New Year, New Goals, But Your Motivation Sucks

It’s a brand new year and you have new goals for the year, but did you know that only 9.2% of people who make New Year’s goals feel they actually achieve them, according to Statistic Brain (January 1, 2017). The issue is never an issue of time, but instead is an issue of motivation and focus.


Understanding Your Motivation

According to Motivational Mapping, an ISO certified assessment created by James Sale, there are nine different motivators. Each of us has all nine motivators but what is important is the sequence of the motivation, the intensity of the motivation, and the satisfaction of the motivation.

Would you like to have your motivation tested?


The Nine Motivators That You Might Have

According to James Sale, in Mapping Motivation: Unlocking the Key to Employee Engagement

The Three Relationship Motivators

The Defender seeks security, predictability and stability. High job security, clear roles and responsibilities, regular and accurate information, and continuity and loyalty are important to the Defender. They value order and clarity, time to prepare, clear and regular communication, and continuity. To succeed in staying motivated they need support through periods of change, they must consider risk of no change, and regular reviews of progress.

The Friend seeks belonging, friendship, and fulfilling relationships. Feeling of belonging, nourishing and fulfilling relationships, a collaborative environment, being liked a supported are important to the Friend. They value being listened to, loyalty and continuity. To succeed in staying motivated they require involvement and consultation with others, social events for the team, and a deeply personalized approach. Mentors, coaches and highly involved leadership are important for the friend to have a good social working environment.

The Star seeks recognition, respect and social esteem. Social and public recognition, being noticed and held in high esteem, awards a certificates are important to the Star. Having a clear hierarchy or pecking order, competitive opportunities, and positive feedback can help the Star as well. To succeed in staying motivated they need opportunities for awards, involvement in projects, role models, mentors and coaches who understand their need for clear progression, regular reviews of targets and goals. Be sure to consult and ask their opinion often.

If you identify with the above three motivators in a deep and personal way then you are highly focused on relationships. We call this the Relationship Cluster. The characteristics of this cluster include being motivated by relying on past experience, they have high compatibility with other folks who are focussed this way but could have tension with those that are in the Growth Cluster. Their primary motivators are sustaining relationships, depth and intensity of relationships, and they value teamwork. They need security, belonging, recognition, and predictability. They rely on history to provide reliability, feelings, and their heart. In decision making they may take the tie, they tend to be risk averse, and a little more change resistant. These folks must guard against cliques, achievement taking second place to morale, groupthink. Mediocrity can bloom because they don’t want to rock the boat or take risks


The Three Achievement Motivators

The Director seeks leadership and in some cases power. They want to influence people and have control of resources. Being in control and in charge, being stretched, making critical decisions, having clearly defined career path up the ladder is important to them. To succeed in staying motivated they need to be given responsibility and to delegate, Personal Development Plants and regular review of progress is important. Role titles that reflect power, representing department, and an opportunity to deputies would be interesting to them.

The Builder seeks money, material satisfactions and an above average standard of living. They value material and financial rewards, clear goals and targets, work that is visibly well rewarded, responsibility, competitive or targeted environment. For them to succeed in staying motivated money, material benefits, and regular reviews of their progress which will help them to learn more and earn more.

The Expert seeks knowledge, mastery, and specialization. They value opportunities to learn, specializing in areas of their interest, and opportunities to share their expertise. For them to succeed in staying motivated they must realize their own potential, have contact with other experts, and mastering their area of interest. They also value training and development and being a guide or mentor to others.

If you identify with the above three motivators in a deep and personal way then you are highly focussed on achievement. We call this the Achievement Cluster. The characteristics of this cluster include being motivated by what is happening in the here and now. They have high compatibility with folks from the Relationship Cluster, but may have tension with those in their own cluster (due to a possibility of too much competitiveness). Their primary motivators are goals, deadlines, problems and challenges. They need to exercise control and decision making, build wealth, and develop mastery. They rely on the here and now, planning, logic and thinking, and the head to make decisions. As it relates to decision making they take risks when they are informed risks (i.e. they are risk aware). They are neutral to change. They must guard against missing the bigger picture of life by the “here and now” focus, sacrificing self-development in order to meet current challenges, or being too busy to build and sustain important relationships.


The Three Growth Motivators

The Creator seeks innovation, identification with new, expressing their creative potential. They value an environment with change and variety, opportunities to solve problems, being original, and creating something new or improved. For them to stay motivated they need the ability to work alone or small groups, and require recognition of their creativity. Involvement in idea and generating and brainstorming, having problems to solve, and objectives that need originality will also help them. It is important to limit routine and paper driven tasks.

The Spirit seeks freedom, independence, and making their own decisions. They value working autonomously, having a choice, freedom and independence. To succeed in staying motivated they need to have an awareness of the bigger picture, clear and specific objectives. If they can share the company’s vision and goals, delegate responsibility, and feel empowered they will do quite well.

The Searcher seeks meaning, making a difference, and providing worthwhile things. They value meaning and purpose in what they do, knowing that they have contributed something of significant value. To stay motivated they need to see the big picture and know how they play into it. If they can be listened to and consulted they will do well as long as they are given feedback on how they are making a difference.

If you identify with the above three motivators in a deep and personal way then you are highly focussed on growth. We call this, you guessed it, the Growth Cluster. The characteristics of this cluster and their needs include being motivated by future possibilities, realizing their full potential, being all they can be and innovation and change. They have high compatibility with the Achievement Cluster but possible tension with the the Relationship Cluster. Their primary motivators are freedom, purpose, meaning, and innovation. They rely on moving forward and growing, intuition and knowing, and the gut. In decision making they are quick, risk friendly, and change initiators and change friendly. They must guard against self-absorption. In being so focussed on growth they could negatively impact sustainable relationships. Completion and follow through can often be sacrificed in exchange for “the new”.


The Challenge

The challenge with having all nine of these motivators is that they can be in conflict with each other. For example if you are motivated by The Builder and by The Searching you could forgo money for purpose or be so focussed on money that purpose never gets fulfilled. There are many examples of this such as The Defender and The Spirit, etc. I recommend having your motivation tested professionally by a certified Motivation Map Practitioner.

All of these motivators can affect any and every aspect of your life from weight loss or other health goals, like reduction in inflammation (anti-inflammatory), to things like career change, exercise, finding love, quitting smoking, learning something new, making better financial decisions, etc.


What are the Top New Years Goals

According to Statistic Brain the top New Years Resolutions are…

  1. Losing Weight / Healthier Eating
  2. Live/Self Improvements
  3. Better Financial Decisions
  4. Quit Smoking
  5. Do more exciting things
  6. Spend more time with family / close friends
  7. Work out more often
  8. Learn something new on my own
  9. Do more good deeds for others
  10. Find the love of my life
  11. Find a better job


Recommendation: Get Your Motivation Professionally Assessed

Would you like to have your motivation tested?  A Motivational Mapping Assessment could be the best option for you. Instead of guessing, why not have it checked and strategies provided on how to best stay motivated this year!


Christopher is the CEO and Founder of Change My Life Coaching —  a fast growing whole-life coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher spent 15+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at

2 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals, But Your Motivation Sucks”

  1. I also believe that unless you create actions to work towards your goals, then your goals are just words. Will power has no sustainability, but if you can answer the question every day, what is the action I am taking today that answers to my goal then you are on the right track. It is action that takes us forward.

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