Day 17: Sticking to Healthy Habits


I’m currently reading a book called Better Than Before about the art of making and sticking to healthy habits. As someone who lives her life constantly trying new experiments and seeing if it’ll stick, this book is fascinating to me. Unsurprisingly, sticking to habits is a hard task for everyone but some people have an easier time than others.

The author, Gretchen Rubin developed a personality typing system of “Four Tendencies” that people generally fall under.

 “I do what others expect of me—and what I expect from myself.”

Questioner: “I do what I think is best, according to my judgment. If it doesn’t make sense, I won’t do it.”

Obliger: “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.”

Rebel: “I do what I want, in my own way. If you try to make me do something—even if I try to make myself do something—I’m less likely to do it.”

Of the four types, Upholders are the easiest to pick up and stick to habits. They have a strong internal guidance and are also able to listen to others and feel accountable to others.

Obligers do best when they have accountability. They listen to outer expectations more and sacrifice their own will. Therefore, obligers would do well to hire a coach, or join at group like 12 Experiments to publicly declare their goal.

Rebels have the hardest time with habits and goals because they like to do the opposite of what others tell them to do. They almost have to game the system or find a loophole to make habits stick.

Questioners are complicated. They listen to their own inner expectation when they want to and only listen to outer expectations if it makes sense to them. Often they will do exhaustive research when embarking a new interest and will have a hard time finding the right program to follow. They can have paralysis analysis and at some point they have to chose a game plan and just go with it.

Turns out, I’m a questioner. The questioner in me can be good because I will devour every form of literature on a particular subject until I know everything. Because I take the time to learn, I will often find the best plan of action eventually to meet my goal. But questioning everything can be exhausting and how long does this research need to go?

I find myself deep in questioner mode with my month of business. Instead of just throw pics on the gram or blogging for SEO purposes, I’ve taken a full blown PHD route to strategizing my photography career. It’s so intense and I really didn’t expect this to happen. I’m so far in that I feel like there’s no turning back, I have to keep going and eventually I’ll pop out through the other side. I’m glad I know this about myself because the awareness (sort of) helps me to put a cap on my incessant search and get back to work.

Since 80% of New Year’s resolutions are dropped by February, it’s probably good to know how you best stick to habits. Want to know what tendency you are? Take the quiz here!