The PERMA Model: Unlocking the Path to Goal Achievement through Positive Psychology

By Rob

February 5, 2024

flourishing life, PERMA model, positive psychology

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Welcome to the world of positive psychology, where we explore the science of happiness and well-being. In this article, we will delve into the PERMA model, a powerful framework developed by Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. By understanding and applying the principles of PERMA, you can enhance your journey towards achieving your goals and living a fulfilling life.

Understanding Positive Psychology and the PERMA Model

Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that shifts the focus from solely treating mental illness to understanding and nurturing positive emotions, strengths, and virtues. It aims to help individuals thrive and reach their full potential.

The PERMA model is an acronym that represents five key elements of well-being:

  • Positive Emotions: Cultivating positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, and contentment.
  • Engagement: Finding activities that fully engage and absorb you, allowing you to experience a state of flow.
  • Relationships: Building and nurturing meaningful connections with others, fostering a sense of belonging and support.
  • Meaning: Discovering and pursuing a purpose or something larger than oneself.
  • Accomplishment: Setting and achieving goals that give a sense of accomplishment and growth.

Why Positive Psychology and the PERMA Model Exist

Positive psychology and the PERMA model exist to counterbalance the traditional focus on pathology and fixating on what is wrong with individuals. They aim to shift the paradigm towards a proactive approach, emphasizing strengths, well-being, and resilience.

By focusing on positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment, positive psychology offers a holistic framework for individuals to cultivate a flourishing life. It provides tools and strategies to enhance well-being, boost motivation, and achieve personal and professional goals.

Using PERMA to 10x Your Personal Motivation

Now that we understand the foundation of positive psychology and the PERMA model, let's explore how you can apply it to 10x your motivation to take action and achieve your goals:

1. Cultivate Positive Emotions:

Start by consciously seeking out and savoring positive experiences in your daily life. Practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal or expressing appreciation to others. Surround yourself with positive people and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Example: If your goal is to improve your physical fitness, find joy in activities like dancing, hiking, or playing a sport that you genuinely enjoy.

2. Find Engagement:

Identify activities that captivate your attention and make you feel fully absorbed. This state of flow will help you stay focused and motivated. Set challenging but attainable goals that align with your interests and values.

Example: If your goal is to learn a new language, find engaging resources like language exchange programs, interactive apps, or join a conversation group to immerse yourself in the language.

3. Nurture Relationships:

Invest time and effort in building and maintaining meaningful relationships. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who inspire and motivate you. Engage in acts of kindness and practice active listening to strengthen your connections.

Example: If your goal is to advance in your career, seek out mentors or join professional networks where you can build relationships with like-minded individuals who can offer guidance and support.

4. Seek Meaning:

Reflect on your values, passions, and what gives your life a sense of purpose. Identify activities and goals that align with your values and contribute to something larger than yourself. Find ways to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Example: If your goal is to start a business, consider how your venture can contribute to solving a problem or meeting a need in your community.

5. Set Accomplishment Goals:

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that align with your values and aspirations. Break them down into smaller milestones and celebrate your progress along the way. Stay committed and resilient in the face of challenges.

Example: If your goal is to write a book, set a realistic writing schedule, break it down into chapters, and reward yourself after completing each chapter.

Steps to Applying the PERMA Model to Achieve Your Goals

Step 1: Identify Your Goals

Start by clarifying your goals. What do you want to achieve in your personal or professional life? Write them down and make sure they align with your values and aspirations.

Step 2: Cultivate Positive Emotions

Intentionally incorporate activities that bring you joy and happiness into your daily routine. It could be as simple as spending time with loved ones, practicing gratitude, or pursuing hobbies that make you feel alive.

Step 3: Find Engagement

Identify activities that fully engage your attention and provide a sense of flow. This could be related to your goals or other areas of interest. When you are fully absorbed in what you do, you will experience increased motivation and a greater likelihood of success.

Step 4: Nurture Relationships

Invest time and effort in building and maintaining positive relationships. Surround yourself with individuals who support and inspire you. Collaborate with like-minded individuals who share similar goals, as they can provide valuable support and accountability.

Step 5: Seek Meaning

Reflect on what gives your life meaning and purpose. Align your goals with your values and beliefs. Engage in activities that contribute to something greater than yourself, whether it's volunteering, making a positive impact in your community, or pursuing a career that aligns with your passions.

Step 6: Set Achievable Goals

Break down your larger goals into smaller, actionable steps. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way to maintain motivation and momentum.

Step 7: Stay Resilient

Remember that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of the journey towards goal achievement. Cultivate resilience by reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Embrace a growth mindset and persist in the face of obstacles.

Step 8: Review and Adjust

Regularly review your progress, reassess your goals, and make adjustments as needed. Stay flexible and open to new opportunities and possibilities. Celebrate your achievements, learn from your experiences, and continue to strive for personal growth and well-being.


The PERMA model offers a valuable framework for achieving your goals while cultivating well-being and happiness. By incorporating positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments into your life, you can create a fulfilling and purpose-driven journey towards your desired outcomes.

Embrace the power of positive psychology and the PERMA model, and unlock your true potential for goal achievement.

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About the author

Hi, I’m Robert Louis Sims …A.K.A. Rob
I’ve been studying the psychology of achievement since 1989, when I picked up a copy of How to Sell Anything to Anybody by Joe Girard. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with learning the difference between people I have now come to call Intentional Achievers and everyone else.
If you’re looking to take your career, relationships, health, energy, productivity, influence, and life to the next level, then I invite you to join me on Achievement Made Simple.
My mission is to find the principles of achievement and share them with you in a simple way that makes them easy to understand and use in our everyday lives.

Robert Louis Sims