Struggling to stick with a New Year’s resolution? Need to get back on track at work after a holiday? To get over that hump, you’ve got to boost your level of motivation.
Scientists have pored over what motivates us, and they’ve identified two different types. Inner motivations drive us to achieve personal goals like eating healthier, while outer motivations are externally imposed, such as expectations from others and project deadlines.
But it turns out that we all react to these expectations differently. Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin has discovered four personality types – Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels – who respond to expectations in different ways.
Upholders, for example, get a motivational kick from getting things done and checking the items off their to-do list. The Todoist app is the perfect tool to help spur them on. It’s an upgrade from a paper to-do list, with location-based reminders and project templates. It even syncs with voice assistants for keeping track of those lightbulb moments.
Questioners can quench their thirst for knowledge with the five-question strategy. Essentially, this entails asking ‘why’ five times in a row to get to the root of things. It’s how Taiichi Ohno pioneered Toyota’s ultra-efficient car production.
Obligers don’t like to let others down and try to avoid looking lazy or foolish. The Asana app is ideal for driving them forward. It offers a birds-eye view of projects, deadlines and stakeholder progress, so you can easily see when you’re holding up the team. It turns out that this is a good tip for all of us, since researchers from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences found that it matters greatly if others respect us.
True to their name, Rebels don’t like being told what to do and thrive on defying expectations. The best way to get this group to do something? Tell them you don’t think they can!
Follow the chart below to discover which group you belong to and what makes you tick. Then read on to find out where you can draw motivation from when you find yourself in a bit of a rut.
Rubin, G. (2015) To Form Successful Habits, Know What Motivates You. hbr.org
Rubin, G. (2017) Want to Change an Important Habit? Tips for Upholders, Questioners, Obligers & Rebels. gretchenrubin.com
Rubin, G. (2017) 4 Personality Types: The Upholder, Questioner, Rebel & Obliger. psychcentral.com
Newman, K. (2015) The 4 Types of Employees (and How to Motivate Them). tech.co
Lastoe, S. (2017) The Reason Why Smart People Always Ask “Why” at Work. themuse.com
Yuhas, D. (2012) Three Critical Elements Sustain Motivation. scientificamerican.com
Menges. J. (2017) When Job Performance is All Relative. amj.aom.org
Parnell, M.K. (2016) Harnessing the Power of Habits. karunacounseling.com
Rubin, G. (2017) How Do You Feel About “To-Do” Lists–Helpful or Not? gretchenrubin.com
Rubin, G. (2015) How Does a Rebel Change Habits? psychologytoday.com