Learning Steadiness

How learning my habit personality, helped me to follow through with my Word of the Year.

Steadiness was my word for 2017.
My desire was to continue to build on the habits that I had been learning. I really wanted to work on integrating them into my life in a way that would translate to lasting change. In years past, I would have spurts of working and then spurts of complete laziness. Spurts of focus and then spurts of distraction. But I was tired of it!

This has pretty much been my pattern my whole life. As an S-Personality type (read more here about how figuring this out how this pretty much changed my life :)) I am more people oriented, so I have had to make the effort to be more task oriented and productivity driven. The good new is that it is working! It has been interesting to work through and it’s exciting to know that even though we may be weak in some areas, we aren’t just left to have to live like that. Though we may be more gifted in some areas, there is always opportunity to grow in the areas where we aren’t.

One of the things that helped to grow in this area was to dig even deeper into the way I am wired by reading Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before. In it, she describes 4 different habit personality types. She explains that we all have tendencies toward either being an Upholder, an Obliger, a Questioner, and the Rebel, and gives insight into the best ways for you to be successful based on your type.

Learning that I was an Upholder made so much sense. In elementary school, that translated to being a rule follower and little bit of a tattle tale. In Jr High, I was the one who felt sorry for the teacher when the students weren’t paying attention and didn’t understand how they could be so disrespectful… I mean… she asked us to be quiet. In high school, I was the straight laced student who didn’t go to parties or drink before I was 21. As an adult, I see my upholder mentality translate to a desire for justice and for people to experience consequences when they do wrong.  and being a stickler for crossing things off the lists I make myself. holding myself to the goals I set and moral standards. It also means that I uphold the standards that I set for myself, love checking things off a list, and don’t like leaving things undone.

Learning more about my habit personality has really helped to pinpoint a few methods for me to focus on that are right up my alley. I can sift through all the advice and tips I read more quickly, knowing immediately which ones would benefit me the most.

Here are some of the things I learned for each of the types:

  • If you are an upholder, like me, then tracking, planning and writing things down might be the way for you to be successful. Make the list, set the goals, and track your progress and you will be able to monitor yourself and push yourself to succeed.
  • If you are an obliger then you would probably benefit most from accountability. Some examples would be group fitness, hiring a business coach, scheduling regular accountability meetings with friends to talk about goal progress, or it could mean blogging your goals so you have lots of people your accountable to.
  • If you are a questioner then you might benefit from really understanding WHY you are doing something. You might need to spend more time on the heart behind things than anything!
  • If you are a rebel… I don’t know what to tell you. Lol!

(Keep in mind, you could be a mix of some of these and could benefit from some of the suggestions from all of them.)

Since discovering my habit type and through working through some of the prep and reflection of the power sheets, I have also discovered that I am most successful in creating habits and reaching goals, when I track things and when I write things down. The times I have found the most success have all been connected with tracking and planning. I don’t need accountability, because my list, plans, or expectations become the “rules” that I already have a tendency to follow anyway.So today I wanted to share what I have found to be the best tools and methods for me to use to get the most done as an Upholder personality type. I’m also visual and actually SEEING progress on paper (or apps) fires me up to continue!

Tools for Tracking  

Good Reads : for Reading Books
I’ve talked about this app like a million times before because this really did change my life when it comes to finishing books! Get yourself an account and start adding books. As you track and see your progress you will be motivated to read just a few more pages :) They also have a yearly challenge you can set for yourself which I have found motivating too!

Done App : for Everything!
I LOOOVE this app. The simple, clean design and the ability to really customize it to your needs is amazing. At the beginning of the year I added some habits that I knew would get me to my overall goals and it was seriously motivating. Looking forward to adding my new habits in for the new year. Some samples would be goals for how many pages I wanted to read a week, praying with Josh daily, 2 weekly workouts, writing sessions, etc.

Water Bottle : for Water Intake
Y’all this little $10 bottle has really helped me to get more water in everyday! What I have found through tracking is that we usually over estimate the good things and under estimate the bad things, which is why tracking is so important. I could have sworn I was drinking more throughout the day, but when I started using this I realized I was totally wrong. Using this and making the goal to drink at least 4 a day has dramatically improved my water intake.

Highlight Your Way Through the Bible Worksheet : For Bible Reading Tracking
While reading through the Bible a few years ago I decided to veer off the You Version plan I was using, but I wanted to still be able to make sure I was reading every book in the Bible. Thats when I started to write out each book and chapter I was reading! So inefficient, but I didn’t know of a better way… so I created this little print out. Literally just a list of the books of the Bible and little boxes to highlight when I completed the reading. If you know me you know that for me Tracking + Highlighters = Heaven 😃(Grab a copy of this is the freebie library!)

My Fitness Pal : for Health
When I was in the best shape of my life, I was using this app to track what I ate. It was so eye opening to see the number of calories in things. I also realized that I was never getting enough protein, which made sense cause I was usually feeling low energy. Although I don’t use this on a consistent basis, I love knowing that I have this tried and true method to help me be successful should I want to get a rock hard bod (lol) and the lessons I learned from tracking are still with me to this day, helping me to be a more mindful eater.

Tools for Planning

Power Sheets : for Yearly Goals
Duh. Y’all know I’m obsessed. Not much more to say, but that you need to be making goals every year and you need to write them down! This workbook gives you the tools to sift through what is important, make goals that matter, and help you to consistently make progress on them.

Day Designer Planner : for Daily Schedules
Love my Day Designer planner. It does exactly what the title describes it to do. By having a page for everyday with slots for your schedule and space for your to-do list, you can write down what needs to be done and then literally design what your day will look like. This is necessary, cause let’s be honest on the days I don’t “design my day”, it designs itself and that not pretty and nothing gets done!

Day Designer Quarterly Planner Printable : for Quarterly Business Planning
Just found this this month and I am obsessed. It’s a printable, with a page for each quarter and space to plan and get organized. You can use this little template for so many things! I’ve already used it for figuring out the events and promotions for the 1st quarter, but you could also use it for Social Media planning, launches, etc. And it utilizes highlighting, sooo I’m sold!

Business Tracker : for Holy Business Planning
Loving this new Business Tracker from She Works His Way. On top of being a quarterly business planner, it is centered around keeping your hustle holy. Throughout it you will find emphasis placed on doing business in a way that glorifies God, prioritizes your family, and serves your customers well!

Mastery Journal : for Discipline & Focus
This little journal would be especially helpful if you are struggling to get disciplined and focused! The idea is to have several “work sessions” each day – planning what you will do, setting a time, evaluating how focused you were, and then taking a little break! I have found that this is good to teach you how to work and be focused. It wouldn’t be something to use long term, but one journal lasts 100 days, so its great for building a better work mode.

Prayer Journal : for Prayers
It may sound weird to plan your prayers, but I have found that I am so much more consistent since having them written down! Having a new section to fill up every month keeps me coming back to it and holds me accountable to being steady, cause as a rule-follower I would hate to skip a whole month or leave a section blank! On top of that, it’s like a tracker in a way where I can SEE how God is answering my prayers. The constant reminder that my prayers are being answered (in one way or another) keeps me motivated, knowing that He works when we pray!

Asana : for To-Do’s
This is my go to regular to-dos. It is especially useful for recurring tasks or to-do lists that I can repeat for several different things. I schedule them out on the calendar and then those daily tasks go in my Day Designer.

(For all you trellos users, be sure to check out Val’s post today on how she uses it to help her reach her goals.)

Over the past few years, it has become abundantly clear that knowing how God made you is invaluable for you to be able to live the life the Lord has planned for YOU – not the life He has for others… but for YOU specifically!

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  • Hi Natalie! Loved reading this! I have always wondered why my list could never get done and seeing that I am an Obliger (took the quiz) affirmes what I have been saying about myself for a while! I need external pressure and accountability. I even need it to cost me sometimes! ;) Thanks for sharing this!