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Two inspirations ago, in the fable of The frogs in the milk pail I told you about starting my day with some physical exercises to wake up my body, followed by a 20 minute meditation session. In the meantime I have been doing this long enough for it to have become a habit. I no longer stop to think about it. I get up and do it, just like brushing my teeth.

Taking up new habits is surprisingly easy for me, and it gives me a lot of satisfaction. After having read Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Life”, I now also understand why, and that it is not as easy for everyone or that not everybody is equally interested or feels like doing so. She describes four types of “tendencies” when speaking about how people deal with habits.

I recognise myself in what she calls an “Upholder”. These types tend to meet outer, as well as inner expectations. They do not like to make mistakes or disappoint people, including themselves. They possess a lot of self control and have little difficulty to hold their promises or to respect deadlines (they often even finish something too early). They like a reasonable set of rules and regulations (provided they make sense) and can sometimes struggle when the expectations or rules are not clear or change suddenly. Upholders can easily make promises to themselves when they want to achieve a certain goal and they will also stick to them. They love habits.

Are you curious to know which creature of habit you are? Click HERE to take the online quiz and discover your dominant tendency for dealing with habits. This quiz is totally based on Gretchen Rubin’s book on the one hand and on the other hand on the test which is available from her own website (who said you always need to be 100% original?). By the way, the book deals with much more than these four tendencies. It is certainly a must-read.

I am curious to see if your answers will confirm the procentual analysis of Gretchen Rubin regarding the distribution between Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels. I will keep you posted!

Each of the four “tendencies” – as Rubin describes them – deals with habits very differently. And although the Upholders apparently deal with them most easily, the happiest and most successful persons are those who know how to use their “tendency” to their own advantage and, equally importantly, have found ways to counterbalance the limitations.

What I have mainly learned is that everybody is different and you cannot expect someone else to handle or see matters in the same way as you do. Self knowledge and understanding of how other people experience life is crucial if you want to avoid unnecessary and useless tension and conflict. In family relations, but also in a professional environment this can bring peace and harmony.

Do you feel like getting to know yourself better and learn how you experience life and which creature of habit you are (but also much more)? Contact me for a free introductory session. Since I will start with my certification in January I charge reduced fees (but rest assured, the coaching quality is not reduced, quite the contrary).

And if you want to comment on this article or share your experience regarding habits (or who knows your tendency), click on the title to activate the comment field below the article. Talk to you next year!

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