WORK-LIFE BALANCE / APR. 29, 2015
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How a Quiz Can Change Your Life

There are a few quizzes that can change your life, for sure – anything in which you might stand to win millions of dollars or a life-changing job with a superstar businessman, for example. But, in reality, these are not the route to career and life success for everyone. And my general knowledge sucks, so trying to win a million on a quiz isn’t going to happen.

But there is a quiz that can change your life and help you build tangible successes as you travel through university and up the career ladder.

See also: Hacks to Boost Your To-Do List

Understand your habit style

It may seem a little left field, but a simple quiz offered for free by Gretchen Rubin, a best-selling writer about happiness, can change your life for the better. Gretchen’s most recent book, ’Better Than Before’, focuses on the different habit tendencies we all have, which allow us to either easily build a habit or which can go against our best intentions if we inadvertently work against them.

Achieving more or less any goal requires habit – much more so than it requires will power. Understanding your habit profile is important, therefore, to succeed in many aspects of life.

Gretchen’s ’Four Tendencies’ quiz, which has been taken by thousands of people since its launch in January 2015, can help you figure out your natural tendencies when it comes to habit formation, allowing you to understand and manage the behaviors that work for you, and achieve success more easily.

For example, you might complete the quiz and discover you’re an Obliger – that is someone who finds it easiest to form and maintain a habit if they have external expectations set; a deadline to force you to finish that thesis or a gym buddy, for example. By understanding this tendency and working with it, achieving goals becomes significantly easier.

Alternatively, you might be an Upholder, who is equally able to stick to habits which have external expectations stemming from other people, as you are from those internal expectations, such as the New Year Resolutions we make.

The quiz might suggest you to be a Questioner – that is someone who will only carry out an action or form a habit if they understand and agree with the reasons behind it. Simply telling a questioner to do something is fruitless – explaining the reasons and the background to the request are essential.

Or, finally, the quiz might show you to be a Rebel – likely to reject the expectations laid on externally, and sometimes even those nagging internal ideas about change.

So what?

So why does this matter, you might ask. As a student or new grad, you will have a whole range of responsibilities which require you to develop a habit set to deliver. For example, you might be writing a thesis or preparing for a final exam. These are not single one-off actions, but require an ongoing regular commitment, which is easiest if it becomes a habit over time. If you are looking for a job, then the habit of regularly searching for and applying for positions is crucial – and even once in work, setting up a habit early of regular professional development will ensure your onward success.

Understanding the style or tendency that you have when it comes to habit formation can be the key to delivering on so many areas of life. And understanding it whilst you are still at university or in your twenties could be a remarkable boost to your overall life chances.

By understanding your own preferences and style, you are able to work with – not against – your natural tendencies. What’s more, the principles behind this simple quiz can even make you able to better understand the reaction of your family, colleagues and friends when asked to deliver something. And by predicting and understanding their likely reaction, you will be better placed to motivate and negotiate with those around you.

See also: 5 Facts That Prove Self-Motivation is an Essential Skill in Any Career

So, take the quiz and read up about different ways to motivate yourself and others to set productive healthy habits. You could find yourself massively improving your chances of career and personal happiness, for no cost in terms of either money or time.

You can thank me later.

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