Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Know Thyself

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's book, Better Than Before.  In her book, she categorizes people into four groups, Upholders, Obligers, Questioners, and Rebels.  Each group has their own motivation for getting things done, maintaining habits, making decisions, and being productive.  You can read more about the categories, here.  You can even take her short quiz to see where you line up.

I happen to be an Obliger, the most common type.  As an Obliger, I find external forces most motivating. This is why I have been successful at exercising consistently for the last couple of years.  I have linked my exercising to my family and by using apps like Myfitnesspal.  I love getting feedback and I need the accountability.

Being an Obliger has its downfalls. I am not motivated to keep promises to myself.  This frustrates me.  No matter how I try, I am always more motivated if someone else is counting on me to follow-through.  What I learned from Gretchen Rubin to help me past this is to work this to my advantage.  She doesn't advocate trying to change your nature.  She says you will get farther if you work with your tendency.  That is brilliant.

So, I need to set up some accountability measures.  One thing that has always worked before is to have a checklist.  I like to see the boxes checked off.  Also, having people come over to my house regularly gets me cleaning my house weeks in advance, like for Thanksgiving for instance.  I have already started doing some of the little nagging things that I do not normally do, but will do if I know someone is coming over soon.

Another area I have seen fruit from accountability is our homeschool.  Now that my kids have actual online teachers, they are getting a lot more work done and they are actually enjoying the process.  I love having this external force pushing us along.  I am no longer the only one prodding them.  We did pretty well on our own keeping on task, but it was a major effort for me to pull it off.  That energy can now be used for other things.

As an action point, I am going to start looking at my weak areas and see if I can set up some external accountability measures.    I am not sure that I need an actual accountability partner.  I need to do some thinking about what would work best.


  1. I'm a questioner. It, too, has its downsides! But, yes, if we work with our strengths and understand our weaknesses, that can make a huge difference. It's a worthwhile book, isn't it?

  2. I think I may an obliger as well.

  3. Said I was a questioner, which makes sense.. LOL I always drove my teachers crazy... I always tended to and still do Question Authority..