How Your Personality is Impacting Your Workout Goals

workout routine

Last year we had a ton of transitions happening and I could feel myself slowly getting into a rut even though so much shake up was happening around my life and my family.  It was suppose to be a time of “new house, new job, new me!” attitude and truth be told I was feeling less than excited.    I was feeling lost and a bit out of control with my life because of the amount of change and so one day last year I just typed in the words “get happier” into my Podcast search bar and little did I know that those 2 words would rock my world. 

That day I stumbled upon the podcast by Gretchen Rubin called Happier with Gretchen Rubin and started to listen to one of the episodes surrounding her new book The Four Tendencies.  Once I realized which tendency I was (an Obliger) and confirmed it with her quiz I WAS HOOKED.  I binged watched for weeks and took notes and really let this slice of heaven bring a new attitude into my life. It helped me find other podcasts to continue my journey in being happier, but I always come back to Gretchen’s wise words throughout her show.  

“For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability.” -Gretchen Rubin

This simple piece of advice in the podcast shifted my whole outlook on why I could never form habits for myself that I know would make me a happier person, wife, and mom.  I never understood why I couldn’t keep to a specific diet, or exercise regimen, or a more peaceful morning routine. No matter how much I wanted to crush these goals I always fell short.  Yes, I crush work goals all day every day so why can’t I crush my own personal goals? Lazy? Unmotivated? Too much on my plate?  Not how my body was built? Truth is I believed all of these things (and more) for over a decade. The real truth that I have learned through digging deeper into my successes and failures is that unless there is something external holding me accountable I will never achieve my own personal goals.  Mind = Blown.  Once I had the “secret” formula to why I wasn’t seeing results I was able to make the shift it what I needed to tackle my fitness goals.  

Happy dance (!!) Now how can this help you crush your fitness goals?

Skip the decade of wondering why you can’t stick to a fitness plan and a healthier lifestyle. Skip the self-doubt, skip the self-loathing, skip feeling like a failure.  Before you spend any bucks on fitness equipment, gym memberships, class passes, personal trainers, new outfits or anything else you have in your Amazon cart find out which tendency you are and how this impacts your fitness goals.  This will lead you towards finding what will motivate you and keep you accountable and crushing your workout goals. Look at this diagram below to help you find your tendency or check out her quiz to help you out!


Four Tendency Circles 


Now that you have the secret to your own personal success for your goals –check out some strategies to help you meet your fitness goals!

Obliger Strategy: Find a Person 

For Obligers it could be 1 person or a group of people (number does not matter) because what really matters to you is if you truly feel that person/or people will keep you accountable.  Will they keep you to your gym date? Will they keep you focused on your fitness goals? Will they check in and keep you accountable? This could be someone in your family or a close friend, but typically they are too close to truly hold Obligers accountable and so look outside of your inner group to find that person who is going to hold you accountable to your workout goals.  It could be making plans to meet someone at an exercise class, or a workout partner you meet at the park to run, or an online workout group that has “homework” for you to do, or join a team, or get a personal trainer, or even sign up for a race and tell someone about that race.  Whatever it is you end up choosing to hold you accountable don’t let it go thinking “you got this”. Once you let go of that thing that was holding you accountable you will stop reaching for those goals. (Trust me as a fellow Obliger!).  

Rebel Strategy: Seek Adventure 

Unlike Obligers who need people to keep to their goals, Rebels only need adventure (even if it is a solo adventure!). They want to do it their way and typically want to do workouts that are outside of the box.  Instead of regular yoga they may try acroyoga.  Instead of fancy spinning classes they may try rock climbing or extreme 24 hour races.  It has all to do with seeking that adventure and doing what they are passionate about and not what the latest trend or book says they should do.  Remember you are a rebel and no one is going to tell you the best way to get fit is! May times Rebels will get stuck in a rut with their workouts because they continue to seek the next new adventure!  A membership to something may not be the best fit as you want to try all sorts of classes or activities and not be nailed down to one specific gym. Look for some extreme sports or extreme fitness classes that can really push you out of your comfort zone.  You will see big results once you find something extreme enough for you! 

Questioners Strategy: Find your Why

When it comes to fitness you don’t want to do it just because someone is telling you that you can live your best life if you get fit (unless it is Oprah..I kid because not even her could get you to the gym!).  You need to truly believe the why around why you are getting fit. You not only need a concrete goal, but a reasoning around the goal or else it is meaningless and will not complete the goal.  Questioners are great at keeping themselves accountable if they believe in the goal. Once they believe in the goal they want to track their goals as they want to see the progress they have made with their goal. So don’t make a lofty goal and don’t make the goal you want to lose weight and therefore need to exercise (it will not be a big enough why for you).  Think back to when you were successful in getting fit in the past and what was your “why” and try to think of a why that could fit this season in your life.  Look for those tiny goals that you can start off small with that can help you towards the bigger goals you may have surrounding fitness.  Also find a way to track your goals as you are also results driven and putting stats into an app or fitness journal like loss of inches, weight, and increase of reps/weights can really propel you into achieving your goals.  You are less concerned about loftier results such as having higher level of energy and feeling overall happier.   Typically you do better when tracking your fitness progress, but don’t get bogged down too much in the tracker as it can freeze your fitness goals before you even get started!   

Upholder Strategy: Make a Goal 

If you aren’t an upholder this strategy seems too simple.  Just make a goal and POOF! it will happen? YES.  When it comes to goals (any goals!) if Upholders have a goal that they are set on they will do everything in their power to accomplish this goal.  No matter the barriers (your kids are sick, you are sick, it’s winter, you have an injury, you are on vacation, etc) you have to plow through you will stick to your goals.  So whether you are doing it solo or in a group or a basic workout routine or a crazy fitness class, as long as it is getting you one step closer to your ultimate fitness goal you find it rewarding and beneficial.   It sounds so simple and easy, but you also have struggles when it comes to fitness goals.  If the goal becomes impossible to make (even if the reason is outside of your control) it can create tremendous stress and anxiety on you.  It can ruin entire day, week or even months if you can’t complete your goal.  Plus no matter how successful you may look to others in achieving awesome results, if it isn’t your ultimate goal you will see it as a failure rather than a huge success.  So if you are starting out with creating fitness goals for yourself, start off with some smaller goals so that you can have some successes and can build upon those successes without being burned out or causing an injury.  



Now that you have some ideas of how to tailor your fitness workouts towards your personality what are your next steps in your fitness journey? Did this change your outlook on how to approach your fitness goals for 2018? Are you rebel and going to search some extreme classes? A questioner googling best tracking app? I would love to hear your thoughts on if you think your personality is impacting your fitness goals! 



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