So it’s February…how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Now is a good time to reevaluate them. How consistent have you been? Are you meeting your goals? And maybe, most of all, are you set up to succeed?
If you’re not preparing your New Years Resolutions around your Tendency, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Some people will resist internally a resolution, so it’s actually better not to have one at all.
Gretchen Rubin’s new book, The Four Tendencies, has been a major help in our home and lives to help us meet any goal, not just health and fitness goals. I strongly recommend it, especially if you’re not doing well committing to your New Years Resolutions.
You can take this short online quiz to discover your tendency. Once you know your tendency, then you can set yourself up for success so that you can meet your goal. For example, I’m an Upholder. That means I’m intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. I love goals, challenges, and charts. I give myself a gold star when I do my Pilates workout each day. Watching the gold stars increase and grow makes me happy. I want to workout so I can see the list of gold stars grow bigger. I do Pilates every day (even holidays and vacations). That’s my rule. I set up the rule so I can succeed (it has no specified amount of time, so 10 minutes counts). That way I can meet my goal, my success pattern increases, which helps me keep doing Pilates.
That rule would not work, however, for my son, who is a Rebel. He is the opposite of me - he is neither intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. My husband and I are trying to encourage him to practice piano. However, the more we encourage him, the more he resists us. Stickers don’t work. He needs to feel like he has the freedom to choose to practice. So, he now chooses when he practices. He still needs to practice each day, he just gets to choose when. That little bit of flexibility helps him to feel like he has some control over his goal, and when Rebels decide they want to do something, they can be very successful.
So for Rebels, resolutions sometimes just don’t work. If you’re a Rebel, like my son, they have the opposite effect. Maybe that’s why you can’t meet your goals. It’s not an internal fault that lies within you. It’s better to try to match your resolution to your Tendency.
This is the perfect book to read before you give up on your New Years Resolutions. It’s full of great ideas how to motivate yourself or the people in your life to make healthy changes. It’s helped all of us in my home relate to each other better. Now I know when my son is trying to negotiate a rule, it’s just his tendency. He’s more likely to follow the rule if I give him some control. As an Upholder, that’s hard for me. In my head, a rule is a rule. But now I’ve learned that a little bit of flexibility on my part can give him some control, and then the task will be accomplished. More peace insures, more practicing happens.
How about you? Do you know your tendency? What tricks have helped you to know yourself better so you can motivate yourself to meet your goals? And don’t forget, you can always have a Non New Years Resolution.