Since deciding that 2018 would be the #yearofme, I’ve been in this information download mode. I’ve been trying to get my hands on as much material that I can that will help me in my journey of self-development and personal growth. One of the main types of information I’ve been loving is Podcasts. There are SO many amazing podcasts out there with different ideas, approaches, and techniques to growing and learning and being a better version of yourself.
At the beginning of December, I listened to this episode of Melyssa Griffin’s Pursuit with Purpose. It was titled: How to Easily Stick to Your Habits and Routines by Understanding + Utilizing your Personality Type with Gretchen Rubin. I knew I wanted to listen to it because one of my biggest downfalls is my inability to follow through with my personal goals and new habits. And let me tell you, this podcast was LIFE CHANGING. Since listening to it, I have completely changed the way I plan on reaching my goals and it’s also helped me understand certain people in my life (like my husband) so much better.
Since I know so many of us are trying to make 2018 the #yearofme, I wanted to share some of the things I learned and how it’s totally changed my life!
Life-Changing Advice on How to Set & Achieve your Goals:
Gretchen’s approach to setting goals, habits, and routines is all based on four personality types that she has called tendencies. When you understand what your tendency is, you can understand how to work towards hitting your habits and goals!
One of my biggest takeaways from this whole tendency framework was to replace the idea of “goals” with the idea of “setting expectations.” Here are the definitions of these two words broken down:
Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Expectation: a belief that someone will or should achieve something. There are inner and outer expectations in our lives. Inner expectations are when we expect something of ourselves and outer expectations are expectations that others have of us.
Understand the difference between these two things is super important in applying the method. When we set goals, we set expectations for ourselves – but we seem to struggle the most with upholding those expectations. Why is that? Why do we set goals at the beginning of the year, but find ourselves failing to meet those expectations within weeks? It’s because we aren’t creating a plan that aligns with our personality traits to help us achieve them!
The Four Tendencies:
Gretchen breaks down the way we respond to expectations in four categories:
Upholders – They respond to both outer and inner expectations without questioning anything.
Questioners – They question all expectations (both outer and inner) and only meet an expectation if they think it makes sense.
Obligers – They meet outer expectations because they know someone else is holding them accountable, but they struggle to meet the expectations they impose on themselves.
Rebels – Resist all expectations (both outer and inner.)
Every person has a tendency, and once you understand your tendency, you can adjust the way you approach your goals so that you can achieve them!
How understanding my Tendency has changed the way I approach my goals:
After listening to the Pursuit with Purpose Podcast, I already had an idea of which tendency I was. I got home from the gym and promptly took her quiz to double check and sure enough, I was right. I am an obliger. I have no problem meeting outer expectations (like when my manager expects me to have a project done for work or when I’m asked to teach a lesson at church) but I struggle meeting my inner expectations (working out, eating healthy, and working hard on my blog when there is Netflix readily available.)
After realizing how I operate when it comes to expectations, I was able to look at my goals for this year and make adjustments to my plans on achieving them. Because I am an obliger, I always follow through with outer expectations, so I needed to find a way to make my inner expectations turn into outer expectations. For example:
One of my biggest goals this year is to be more consistent with my blog and to focus in on growing it again. So, in order to make this inner expectation an outer expectation, I signed a year-long contract with my photographer. Every month, she expects that we will shoot blog content for 5 hours. This has helped me (and even forced me at times when I’m struggling with motivation) to come up with content to shoot, to show up for the shoot, and to follow through with writing posts that go along with the photos we have shot!
Another way I’ve turned my inner expectations to outer expectations is by texting my three blogging goals for the day every morning to a small group of close blogging friends here in Utah. By sharing my goals for the day with others, I’m transferring my inner expectations to outer expectations. My friends know that I’m working on those goals and expect an update by the end of the day to hear if I hit them.
Another goal I have this year is to say “no” more so that I can focus on the things that I really want to do and not get burned out in the process of pleasing everyone else. In order to make that an outer expectation, I have shared that goal with my husband, family members, and friends. I not only want them to understand why I say no if they ask me to do something, but also to encourage me when I do say no. I said no this last weekend to Jeeping (which was SO hard) and instead of being bummed out that I wasn’t going, my husband encouraged me and supported me in my decision. I also started the #yearofme Facebook Group last week, where I could continue to share my goals with a small community and having them hold me accountable.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: Introducing the #yearofme: an HTC Community
Now, my husband, on the other hand, is not an obligor. He is a questioner, through and through. He questions EVERYTHING and has a totally different process when trying to find the motivation to follow through with his inner expectations. For example:
Dustin has a goal to hit a certain weight for health reasons this year. When he decided that was going to be one of his goals, he spent DAYS and WEEKS researching different diets, eating programs, and meal plans. He talked to EVERYONE he knew who was following some kind of eating routine or program and asked them why they liked it, how it was working, and why they choose that program to follow. Finally, he felt like he had enough information and reasoning to choose the Keto/Low-Carb lifestyle as his method of choice. He felt like the science behind it made sense and that it would be beneficial for him. Since making that choice, he has had almost no problem following through with his inner expectations to eat well and to lose weight.
Listening to this podcast and learning about the four tendencies has totally and completely changed my life and the way I approach setting my goals. I have NEVER been good at following through with goals, and I know I’m only a month into the new year, but I’m already doing better than ever. I have hit EVERY sub-goal I set for myself this month. I have said no on numerous occasions. I have blogged consistently and am actually ahead of the content game for once in my life, thanks to my photographer contract. And, with my husband’s help, I have gone to the gym 2-3X a week and have followed a healthy eating lifestyle that has already resulted in 6 pounds lost!
Knowing your tendency and how to set goals to work with your tendency is LIFE CHANGING!
So, I challenge you to listen to the podcast, take the tendency quiz, and start re-evaluating your goals and adjusting your plans so you can meet them. You can also check out Gretchen’s book, which dives even deeper to each tendency and how to work with them!
P.S. If you are an obliger, come join the #yearofme Facebook group so you can turn your inner expectations to outer ones (by sharing them with the community!)
Let me know what tendency you are in the comments below!
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