Habits are tricky. Some people seem to have no problem building new habits. Other people really struggle. They know what they want to do, but they have a hard time following through.

The reason? In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin says that forming habits is the process of setting expectations for ourselves. She describes four tendencies in how we respond to expectations.

The Four Tendencies

Rubin argues that everyone falls into one of four distinct groups:

  • Upholders respond well to both outer expectations and inner expectations.
  • Questioners question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified.
  • Obligers respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations (my friend on the track team).
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

You can summarize these groups in a chart:

Four Habit Tendencies

As you look at these descriptions, you may recognize yourself. If you’re interested, Gretchen Rubin has developed a quiz to help you understand your own tendency.

Know What You Need

When it comes to building habits, each group needs a different approach:

  • Upholders need clear expectations, and tend to succeed at adopting new habits.
  • Questioners need to understand why a habit is important.
  • Obligers need external accountability, and to be careful about whose expectations they want to meet.
  • Rebels resist habits, and need to see habits as a form of freedom rather than restriction.

“The happiest and most successful people are those who have figured out ways to exploit their Tendency to their benefit,” writes Rubin, “and, just as important, found ways to counterbalance its limitations.”

We Help You Build Your Owner’s Manual

We’re all different. Gospel for Life Coaching helps you understand your own tendency, and helps you figure out what you need to build new habits.

We’d like to help you take the next step. We want you to be whole and healthy, to live with greater focus, and to break free from the cycle of guilt and shame

Our pre-sale lists are now open. Getting on the list gives you the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you save big on the cost of the programs.

Don’t miss out. We can’t wait to help you build new habits, and become the person you were made to be.