What’s your tendency?  Are you a questioner, an upholder, an obliger or a rebel?  Check out this inspiring and cool quiz by New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin and increase your self-awareness in less than 10 minutes.  Knowing which of these 4 categories you fall into can be extremely helpful in enabling you to adopt habits to be your best self. Developed by Rubin with the help of Mike Courtney and Aperio Insights, and used as research for her instant bestseller, Better Than Before, this quiz identifies each of us as one of the following: 

  • Upholder: responds readily to outer and inner expectations
  • Questioner: questions all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense – essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obliger: meets outer expectations but struggles to meet self-imposed expectations 
  • Rebel: resists all expectations, outer and inner alike

* Take the quiz by clicking here.

questioner tendencyOur individual tendency, according to Rubin, distinguishes how we tend to respond to outer expectations (i.e. meeting a deadline or request from a friend) and inner expectations (keeping a New Year’s resolution).  The secret to forming habits successfully is to understand that there’s no magic formula that works for everyone; identifying our natural behavioral tendency allows us to more effectively incorporate strategies that strengthen our good habits (even if they’ve failed in the past).

As author of bestselling books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Rubin is clearly an expert on the subject and has already helped millions of readers get happier. Her 2015 release, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives, is also intent on empowering us to lead happier and more fulfilling lives by using our natural tendency as a basis from which to create habits to positively transform our lives.  Analyze your tendency here.

A few often overlooked questions Rubin explores in Better Than Before are:

  • I want to help someone else make a change. But how?
  • How quickly can I change a habit?
  • How can I get myself to stick to a new habit?
  • Do the same strategies work for shaping simple habits (like wearing a seat belt) work for complex habits (like drinking less)?
  • Why can I make time for everyone else, but can’t make time for myself?
tendency pic

The 4 tendencies, by Gretchen Rubin.

Whether or not you check out the book, it’s interesting to determine your tendency for the self-awareness value. Check out the quiz and diagram for more information and refer to the full book for useful strategies on how to implement good habits according to your tendency. 

When it comes to habit formation, Rubin’s analysis points to common loopholes each of us use to excuse ourselves from following a particular habit (e.g., “It’s okay to skip today, I’ll do it tomorrow“, “What difference does it make if I break the habit just this once“). Once we identify these loopholes and which ones are our personal go-to’s, Rubin suggests we can reject them and avoid skipping out on good habits. This seemingly minor bit of insight can be extremely valuable in helping us stay on track.

Whether you’re trying to cling to your new year’s resolutions this February or have abandoned the notion of creating them, finding your tendency is an excellent place to start understanding how to implement positive change in a way that resonates with you.  Use the self-knowledge boost to empower yourself to be the change you need. 

For more on Gretchen Rubin, click here. |  Take the Tendency Quiz here.  

* Song For This Moment: “Weak” by Wet.  (Get strong.)