Have you ever noticed that it’s easy for you to do certain things that other people struggle with? Or maybe you find that you can complete a task only when someone else is relying on you to get it done? If you need to motivate to exercise more, we have some tips to help you.
The reason may have to do with how to respond to inner and outer expectations, according to best-selling author and human behavior researcher Gretchen Rubin. When conducting research on habits and happiness, Rubin noticed several patterns emerging related to motivation and expectations. She found that everyone falls into one of four categories, which she named the Four Tendencies.
Your tendency reveals how you respond to both external and internal expectations. What does that mean?
You can take the quiz here and find out which tendency you fall into: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or Rebel.
Here’s an overview of how each tendency operates:
So what does this mean for meeting your health goals? Once you know your tendency, you can create systems that will help you stick to a workout routine or diet. Here’s how to find what works for you:
Congratulations! You typically don’t need a lot of help creating good habits because you are good about meeting both external and external expectations. If you decide you’re going to do strength training three days a week, you are likely to follow through. You don’t want to disappoint anyone else OR yourself, so it’s easy for you to stick to a plan. You tend to not like surprises, so a regular, predictable workout routine is best for you. Put in on your calendar or in your phone — wherever you keep track of appointments. Once it’s on your calendar, you’re apt to stick with it.
Putting something on your calendar probably won’t work for you. You’re more likely to let things slide if an outer expectation takes precedence. The best thing for you is to build systems that give you external accountability. That may mean making appointments with a personal trainer — if someone is expecting you to show up, you won’t want to let them down. You could also agree to run a 5k with a friend or enroll in a class. Anything that creates external accountability will help you meet your goals.
You aren’t likely to do anything arbitrary. The best approach for you is to set concrete goals and determine the best course of action to meet them. Want to build muscle and increase strength? Put together a strength training routine that targets the areas you want to work on, and then keep a fitness log to track your progress. Measuring your results will motivate you to stick with it, or switch to something else if what you’re doing isn’t working.
You like to do things your own way. You’re likely to resist going to a class or keeping to a set schedule. Some Rebels motivate themselves to exercise by putting their own spin on it. For example, you may be attracted to barefoot running or other unconventional forms of exercise like rock climbing. Trying different things will not only help you figure out what you enjoy, it will also give you a wide array of options to choose from, and choice is important to Rebels. To make exercise easier, be prepared: Keep a gym bag packed and ready to go, or even keep workout clothes in your car, so you’re ready to go when the mood strikes.
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