Do you like quizzes? Because I love them.
“What’s your greatest strength?”
“What breed of dog are you?”
“Who is your Disney character spirit animal?”
I’ve taken them all, but when I stumbled on Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies quiz, it actually changed the game for me.
Gretchen Rubin is a best-selling author, blogger, and speaker and, for all intents and purposes, THE Happiness Coach. The quiz I stumbled upon is the foundation of her work in the happiness field and has to do with what she describes as The Four Tendencies Framework.
Let me explain [quickly]. Gretchen Rubin believes that the way in which we respond to expectations –both external and internal –is everything. It determines our habits and our patterns. It contributes to our happiness and our confidence. Our “tendency” is basically the cornerstone by which we make the majority of our decisions! Pretty cool stuff! She also has a quiz on her website (keep reading, I’ll give you the link below) to fit you into one of four “tendencies” –the Upholder, the Questioner, the Rebel, and the Obliger. Each tendency responds to internal and external expectations differently.
According to Rubin’s website:
“Upholder—accepts rules, whether from outside or inside. An upholder meets deadlines, follows doctor’s order, keeps a New Year’s resolution. I am an Upholder, 100%.
Questioner—questions rules and accepts them only if they make sense. They may choose to follow rules, or not, according to their judgment.
Rebel—flouts rules, from outside or inside. They resist control. Give a rebel a rule, and the rebel will want to do the very opposite thing.
Obliger—accepts outside rules, but doesn’t like to adopt self-imposed rules.”
The reason I wanted to bring up this work is because I wanted to write to you on how to take concrete steps toward your goals, but knowing your Tendency and how you respond to the creation and expectation of accomplishing these goals is crucial!
For some of us, taking a concrete step toward our goal is as simple as writing it on paper and doing it. For others, we are really great at meeting other’s expectations, but as soon as pen hits paper for our personal goals it’s a lost cause.
So what do we do from here? Well, first of all, I encourage you to take her quiz here https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3706759/Gretchen-Rubin-s-Quiz-The-Four-Tendencies . Once you take the quiz, you’ll be placed (Harry Potter style) into one of the Four Tendencies.
Next, I want you to think about things you’d actually like to accomplish for yourself. Not what your mom wants you to do, not “I want to lose 40 pounds and be model thin”, and definitely not what your boss wants you to do. Get real with yourself, whip out a journal, and actually sit and think what you really want to make happen.
Do you want to be more fit so you can run around with your kids?
Do you want to find a loving and devoted partner?
Do you want to find a job you’re passionate about?
Make sure your goal is SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, timely) and isn’t just a bunch of fluff.
You there yet? Good! Now it’s time where your Four Tendency comes into play! Depending on your Tendency, your next step will be different.
For the Upholder: All you need to do is put pen to paper. What’s ONE thing that can get you closer to your goal? Think of the first and smallest step you can make in the right direction. When you’re accomplishing a goal, it’s important to remember that it’s a collection of tiny steps that get you there vs. 1 or 2 big steps. Get movin’, Sister!
For the Questioner: Do your research. Why would accomplishing this goal benefit you? What do you have to gain? What are the best options/paths/tools to accomplish your goal? You thrive on research and knowing the facts, so getting your ducks in order before you take a step is important!
For the Rebel: Do this YOUR way. I know it’s hard now that you have expectations from yourself, but don’t go with the flow here. This goal you’re looking to accomplished doesn’t have to be done how everyone else would do it. How can you be unique? Different? Ruffle some societal expectation standards while your kicking butt and taking names? That is your key to success! Once you figure it out, take ONE small step in the right direction.
For the Obliger (this is my category): You do really well when others are counting on you. Now that you have your goal, figure out what external support you’d need to put in place to ensure you don’t give up. Hire the trainer, make a bet with your friends, declare your goal on social media, whatever you have to do to get others involved, do it! Then start taking those tiny steps.
Regardless of your tendency or your goal, it’s important to remember that goals take time. Think of your accomplishment like watching grass grow…it doesn’t happen overnight, but rather in small, consistent, barely measurable increments. Stay the course, take those baby steps, and give yourself a pat on the back from time to time.
You’re doing great!