I recently listened to a podcast that I thought was super relevant for anyone looking to make a lifestyle change. When I initially began health coaching, it took me a minute to wrap my head around the idea that everyone was not like me and needed unique strategies and motivation to succeed in making real lifestyle changes. Very much like my former high school students, we all learn, explore and view the world in our own unique ways.

On her wonderful and informative podcast Do The Thing, Whole 30 founder Melissa Urban interviewed Gretchen Rubin who discussed ideas for changing lifestyle habits based on her Four Tendencies framework. And while she specifically uses the Whole 30 program as a model, I truly believe her insights could apply to any lifestyle goal that you want to achieve, whether it’s giving up sugar, practicing daily meditation or running a marathon.

The Four Tendencies

Gretchen briefly discusses how the Four Tendencies – Upholder, Questioner, Obligor, and Rebel – relate to inner and outer expectations, and how knowing your tendency can help you be more effective in changing any habit.

For instance, if you’re an Obligor, joining a running group would be a great way to train for a marathon, whereas an Upholder may feel determined to follow a structured running program completely solo. A Questioner will want to learn all about all the odds and ends of running a marathon and craft a customized program, but a Rebel will be driven by the inherent challenge. In addition, simply knowing other people’s tendencies can help you relate to them in a more productive and compassionate way whether it’s your spouse, colleague, family member or a friend.

Here’s a link to the podcast. I encourage you to give it a listen.

From the Four Tendencies, which one do you relate to more?