- What does your DISC profile say about your ability to set large goals?
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January 12, 2023

A mere 3% of the population writes down goals for the New Year. The goal writers are 3x more successful at attaining goals than those who neglected writing out their goals in detail. 

Resolutions are cotton candy. Sweet to share, fun to say but have zero value. In fact, "43% of all people expect to fail before February," ouch. 

If you need help with sticking to goals, a DISC profile might unlock the insights needed to set goals that you can specifically stick to. 

DISC is broken into four primary views describing how you see the world. It's a thin slice of who you are, but it's not a personality test or a complete description of the human experience. However, its scientific-based results identify behaviors to maximize the likeliness of hitting your goals. The DISC is broken into four vertical bars depicting behaviors we all have. 

"D" stands for dominance. Its primary fear is "being taken advantage of." The high-D takes control of the situation and gets the job done, protecting their interests from ever being controlled by someone else. 

"I" stands for Influence. Its primary fear is "social rejection." The "I" compensates by understanding social settings and making itself the center of attention. 

"S" is for Steadiness, Stability or Sympathetic. It makes up the largest of the global population. Its primary fear is change. It, therefore, thrives in stable and predictable environments with minimal change. 

"C" is for Consciousness. Its fear is "doing things wrong." The "C" has developed a high sense of quality and accuracy to help them ensure that "the right thing" has been done "the right way."

We vacillate on a spectrum from high to low on all four scales; this gives us each a unique fingerprint. Yet, each scale has a high type that dominates how it sees the world. 

I've broken out each type and added ways for each type to increase its likelihood of goal attainment. 


The high-D personality of the DISC profile is characterized by being results-oriented, decisive, and confident. They tend to set goals that are challenging and are likely to push themselves towards achievement. They are also more likely to take risks in pursuing their goals and may be less concerned with the potential consequences of their actions.

Individuals with high-D behavior need to set specific and measurable goals that allow them to track their progress and stay motivated. They should also be sure to set deadlines for themselves and work to create a sense of urgency to stay focused and on track. If the high-D isn't seeing immediate results, they become frustrated and start to detach from their goals. 

Keys to success for the high-D's:

  • Set reminders on your calendar or phone to revisit your purpose, focus on the progress made, and chunk out the subsequent actions required to achieve the goal. 
  • Keep a journal or list of big ideas that fall outside your goals. This will decrease the chances that you'll jump to another idea when resistance is faced.
  • It can be helpful for high-D personalities to enlist the support of others in achieving their goals, whether through collaboration on setting actions or by seeking guidance and advice from mentors. I recommend that the D's work with high-C people to help them see a fuller picture of what work is required.  
  • It's also vital for high-D personalities to be open to feedback and willing to adjust their goals during their periodic reviews, as needed, to achieve success.


High-I's are characterized by being outgoing, enthusiastic, and friendly. They love setting goals and dreaming big. It's easy for them to see the end result of the goal, but they often look right past the work needed to achieve the goal. They tend to focus more on the present moment and the energy they feel. High-I often goes off-course, adding new goals that distract from the ones they initially set. This is because the new goal feeds their thirst for adventure and curiosity, until it doesn't.  

I's are high-energy. It can be helpful for individuals with a high-I personality to set goals that align with their personal values and passions, as this can help keep them motivated and engaged. They may also benefit from setting smaller, more achievable goals that they can work on daily or weekly rather than trying to take on too much at once. If a high-I isn't getting energy from the goal, they will likely re-orient the goal, or abandon it. 

Keys to success for the high-I's:

  • Keep goals flexible and unstructured. The adaptability keeps the goal fun and engaging for the high-I. 
  • Seek ways to be social, ideally as a speaker or trainer; this helps fuel creativity and builds momentum toward the goal. 
  • Unlike the other three types, I's benefit from sharing the progress on their goals publically, even on social media. The high-I's fear of social rejection can drive movement forward. 
  • High-I types need to find ways to make goal-setting and achieving fun and enjoyable rather than seeing it as a chore. Try pairing working on the goal with a fun activity. For instance, if the goal is to write a book, then pair that with traveling to a new city or new part of town to work on the book in a coffee shop or park. 
  • High-I's may find it helpful to enlist the support of others, such as friends or a coach, to help them stay on track and achieve their goals, and most importantly, chunk out the necessary work to achieve the goal. Work with a high-C to help detail the required work, but be aware that details might drain your enthusiasm. Just keep focus on the immediate needs, and don't let the long-term effort dissuade you. 
  • Adjust the goal slightly each quarter or month... not the desired daily or weekly! Keeping things somewhat flexible will keep you engaged on the goal. 
  • Similar to the high-D, set reminders on your calendar to revist your goals weekly, monthly and quarterly, especially with a mentor or coach. 

High S's

These are the true planners of the DISC profile. They are easy-going, patient, and supportive. They tend to focus more on maintaining stability and harmony in their lives and may struggle with taking on too much at once or setting goals that are too challenging. The high-S may have trouble initiating efforts, but once they get going, they are like a train racing down a track. They keep their focus and gain momentum. 

Keys for success on for the high-S:

  • Develop frequent accountability to start moving. Once momentum has picked up, the reliance on accountability declines. Working with a high-D or high-I will help spin up the energy needed to light a fire under the effort. 
  • Create milestones to review the progress periodically and seek feedback on your progress. 
  • Tie the goals to personal growth and development rather than only external outcomes. For example, doing a goal for the sake of helping others or an organization isn't going to carry the same weight as goals that help you personally grow. 
  • High-I's are motivated by "we are counting on you" statements. A goal partner can keep the high-S motivated on what it means for the larger team, family, or community.

High C's

The high-C personality of the DISC profile is characterized by being analytical, detail-oriented, and methodical. They tend to be careful planners and may set well-thought-out goals based on research and data. Occasionally their analytical nature gets in the way of their ability to start. They constantly evaluate data and details to ensure they are on the right path. 

Keys for success for the high-Cs:

  • Set periodic reminders on why the goals matter. The high-C will often get caught up in the details and lose the bigger perspective on why they are doing the work in the first place. Setting a reminder to "elevate the view" on "why" the goal matters will help them stay engaged. 
  • Set specific and measurable goals that allow them to track their progress regularly. 
  • High-C's want to accomplish it all, so they often need the help of a peer to prioritize their efforts. Working with a high-I or high-D will help create a sense of urgency behind the activities. 
  • They should also set deadlines for themselves and work to create a sense of urgency to stay focused and on track.
  • In addition, they may benefit from setting goals that allow them to learn new skills or acquire knowledge in areas that interest them.

There isn't a one-size fits all approach to goal setting that I've seen work well, but DISC-based goals do increase the odds for success. Ultimately you know what hasn't worked for you in the past; use the DISC to custom tailor your goals to your unique strengths and weaknesses. 

Lastly, if you need a workbook for setting goals in the New Year, I have one you can download for free

author avatar
George Morris
I use my 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience and training to coach businesses on scaling up rapidly using Verne Harnish's Scaling Up framework. By doing so, my clients are more efficient and profitable, giving them the ability to make bigger impacts in the world. I deeply believe entrepreneurs are the best equipped to be the vehicle for meaningful change, and in the decade ahead, we'll see a substantial shift in how business is done. We'll move to a model where company purpose, impact, curiosity, and team health will be differentiators in overall business success. As Simon Sinek has pointed out, the finite games are the legacy of the past; we're moving to an infinite game.