Many of the topics that I will discuss will be related to something I heard on one of the many, MANY podcasts I am addicted to.  The first of which is Gretchen Rubin’s podcast: Happier.

A lot of her work deals with what she calls her Four Tendencies Framework.  You can be either an upholder (uphold all promises and expectations- both external or internal) an obliger (meets external expectations-such as to a boss or friends and family, but struggles with commitments to yourself-such as keeping a personal resolution that will only benefit you) a questioner (questions all expectations, and only commits IF it makes reasonable sense; views decisions as inner expectations) or a rebel (resists all expectations).  I think most people want to be or think they are obligers or maybe even upholders.  I think everyone initially looks at themselves and says, “Yeah, I’m not flaky.  I keep my word.”  But you might be surprised.  Here’s a link to the quiz to find out:

Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendecies Quiz

To be honest, I took this quiz twice.  The first time, I got rebel.  I was honestly a little surprised at first, but then I thought about it and remembered some of the times I have been most motivated to do something was to prove someone wrong when they said it couldn’t be done.  Sounds pretty rebel-like to me.


I ended up taking it again because when you finish the quiz, there’s a page that gives you some more in depth information about your tendency and some strategies that might work for you for setting a new habit in life.  I wanted to re-read it because, as a rebel, I knew it might be a tough road.  I would have to decide that it was on my terms, not someone else’s but I’d also resist if I overly restricted myself.  Much like I can’t commit to paleo perfectionism because I just can’t say I’ll give up certain foods forever. I’ll need my exceptions to the rules.

The second time, I took the quiz, I got a different result: questioner. I thought I had answered the same way both times, but on several questions I was a little torn between two answers and I must’ve answered at least one with the other answer the second time around.  A questioner makes a lot of sense to me.  After all, I am a scientist by trade.  I’m in a profession that perfectly matches this tendency.


I think I might be bordering on the edge between the two at almost all times. Within the quiz, my answer to the question that perfectly sums this up: When you’ve formed a healthy habit in the past, what helped you stick to it? My answer: Doing a lot of research and customization about why and how I might keep that habit.  And there it is!  I’m a fence-sitter on the edge of rebel/ questioner.  And my best way forward is to do excessive research and make lots of modifications.  No subscribing whole hog into some other person’s diet plan or way of life.  I’m going to find my own way through this thing we call life.