Just a quick post about this week’s podcast (which I listened to on the treadmill – it does make the miles go faster!). Sarah and I were thrilled to interview Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies, and The Happiness Project, about resolutions and goals, and how people of all different personality types can make changes for the better. Among the episode highlights:
Our most extreme Upholder moments. Gretchen, Sarah and I are all pretty strong “upholders” — that is, people who meet both outer and inner expectations. So we decided to share the incidents people might find most bizarre.
Another fun Upholder moment: We scheduled the taping for 3 p.m. (on a day back in November). All three of us were on the line by 2:55. This is not remotely unusual for upholders.
A point of contention. Gretchen says that keeping resolutions is easier for upholders. But I’m not sure it’s ever “easy.” It’s not like waking up at 4:30 a.m. to run some days is a walk in the park!
How other tendencies can make resolutions more doable. Questioners need to figure out their “why.” Obligers need external accountability — and not their spouses (more on that in a moment). Rebels can either find a foil (“My sister doesn’t believe I can lose weight — I’ll show her!”) or embrace a practice as part of an identity (“I am an athlete. And what do athletes do? They work out, even if it means getting up at 4:30 a.m.”)
Why an obliger spouse can appear to be a rebel. I had my husband take the “Four Tendencies” quiz. I thought he’d be a questioner, or possibly even a rebel, but he turned out to be an obliger. I asked Gretchen about this, since my thought was that if I have an obliger spouse I should be getting a bit more obliging! But she said that obligers ignore their internal expectations, and the closer someone is to them, the more they treat the person like themselves. So it’s kind of romantic, in a way. I’m not sure I believe that, but it’s certainly a more charitable way to view the tendency! If this is the case, it also means that an obliger should not choose a spouse as an accountability partner. Because the obliger might not actually feel a strong obligation to that person (at least for creating new habits).
How to manage a questioner spouse. Both Gretchen and Sarah are married to questioners. Gretchen talks about how a simple tweak (always giving a reason) can get a lot more cooperation from a questioner, and also prevent arguments.
I know it’s the holidays, so you may not have a commute, but this was a fun episode, so if you’re out doing errands, or running on the treadmill, please give it a listen!