them wholly in 2021 and beyond. 

Happy new year!

Lynn Roulo
Lynn Roulo is an Enneagram instructor and Kundalini Yoga teacher who teaches a unique combination of the two systems, combining the physical benefits of Kundalini Yoga with the psychological growth tools of the Enneagram. She has written two books combining the two systems. Headstart for Happiness, her first book is an introduction to the systems. The Nine Keys, her second book, focuses on the two systems in intimate relationships. Learn more about Lynn and her work here at