How To Achieve Goals Based On Your Personal Tendency

We all want to better ourselves and accomplish things in life, whether fitness, family or work. Doing this means setting ourselves goals, but often change is hard to come by so those goals seem impossible to reach and are thrown to the bottom of the pile, lost forever…or until next year.


Why Does This Happen?

Well, based on a book written by Gretchen Rubin, for those of you who don’t know her, she’s awesome – check her out, we all fall into 1 of 4 behavioural tendencies. These tendencies determine our response to expectations, so, if you know your tendency, you’ll be able to set goals that you CAN and WILL stick to. For all those planning on doing Dry January, you can thank us later.


What Are The Four Tendencies

According to Gretchen’s book; ‘The Four Tendencies’, you will either be an upholder, an obliger, a questioner or a rebel. And of course you may have some behaviours from all of these but you will definitely be more one than another.

An Upholder is the one who gets things done. They are motivated by the accomplishment of it and so they pretty much manage to UPHOLD (< see what I did there) all of their expectations, goals and tasks. I mean, who is THIS good at everything anyway?!

An Obliger isn’t too far away from an upholder in that they get things done, but most of these things are for someone else or because they have told someone they will do something. This means, they will be great at managing expectations and meeting deadlines, just not for themselves. So not so good for a New Years Resolution then!

Now we get on to the Questioner, the one who needs to know the ins and outs of what the goal or expectation is and how it’s going to benefit them before they decide they want to do it. It’s likely that they will not do something if they don’t believe in it’s purpose. Ok, so the Questioners need a bit more persuading than just ‘it’s good for you!’.

And last, but definitely not least, the Rebel. The name speaks for itself. These people do not like rules very much, nor obligations or even to be told or asked to do something. If however, the task agrees with the person they see themselves to be they won’t have a problem getting things done. As an example, if a Rebel is environmentally conscious, they will be more likely to carry out tasks like recycling.


So What Tendency Are You?

Upholders wake up and think, “What’s on the schedule and the to-do list for today?”. For you, it’s not that difficult to stick to tasks or reach goals, you just need to have a schedule in place as you usually take on lots of tasks and make plenty of ‘to do lists’ which can sometimes burn you out if you don’t manage your time effectively.

Obligers wake up and think, “What must I do today?”. If you have a deadline at work, you will be very motivated to meet it but if you decided to do yoga once a week you will find it easy to skip it if something else comes up, unless of course you have a yoga friend holding you accountable that is!

Questioners wake up and think, “What needs to get done today?”. If you agree with the reason behind the tasks or goals, you will do them no problem. But if you can’t figure out what the benefit of doing them is, or don’t agree with the reason, it will be very hard for you to get on and do them.

Rebels wake up and think, “What do I want to do today?”. If the task or goal involves doing something that involves expressing your true identity, is something different and not considered ‘the norm’ or if you have a clear benefit to oneself from doing this task, you will achieve what you set out to do. Anything else, you might as well cross it off your to do list now.


How Can I Use My Tendency To Get Better Results?


One of the best strategies for you is to schedule, plan and schedule again. It’s also important to know exactly what is expected of you in order for you to manage your expectations otherwise you risk not feeling like you are accomplishing anything which could stop you dead in your tracks. Monitoring helps you to keep track of how you are doing with your many, many tasks so is a great way of progressing through your to do lists. Another strategy that works for you is to pair your task or goal with a gift such as “I can only use my expensive body oil post shower, if I have a workout” or “If I jump off the tube 3 stops early and walk, I can grab a coffee at the end” or “If I manage all my workouts this month, I can have a massage”.

At Beattitude, you would do well with any of our services, programmes, challenges and alike. Although doing a programme could be beneficial for you as it will take the weight off planning and monitoring off your shoulders and on to someone else’s for once, so you can still reach your goals but at the same time give yourself a little break and me time that you probably don’t often get!


According to Gretchen’s book, the strategies that work well for an obliger are accountability, monitoring, other people and treats. When setting goals, managing expectations or starting new habits you should look at incorporating deadlines, consequences, and oversight from an external source so that you feel accountable. This will help you to stick to goals as you will feel that you are letting someone down, or even yourself down, if you do not achieve them. Monitoring works well for Obligers too, as you feel more attachment to the goal when you start to see results and improvements. And don’t forget to give yourself a little treat every now and then to stop you feeling that burned out or exploited feeling which could send you into an obliger-rebellion.

Obligers at Beattitude work better with personal training sessions, monthly memberships, having a ‘fitness buddy’ that they come to classes with each week or when doing a programme or challenge. So basically, you’re able to do well with any of our services because all of them hold you accountable, monitor you and provide you with treats every now and then!


Your main strategy to get results and meet expectations is having clarity on the task in question. If you are happy with the reason why you are doing something and understand and agree with the benefits of it, you will be able to reach your goals. It’s also a good strategy to monitor results for you as it helps you to further understand why it’s important. You also work well with the strategy of distinctions so having something tweaked to suit your own character or idiosyncrasies appeals to you. And lastly, you need to learn the strategy of loophole-spotting. This is when you realise you are making excuse after excuse to talk yourself out of doing something by giving yourself, what you consider, ‘valid’ reasons.

You can definitely do well with a lot of the services we offer at Beattitude as long as you understand the benefits of them and trust them. You are more able to set yourself a goal that’s important to you, like losing a few pounds to fit into a specific size. You would do well with a programme that produces specific results like being able to do 5 pull ups, or losing weight as you enjoy seeing results and having steps as a sort of ‘process’ so it’s clear and precise as to what’s expected of you and what you have to do to achieve results.


You need bigger reasons to do something like the fact it makes you feel different and unique. Or if the schedule is flexible with little to no commitment, that way you feel free to make your own choices when you like and how you like. You should set goals for reasons deeper than just, “I want to lose 5 pounds”. You need to know why you want to do it, if you really want to, and how it will benefit you if you accomplish it. Then you will be able to stick to it without fail. Make sure the goal is close to your heart and really means something to you or agrees with your true identity and you will be fine.

Rebels at Beattitude are great with PAYG packages as you get credits to use when you please through the course of 12 weeks so plenty of time to make your own choices. You also do well with personal training classes as you can book these short notice and to work around you providing that the reason for you doing them is strong enough to will you to keep going.


So, if you don’t already know what tendency you are from reading the above, have a go at Gretchen’s quiz. You have to put your email in for the result but she also sends you a detailed report of your tendency which is a great read!

Have a go at putting some of these strategies in place to see if you can get better results with your goals this Winter, or even for your New Year’s Resolutions, and let us know how you get on. You can also come in and have a chat with one of the team who will be able to give you some advice on what will suit you and your goals and check out this post for a more general look on how to set your winter fitness goals.