The Book That Changed The Way I Set Goals

Ahhh. It's 2016. Another year.

For me, I love the New Year. I know some say it's an arbitrary date, and that we should be trying to improve ourselves all year round (which I also believe), but there is something so refreshing about hitting that mark. It's like opening a brand new notebook, or getting a new phone. A chance to start fresh. 

This month also marks the official 1 year anniversary of Jessi Haggerty RD - the business! At this time last year I was walking out of my full-time job at Whole Foods Market to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship. I was so excited to get started, but it felt like everyday was a struggle. I often joked to my friends that "I need a boss." I felt like I had so many ideas and things I wanted to accomplish but I for the life of me, couldn't stay consistent with holding myself accountable. 

It wasn't until I read Gretchen Rubin's book, Better Than Before that I realized why I had been struggling so much. BTB is a book about habits. Further, it's a book about how different people will develop (healthy) habits differently. Being in the business of helping people develop healthier habits, I immediately devoured the book, hoping I would find some nuggets of wisdom to help my clients. I had no idea that the book would provide me with one of the most valuable pieces of self-knowledge I have ever discovered.  

Gretchen splits up people into four tendencies, and it's likely you only fall into ONE category. The tendencies are based on how you respond to expectations. Through extensive conversations with friends and family, a lot of self-reflection, and Gretchen's Four Tendencies Quiz, I came to discover, I (like many of my clients) am an obliger. This means I respond readily to external expectations (like instructions from a boss or colleague) and struggle to respond to internal expectations (like me committing to writing this blog post). Obligers meet their goals best when they have some source of external accountability.

AHA! The missing puzzle piece. 

As an Obliger I...

  • Thrive on external accountability, which is why I will be working with an accountability partner AND a coach in 2016 (no more bosses for me).
  • Occasionally experience "obliger rebellion" where I 'slack off' because I'm tired of listening to people (hence me quitting my job in 2014). 
  • Will usually have false notions of how successful the future might be. These often come in sentences like "Once I have a new camera, than I can start recording YouTube Videos" - which is why I also got a new camera for 2016. My dad often says "Once I lose weight, than I'll go to the gym."

It is to me interesting, however, that I don't feel like I need someone holding me accountable to eat healthy or exercise. But since this is also my living, it might be that my commitment to my profession alone is enough to hold me accountable to these changes. Or, I just find those things enjoyable! I guess there are still some mysteries...

With the New Year in place, so many gyms, diets, and "detoxes" are in your face trying to take advantage of your well-intentioned goals. In my expert opinion I have to say - figure this out first! How do you best form healthy habits? If you're like me, and you're an "obliger" - signing up for a gym membership is not going to cut it if you don't have someone telling you to GO. Set yourself up for success. Hire a coach (I'm currently booking sessions for 2016), enlist an accountability partner, or make your goals known via social media. 

What will you do to make sure you stick to your goals this year? Let me know in the comments below!