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the four tendencies a simple solution for accomplishing your business goals as a work at home mom

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Do you often find yourself unable to accomplish your business goals?

You set them time and time again, but you still can’t seem to actually finish them. As a work at home mom, these goals are really important so you keep beating yourself up and asking “Why can’t I just stick to my goals?” You know you need to make this business work so you can be home with your kids, and you don’t exactly want to go back to working for someone else. So why are you struggling with goal setting in your business? If this is you, then I am so excited that you found this post because I want to share an easy solution, that I recently stumbled upon myself, called The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. that has been a game changer when it comes to accomplishing goals in my business as a work at home mom.

My Struggle With Accomplishing Goals as an Entrepreneur

I have been in the exact same cycle of setting goals and not reaching them for years. Obviously, as an entrepreneur, this won’t get you far and in fact, will cause you a lot of stress. I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like “Not everyone can work for themselves, you know?”  or “Maybe you just do better working for other people”. And these thoughts have started to creep in your own mind and you’re asking if maybe you just aren’t cut out to work for yourself after all. I get it. This was me, too.

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    Here’s the good news.

    It’s not that you can’t do it, but that you’ve (probably) been approaching it all wrong. I would bet that you believe if you want something bad enough, then you’ll just do it. If you want to make this whole work from home thing work, then you’ll just do the work. Do you find yourself saying things like: I just need to take this more seriously. I’m an adult! I should just be able to set goals and do them. Period! These are the thoughts that ran through my mind because, honestly, I’d been told that my entire life.

    Here’s the game changer part.

    One day I was listening to the Do It Scared podcast with Ruth Soukup and she was interviewing Gretchen Rubin about her book and theory called The Four Tendencies.

    What are The Four Tendencies?

    Basically, after analyzing data from thousands of people, Gretchen determined that everyone falls into one of four categories based on how they respond to expectations: the upholder, the obliger, the questioner, and the rebel.

    The Upholder: If they set an expectation, then they follow through. Sets goals and accomplishes them simply because they set the goal. 

    These people are the ones that say “I’m going to start going to the gym everyday” and then they just do it. (I wish this was me and this is probably who you’ve been trying to be)

    The Obliger: The expectation HAS to come from someone else. Needs goals to be based on some external factor such as so you don’t disappoint someone or someone is counting on you to do it.  

    For these people, you might need to have a work out buddy or a trainer that will be disappointed if you don’t show up.

    The questioner: They expect to know every detail before moving forward. Needs to ask a ton of questions before setting a goal. Once the questions are answered, then they can go after the goal. 

    These people tend to really caught up in the research..almost to the point of not taking action because they need to make sure they know everything about it before they move forward.

    The Rebel: They need expectations to not be there.  Basically, they will refuse to do anything if you ask (simply because you ask) but they also struggle with telling themselves what to do and won’t listen. 

    My husband is a rebel and I’ve found that using reverse psychology works well. Telling him that he won’t do something or that he can’t, ignites this drive to do the opposite. 

    What do the tendencies tell you?

    Which category you are in tells you how you’re best motivated by which kind of expectation you react to, and thus, how you need to set your goals in order to accomplish them.

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    Why This Is a Game Changer for Your Business

    Just think. If you’re an obliger (needs the expectation to come from someone else) but you’ve been goal setting like an upholder (just setting a goal and going after it), then you’re basically setting yourself up to fail.

    It’s not that something is wrong with you. It’s that you’re simply framing your goals all wrong because you haven’t embraced your tendency.  

    As I was listening to the podcast interview, I realized that a) I’m 1000% an obliger and b) something isn’t wrong with me after all.

    In fact, these tendencies meant that there were LOTS of people that acted the exact same way just by their nature (side note fact: obliger is the largest tendency). So, it wasn’t just me not being able to get my act together.

    See, most of my adult life, I literally thought something was wrong me for not being to stick with goals.

    In college, I asked a professor to give me more deadlines leading up to the final deadline of a big project (after all, as an obliger, I didn’t want to let him down) because otherwise, I couldn’t get myself to work on the project before then. 

    He then told me in a serious, but kind way, that I just needed to grow up, set my goals, and meet them in order to succeed in life.

    Looking back, he was very likely an upholder (they can just set goals and meet them) and just couldn’t comprehend how someone couldn’t simply set a goal and achieve it if they wanted it bad enough.

    Of course, not knowing any better,  I took his advice to heart and went through the next 10 years, trying to simply set goals and stick to them. All the while, struggling to achieve the goals I was setting for myself.

    Until I heard that podcast with Gretchen. Literally.

    This is HUGE.

    Just think. If you simply reframed your goal, it could make the difference between accomplishing it or not.
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    For me, I had been telling myself that I needed to work from home so I could spend more time with my son. So I could work for myself. So I could help people with my blog. So I could make enough money to bring my husband home. So I could get us out of debt.

    These are great ambitions and big dream kind of goals, so why couldn’t I just get my butt into gear and do it??

    If you look back at my goals, they were all framed to be about me. I need this. I want that.

    Taking into account my tendency (obliger), I reformatted my goals to be about someone else.

    Now my goals look something like this.

    • To be able to keep my son home with me because he loves it, I need to be successful in my business.
    • There are moms out there that are waiting to hear my message, and if I don’t get my stuff out there, then she is going to be let down.
    • My husband would love to be able to be home more and work on his business full time. If I succeed at my business, then he will get to do that.

    See the difference?

    Reframing each of my goals has made all the difference since I started doing this.

    The other big thing as an obliger is having an accountability partner. I asked a friend of mine if we could both set goals and then at the end of the night, we reported back.

    I couldn’t risk not accomplishing my goals and having her show up saying that she’d worked really hard to make sure she got them finished.

    This has worked really well for me also. (Side note: try to avoid a rebel as an accountability partner because that’s probably going to just irritate them.)

    Having an accountability partner helps you achieve your goals.

    Doing these two things based on my tendency has seriously been a huge game changer for me in my businesses.

    I’ve been able to set goals, stick with my to-do lists, and actually make progress.

    How can you implement this and start accomplishing your business goals?

    The reason I am sharing all of this with you is so that you can finally get clarity and start accomplishing your goals.

    Understanding how you need to set goals so that you can accomplish them could make a world of difference in your business and your efforts in being a work at home mom.

    So here’s what you need to do to make this happen.

    1. Figure out which of the Four Tendencies do you are?

    If you want to see which one you are, Gretchen has a short quiz on her website at and then at the end, it gives you an amazingly accurate explanation of what your result means and some tips for moving forward.

    I would also encourage you to listen to her episode with Ruth because she explains each tendency in a way that you can probably identify which one you are and it’s just a good episode to listen to with lots of great insight.

    2. Figure out how this new information (about which tendency you are) should be used in your business

    Go over the detailed report Gretchen sends about your tendency to gain more insight into all of the nuances of it.

    She also has a podcast episode dedicated to each of the tendencies that is fantastic to listen to as well. 

    To help with you process through it all and figure out how to make it work for you and your business, I’ve created FREE printable worksheets to help you visualize and clarify what your new business goals will look like going forward.

    3. Take Action!

    Implement what you’ve learned about yourself and see how this affects your productivity and motivation.

    I think you’ll be surprised at how easy things can be once you understand how your brain works around expectations.

    Try it for a week and see if things look dramatically different for you. For me, it was apparent very quickly how amazing this is.

    Get Your FREE Printables To Reframe Your Business Goals

    Final Thoughts

    Being self-motivated can be hard, especially when trying to work for yourself. It’s even harder if you’ve been framing your goals the wrong way the whole time.

    Tap into yourself and really get to know how your brain works around expectations.

    I’d love to hear if this new insight helps you understand yourself better and gives you a boost in productivity.

    Use this ultimate goal setting tip to succeed at being a work at home mom
    Accomplish your business goals as a work at home mom with this ultimate tip

    The ultimate goal setting tip for work at home moms

    Accomplish your business goals with this ultimate tip from the Four tendencies.The ultimate goal setting tip for work at home moms. Accomplish Your Business Goals with This Ultimate Tip for Work at Home Moms

    Master your goals as a work athome mom using the four tendencies
    Accomplish your business goals with this ultimate tip from the Four tendencies.

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