i am an upholder.

Let’s chat HABITS! I am 100% geeked out about the concept of habits.  This is why my program is called “Fundamentals for Creating Healthy Habits.”  The focus is on how to live a healthy lifestyle by creating new healthy habits and breaking bad ones. 

If your goal is weight loss, that will be one of the side effects of following my program but it is not the focus in our weekly meetings.  Make sense?  When I focus on weight loss specifically, I gain weight.  When I focus on my habits, I lose weight or maintain it depending on my goal.  More importantly, physically, I feel great and I don’t feel mentally drained because my focus is on positive habit changes and not a number; we will talk scales later.  This is why my program is made for ANYONE that wants to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Maintaining my weight was NEVER a concept I could wrap my head around, I went up and I went down like a roller coaster ride, until I changed my mindset.  “If you want to change your life, change your habits.”  That is a quote I have read over and over by Gretchen Rubin. 

My passion to create new, healthy habits began with a book by Gretchen Rubin, “The Happiness Project”.  This is, if my memory is accurate, the 3rd book on my quest for self improvement.  It was conveniently purchased right before new years resolution season at my favorite bookstore in Estes Park, CO, MacDonald’s Book Shop, in 2016. This is the same bookstore that I bought my first bridal magazines a few short minutes after Jeff proposed at the summit of Twin Sisters Mountain, lots of years ago.  Seriously, all good things happen in the mountains.

Every month in the year 2017, I focused on different areas of my life: organization, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, faith, pursuit of passion, mindfulness, attitude and happiness.   I would read one chapter of the book prior to the beginning of each month and create my own tracking calendar with my personal habits I wanted to make and ones I wanted to break.  I also learned the concept of “stacking habits”.  I added motivational quotes and pictures to each calendar  to help me stay inspired.  Oh, the rush I felt after every check mark!  NO KIDDING!  I am certain some of you are thinking I am crazy and that is okay with me.  Remember I was NOT born this way. 

I was not perfect but I was consistent.  To this day, I continue to track my habits which is why I include a habit tracking calendar in my program.  Not only because I love the feeling of success when checking off a goal but I now know that it is the secret to success;  achieving small goals everyday to get to your big audacious goal.  That is a sweet victory!

Shortly after I completed my year-long quest to live a happier life, one month, one day at a time, Gretchen Rubin came out with The Four Tendencies for habits.  She refers to it as a “habit sorting hat.”  Her next book, “Better Than Before”,  included The Four Tendencies and explains how individuals can change their habits based on their tendency.  To me, it is brilliant because it is a simple way to explain why the handful personalities create or break habits differently.  It might not be a new concept but this version hit home for me.

There is no tendency that is better or more successful and there is some overlap.  I AM AN UPHOLDER and proud of it!  This is why I LOVE new years resolutions, to-do lists and yes, habit tracking calendars, following the rules and why following a program and accountability is easier for me than people in other tendency categories.  Please take note, I did not say other tendencies can’t, everyone CAN, you just have to be more creative.  According to Gretchen Rubin, “Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life.  We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence, and our future.  If we change our habits, we change our lives.”

The next book I read by Gretchen Rubin was “The Four Tendencies”.  On the cover it says “The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too).”  At this point, I started to have everyone I know take the quiz.  It explained so much about me and the people I surround myself with.  More importantly it helped me understand why people are the way they are and it wasn’t because of something I had or had not done.  Well most of the time.

Jeff,my husband, is a Rebel, my boss is a Rebel and many of my friends are Rebels.  If they aren’t Rebels, they are Questioners with a few Obligers.  The people that I managed at the time were mostly Obligers.  INTERESTING, right?!  I also realized on my quest to improve myself, all the people that I seek motivation from through books, trainings, podcasts and blogs are Upholders.  I believe that I surround myself with so many Rebels because deep down, I would love a little more Rebel in me.  Ha!

The insights of The Four Tendencies helps you understand why you do the things you do or for some why you just don’t want to do the thing.  Why do you put everyone else first or you question everything?  The Four Tendencies quiz is something new that I have implemented into the beginning of my program to help me as well as my clients gain a better understanding of how we can work together to create new healthy habits and break the bad ones.  ALL personalities are capable it’s the journey that might be a little different.

Just for fun, well this is my kind of fun, please take the short quiz and let your fellow bridgers and me know which tendency you are in the comments. There is no right or wrong and you MUST answer the questions honestly and pick the answer that best fits you, not the one you think is right.    I assure you that ALL have strengths and all have challenges!  What tendency are you?


emi – coach kristen

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