I love LOVE self-help books. Do you??
One of my favorite authors is Gretchen Rubin – who writes about happiness and being true to yourself. Her book Better Than Before is about changing your habits based on your personality type.
She says that people identify with how they respond to expectations – specifically, whether outer or inner expectations.
These are the four tendencies Gretchen says we all fall into:
One who responds readily to inner expectations. This person can easily do things that benefit her, like exercising every day, getting enough sleep, because these things are important to her.
An obliger requires external accountability. She needs a coach, a dietitian- someone she can’t let down to achieve her goals at work & in her personal life.
A rebel rejects all expectations- both external AND internal.
One who questions all expectations. This person needs a lot of data in order to make decisions.
Which one are you?? People can typically easily identify themselves.
Which Are the Most Common Tendencies?
Obligers and Questioners are the most common, Rebels and Upholders are less common.
No one tendency makes people the happiest or is the most common among successful people (according to Gretchen).
What’s most important is that you understand yourself, and set yourself up, and your life and surroundings up, for success.
There is no greater power than self-knowledge!
Which Tendency am I (Rachel)?
I am an obliger, no questions asked! It’s frustrating, because I wish I could just do things on my own sometimes.
But what’s amazing is that, now that I know this about myself, I can put things in place to create external accountability in my environment – and live to my fullest potential.
For example, I feel accountable to the ladies in my program and to everyone following me on Instagram and reading my blog!
An important note in terms of food: while it’s helpful for obligers to be accountable to a professional or to a group, once you internalize your new way of eating and it becomes part of your identity, a person typically doesn’t need external accountability anymore (true for me, and many I’ve coached and in my program!)
How Should I Change My Habits Based on My Personality Type?
My #1 recommendation is to read her book (she has a follow up book but I actually think the original is better)
But here are some general tips:
Upholders: You just need some good info so you can make up your mind about which habits you want, and you’re on your own. We’re all jealous.
Rebels: Have a list of food, meal & snack options to choose from so you can always feel in control in any situation.
Questioners: Do your due diligence with research so you can feel comfortable with your decisions. Some nutrition articles I like are linked on here.
Obligers: Get some extra external accountability. Read the next section!
Other Methods of External Accountability
Like I say with food, make your life as easy as possible for you to succeed. Here are some other methods of external accountability:
Block Netflix Late at Night: Did you know you can use free/ low price software to automatically limit your screen time? If you’re like me and binge watch shows at night, this can be SO helpful. For me, it’s very difficult to turn off Netflix on my own, but this way I don’t have to practice ANY self control! Here’s a good list of the tools that are out there.
Get Clever with Friend-Accountability: Being accountable to a friend is a tricky one, because friends forgive us – but it CAN work in some situations. In her books, Gretchen talks about two friends taking each other’s sneakers – so the two friends are forced to go to the gym as they’re accountable to each other (both obligers). So clever, right??
Do You Need Accountability?
Food wise, if you’re looking to lose weight or make substantial changes in your diet, hiring a coach or joining a group accountability program can be the best thing you do for yourself – for your health and your happiness.
If you think you do need some accountability, I’d love for you to join my group of incredible women!
AND! Here is Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before – again, highly recommend!