Get Creative with Your Health Habits

by karen on August 1, 2019

Do you ever feel like you are your own worst enemy, the one who gets in the way of your goals the most, or do you find yourself asking questions like these?

Why can’t I make myself get back to the gym?
How come I keep letting the kale go bad?
What is it that leads me to dessert every night, when I said 30 minutes earlier I wasn’t going to have anything?
When will I remember to take my vitamins?

I came upon a PBS segment showcasing Gretchen Rubin, the author of a number of books, among them The Four Tendencies, which sheds light on how we get things done (or don’t). Take a look, figure out where you fit, and start working with, instead of against, yourself to succeed at mastering your health habits.


The Upholder wants to know what should be done.

You readily meet external and internal expectations, are self-directed, enjoy routine, hate to make mistakes, and put a high value on follow-through. So, if you fall into this category, why are you challenged with meeting your health goals? You want to ensure that your plan has not set the bar too high, because when you don’t do everything just so, your defenses can go up. Even with yourself, being defensive is not a happy place to be and you’ll start evading your list versus embracing it. Make sure your plan can realistically be scheduled into your day, and you’re off to the races.


Questioners want justifications.

You put a high value on reason, research, and information. You follow the advice of authorities only if you trust their expertise. You dislike anything arbitrary and like processes that are efficient and effective. You are also strong willed. You can suffer “analysis paralysis” and get in your own way if you over-analyze your health plan, fall prey to fad diets, or have a plan that lacks clarity. A registered dietitian is the perfect fit for you; they’ll ensure you have a clear plan for success and are the nutrition experts who base their recommendations on research and science.



Obligers need accountability.

You readily meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. You require deadlines and oversight to meet commitments, including those you’ve made to yourself. You are reliable, responsible, and highly committed. You’ll do well meeting your health goals when you share your plan with a friend or loved one that you can check in with. Start practicing saying “no” to stay within your ability to get everything done that you’ve said “yes” to, including your health plan. Keep reminding yourself that you deserve to be highly committed to yourself too, and not just to everyone else.


Rebels want freedom to do things their own way.

You resist both outer and inner expectations, put a high value on freedom, choice, self-expression, and authenticity. You often act out of love, a sense of mission, or a belief in a cause. You’re independent-minded and able to think outside the box. You’ll be able to meet your self-directed health goals ensuring that your goals and plan are in touch with your authentic desires and not based on what society or others want. Keep your plan a little less structured and allow it to be a place to explore your creativity; take a cooking class, create a new recipe with unconventional spices like chile cobanero or Merquen, or start a cooking club with your favorite people that showcases foods in line with your health aspirations.

These categories are not meant to box you in, but rather to illuminate hidden aspects of your nature. When we understand ourselves and how our Tendency drives our behavior, we can better set and achieve our goals. Cheers to good health!


Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert

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