Ok, Ok, your habits don’t exactly have a personality, but you do. And now for a chicken and egg type question: Does your personality shape your habits? Or do your habits shape your personality?
I’m smack dab in the middle of “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. I usually wait until I’ve finished a book before I tell the world about it, but I’ve had so many Aha! moments in this book… and I’ve been so engrossed in it that I’m forgetting to highlight the impactful parts!
According to Rubin there are four personality types when it comes to habits. If you want to learn more about yourself, drop by her website at http://www.gretchenrubin.com
Once I read about the four different types, and determined which one I was, so many things… and frustrations… fell into place!
I mean, I’m a pretty fabulous person! While I’ve gotten better at saying No! if I agree to do something for you, never doubt that it will be done… with bells on! I am reliable and I will move heaven and earth to deliver on a promise!
I only wish I was as good at delivering on promises, or deals, or resolutions I make with myself! Some things are fine: I will never drink and drive; I will always take a call from my grandson; I will always walk at 10 a.m. with my friend Diane; I will never serve meat if my daughter is visiting; I always catch up with my friend Michelle via Skype on Saturday evening.
Maybe you can see a trend here, but I, apparently, never had. I’m an Obliger!
- If you’re expecting me to do something I’ve told you I’ll do, no worries.
- If I get pulled over by the police and I “blow over”, I’m hooped as well as mortified.
- If my grandson calls, his Gramma will always validate his wish to connect with her.
- If Diane expects me on the curb at 10 a.m., I wouldn’t dream of not showing.
- If my vegetarian daughter comes to visit, I consider it just a courtesy to not prepare meat.
- If Michelle is going to be on Skype waiting to catch up on both business and personal lives, my alarm is set for 10 minutes before the call.
See my point? if an outside body/entity/person is involved I am all over my commitment, or habit formation. It’s called external accountability.
On the other hand, if I vow to write two blog posts each week, or walk 10,000 steps each day, or meditate for 20 minutes every day, learn more about Facebook ads, or be in bed by 10:30 p.m… eeeh, maybe it’ll happen and maybe it won’t. My accountability is only to myself so…
- If I’d rather read that new book than write blog posts, is that not valuable too?.
- If I only walk 7,682 steps today, who knows?
- If my meditation got cut short because I remembered that I needed groceries, groceries are important too, no?
- If I bookmark the articles on FB ads, that’s a good start, isn’t it?
- If my movie is only half over at 10:30, I can always sleep in a bit tomorrow, can’t I?
Internal accountability? I’m totally unreliable!
There is Good News!! Once I realized I was an Obliger, it made my planning processes more focused. Shall we say, more external.
Personally, I’ve turned to a site called Habitica. I can enter as many “tasks” as I want to.
Just for today tasks, like taking the van in for an oil change or getting my hair cut.
Daily commitments like walking, yoga and 4 hours of productive work.
I can even enter negative tasks like eating after 8 p.m. or drinking wine during the week or spending more than an hour a day farting around on Facebook.
Points for and points against. May not seem like much but I really dislike having an inanimate object call me on my shit. And I am honest… it feels dumber than dumb lying to an inanimate object! As I convince friends to join me on this site, we can connect and check up on each other, so then there is external accountability, living, breathing, animate accountability.
Knowing oneself is always an asset. Once you know yourself, you can set yourself up for success. We all like success! And there’s nothing like success to fuel Progress!