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Sunday, October 2, 2016

That's it!!!

Yes, yes, yes!  I love breakthrough moments!!!!

I was recently directed to look at Gretchen Rubin's website (Click Here) about the Four Tendencies and then asked to think about them and how they may pertain to me.

How they pertain to me? Holy Moly!!  I feel like I have been slapped upside the head.  Seriously.  After taking the quiz and listening to the podcasts, I was dizzy.  Dizzy with relief I think.

She talks about four tendencies people have: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel.

It was a light bulb moment to read that I am an Obliger.  You see, I will do anything where I am accountable to some other thing or person.  But when it comes to doing things where I am only accountable to me, I fail, over and over again.  I can't seem to get motivated.  It was interesting to hear that many Obligers struggle with diet and exercise.

So, in a nutshell, the way for me to get internal expectations of myself met is to create a system of external accountability.  I need to understand that it's OKAY that I don't self motivate very well for internal expectations.  I should just acknowledge that and figure out ways to accomplish those expectations by being more strategic!  Duh!!

While I was looking into all this in regard to exercise and diet and why I don't seem to push myself in those directions, it jumped out, glaringly at me, that this is why I was finally able to quit wine and then dramatically reduce the role alcohol plays in my life.  And, why suddenly it seemed easy for me after so many years of struggle.

It wasn't until I created a system......blogging......where I became accountable to something else to stop my drinking.  I guess this is why AA works for many.  To those Obligers who need that accountability and are expected to show up, may even disappoint others if they don't.....I can see why that works.  I  can also see why that may not work well for some of the other tendencies.  I wonder if many of us who struggle with alcohol are predominantly Obligers.

Blogging allowed me to quit.  I see folks who blog and it doesn't fix it for them.  They are blogging about quitting time and time again.  It makes me wonder if they are of a different Tendency.  Perhaps they need more data about why alcohol is so bad.....need to really hit rock bottom first.  Or perhaps they resist being told to quit and have family members haranguing them.  Maybe they need a different reason to quit.  I don't know, I am just surmising.

My husband, a Questioner, instead needs data.  He'll meet his internal expectations just fine but to meet external expectations he needs lots of data to be convinced to do something.  Probably why he prefers to exercise and eat vegetables because he has internalized that it makes him feel good.

I've realized this about him without actually understanding what I had learned.....until I read about all this in the past few days!  I used to ask him to do things that I wanted done.  Wipe down the kitchen counters after doing dishes so that they aren't flooded with water.  Please pick up the yard clippings and don't leave them sitting there for a week. Blah, blah.

Doing anything for me just because I wanted it, didn't do it for him.  It's not that he doesn't love me and he isn't just blowing me off.  (Although many times I took it that way.!!) He simply needs more data to resonate with him that this particular thing should be done.  Without realizing what I was doing, (providing him data that is), I started changing tactics and saying "don't forget to wipe the water off the kitchen counter so that it doesn't soak into the crack, warp the sub counter and we'll have to spend a buttload of money to get it fixed."  I also said, "don't forget to pick up the yard clippings so that the rats don't build their nests in them which makes the dogs go apeshit."  It has worked.  This reinforces for me what I have just learned.

Granted there are times when I would like him to do some things "just for me" so I've also started saying "honey, I know that this sounds trivial, but it's really important to me to decorate for the fall....can you please get down the decorations today?"  It's amazing how this has worked.  If I had just asked him to get the decorations down, he would have forgotten about it or gotten annoyed that there were other things he preferred to do.  It had nothing to do with "doing something for me" because that's not how he viewed the request.

He hasn't fully internalized quitting alcohol but is starting to.  He cut back and has only had 1 beer in 5 days, go figure.  Seems so easy for him but then I guess once he internalizes something it becomes fairly easy for him to carry out!

I was thinking about just shutting down the blog.  Primarily because I feel like I am wasting time now, reading and commenting, or even spending time on my own posts.  I know now that I am going to keep this as a part of my life.  I will continue to be accountable to my blog, logging every intake of alcohol.  I may blog post about it, may not, but I will be listing those actions.  Knowing that I don't want to let down my blog, my blog readers whoever they are, is actually keeping me focused on bettering myself, working on my exercise and diet and not letting alcohol take the upper hand.

I look forward to exploring more of Gretchen's advice on how to be Happier in all aspects of my life!


  1. Yay, I love breakthrough moments too!

    Funny coincidence, as I just picked up Rubin's book at the library last week. I wasn't as taken with it, but then, that may be normal...apparently, I fall in the 'rebel' category, so maybe I just naturally disagree with anything that tries to categorize me! LOL! Really, I think it's great that you're finding useful ideas, and the distinction between external and internal accountability makes perfect sense to me.

    And I want to stand up and applaud reading this bit: "I need to understand that it's OKAY that I don't self motivate very well for internal expectations. I should just acknowledge that and figure out ways to accomplish those expectations by being more strategic!"

    I am all about the strategy! We spend so much time worrying about how we "should" be, or how we "should" achieve our goals...much better, in my pragmatic little mind, to figure how how we CAN get there. At least when possible.

    Love how empowered you sound!

    1. Thanks. I confess to not yet reading the book. I think all this is in her book "Better Thank Before?" I still want to read it. I cheated and just took the online quiz and listened to the podcasts. Still was enough to be eye opening for me! Interesting about being a rebel! Could be very true that you don't like to be labeled. I like to label myself and quantify where I fit in everything. I know, you couldn't pick up on that hmmm? Lol

  2. This is all very interesting HD, as avid a reader as I am I have not heard of this author so will check it out after this. What I will say is I think you would be premature to shut the blog down as you seem to very much use it to clarify things in your own head and by default help some others on the way. I think you are on a journey of self inmprovement and this is a tool that is working for you, keep at it and you may have further revelations along the way. Whilst this is primarily a forum gore wanna be non drinkers I feel that once people get to know you they are interested in your growth and development either cos they like you or like to see someone succeeding. I always read your posts but don't always comment and I get a great deal from them. You are having a different journey to me but I can still recognise the changes in you and am interested in your thought processes. Give it till a year and the give up the blog if you still think about it. We are doing great work here for ourselves and like I said before some others are learning through our words. Not bossing you into it, just think your presence would be missed (like I miss Ripleybelle)

    1. Thanks, Ginger. I appreciate the thoughts. I don't take it as being bossy at all. I realized how much I need this blog after reading about my "tendencies". I still intend to be a non-drinker the most major majority of the time!! And let's shout out..."OH RIPLEYBELLE, time for a post to say hello...." :-)

    2. Hi Ginger and HD!! It's been too long and entirely my fault. I've been reading your blogs but not commenting lately. All is good on my end. I hit six months of sobriety in a couple of days and am back in school to complete my life coaching certification. I think of you often and must do something about blogging again someday. I accidentally deleted my blog. Can you believe that?

  3. Replies
    1. Hey Un-Tipsy! I miss you too! See my above reply for a little update on me. I hope you are well!

  4. Hello HD

    Did the quiz and came out the same but don't like to be accountable:( Been following you for sometime and like you feel I would like to drink occasionally. Day 4 here so still early days. Angela

    1. Great job on 4 days, Angela! They say by Day 3 alcohol is out of your system. Just take it day by day and focus on resisting the cravings. I definitely recommend a long period without alcohol if you can do it just to reset your perspective and figure out how to cope without it. There is definitely something magical about that 100 day point. I always thought I would go back to at least moderating but that's no longer my goal. Hang with it!!

  5. What Ginger said HD. I like catching up with your journey even tho I'm rubbish at commenting (often because it's a sneaky peak on my phone). You would be missed if you stopped posting, especially by a repeat offender like myself. We need the hope that it gets better out there :)
    (I took the quiz, I am an Obliger - no surprise there. It's definitely something I need to work on. )