Viewing entries tagged
habit change


The Excuses of Thinkers and Feelers 

Do you lean toward thinking or feeling your way through the world?

Do you lean toward thinking or feeling your way through the world?

If you want to overcome your excuses, it’s helpful to understand the language they speak. In your daily life, what typically dictates most of your actions— your head or your heart? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a self-reporting questionnaire exploring an individual’s psychological preferences, and can be an insightful tool in the journey of “knowing thyself.” This test will also help you figure out where you are on the thinker/feeler spectrum. 

Thinkers are experts in rationalizing their way out of change. Their minds are oriented to find the nearest escape route if “necessary”, and the messages they tell themselves can be pretty convincing. Here are some examples of “Thinker” excuses:

“Most people who lose weight end up gaining it back anyway. It’s not worth my time to put in the effort. I could use my focus for better things.”

“I only drink two or three glasses of wine a night, max. Gerry drinks nearly two bottles each day. He’s the one with the real problem, not me.” 

“Work’s really busy at the moment. I don’t think I’ll have time to get to the gym regularly and commit to a personal trainer.” 

Feelers may sometimes allow their emotions to dictate their lives. Consistency is particularly difficult for them because they’re easily swept away by the stirrings in their heart. “Feeler” excuses sound something like this:

“I’m feeling depressed today. There’s no point in writing because my mood is low and I won’t be able to produce anything worthwhile.” (I am personally acquainted with this excuse!)

“I can’t believe Harriet did that to me—it’s too upsetting to even think about. I know I said I wasn’t going to drink this month, but I deserve a martini just for putting up with her b.s.” 

“I promised myself that I was going to go running this evening, but there’s a party I want to check out and I’d rather do that.” 

By exploring our own natural tendencies, we become better equipped to recognize our traps as they arise. Self-knowledge fuels the power to make change.


Take an abbreviated version of the Myers-Briggs test if you don’t know what your type is already or head to The Myers & Briggs Foundation for information on taking the MBTI assessment.

Read up on your type, and write down any insights that you find helpful from your research. 

Power Question:

What thinking or feeling excuses am I using that may be sabotaging my well-being? 

Thanks for reading! This is post #5 in a series on Habit Change. Have you taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator before? If so, how has it helped you? Can you recognize the thinking or feeling excuses that you usually tell yourself? Leave your comments below.



Habit Change in 90 Days: As Told By Emojis

Whether you're ready to quit drinking, stop late night binge snacking, or shift into a healthier way of being, changing a habit or unwanted behavior is an often unpredictable rollercoaster ride that takes far longer than the suggested 21 days. In fact, to make a real lifestyle change, I'd say it requires a minimum of 90 days, which may include some major bumps along the road! Here's the truth about the journey, as told by emojis. ;-)

habit change by emojis1.jpg

This blog post was inspired by the hilarious Running a Half Marathon as Told by Emojis.

Has this been your experience? Map out your journey in emojis and share- we'd love to see it! 
Leave your virtual hugs and wisdom in the comments section.:-)



3 Things You Can Do NOW for a Season of Serenity

I've got a question for you. When you came across your first Christmas tree sighting or holiday sale this month, did you think, "how lovely, tis' the season!" or were you more along the lines of "bah, humbug! Why can't the Grinch just steal the whole darn thing already?"

As we move into the most hectic time of year, a little planning around your physical and mental well-being could make all the difference between merriment and meltdown. Holiday stress puts our health at significant risk while increasing our likelihood of turning to self-sabotaging behaviors in order to cope, such as overeating, reckless spending and heavy drinking. In fact, a survey on holiday stress found that comfort eating increased by over 10 percent among women toward the end of the year, when our perceived expectations are at an all-time high. Let’s face it, we have a tendency to be incredibly tough on ourselves during the festive season! Some women tear their hair out trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Other women force themselves, yet again, to shove a toxic family situation under the rug in the name of good cheer. And, the comparison trap can feel impossible to escape as acquaintances share updates about travel plans, gifts, and seemingly perfect families. Despite the metaphorical sacks of coal that many of us carry into the “silly season”, this time can actually become a season of SERENITY and a celebration of light, goodness and peace.

Take a minute to think about the roots of any stress you experience around the holidays. Are you agreeing to too much? Are you holding yourself to an impossibly high standard? Are you allowing feelings of guilt or obligation to control you and if so, where are those messages coming from? Do you keep thinking that it “should” be a certain way? Are you resisting what feels purposeful and sacred while holding onto traditions that serve no one? 

If what I’ve written resonates with you, here are three surefire ways to greatly reduce holiday stress starting NOW:

Artist: Rob Gonsalves

Artist: Rob Gonsalves

1. Create the meaningful holiday that YOU desire. “But wait! Isn’t that selfish?” you might be thinking. What’s more selfish: being miserable and dishonest by spending time in situations that are harmful to your health, or joyously spreading holiday cheer by engaging in something that uplifts your soul? If guilt is weighing you down, there are many volunteer work options available during this time, like delivering gifts to children in need through non-profit programs, working with a local soup kitchen, volunteering at a prison or hospice, or signing up for a Habitat for Humanity build. If a well-deserved vacation is more your speed, consider planning something that keeps you active and engaged with others, or brings you to a country that could really use your tourist dollars. This can also be a time of spiritual connection and reflection, and a wonderful opportunity to finally go on a silent or religious retreat, or to experience pilgrimage to a sacred place.

2. Get Off Facebook. A recent study found that people who quit Facebook for a week were 55% less stressed than those who continued with their regular Facebook use. In fact, scientists have recognized for quite some time that Facebook increases depression and anxiety, as well as being a massive time suck, but if you’re on the social network, you probably know that from experience! During the holidays, we’re particularly prone to comparing ourselves with others and losing sight of the bigger picture. Equally, it's a time where many of us feel like we need to put up a mask, which means a lot of photos and status updates in your feed that will definitely not represent reality, as well as added pressure to share your own carefully crafted "highlights." If you're stressing out just thinking about it, consider quitting Facebook for the month of December. The gift of your full attention is one of the best you can give. (I'm on day 18 of my personal social media detox and all I can say is that the freedom of disengaging from something so unreal tastes even better than pecan pie. More on that later). 

3.  Recommit to fitness. If you’ve let your exercise routine fall by the wayside, now is the time to hire a personal trainer or coach, join a gym or yoga studio, and really make a promise to yourself to take care of your body. Exercise can actually be MORE effective than antidepressants for those prone to depression, and by kicking your endorphins up a notch, you’ll reduce stress while distracting yourself from worry. It'll also be easier to maintain your weight and keep your alcohol intake in check by increasing your mindful focus on well-being, despite the many temptations of the season. Don’t wait until you’ve made your New Year’s Resolutions. Encourage a fun and fit festive season by getting your blood flowing and drawing up an exercise plan of action now.

What proactive step will you take TODAY to reduce holiday stress? How will you create a Season of Serenity for yourself and your loved ones? If you think this post would be useful to someone, share it!



Q: How Do I Get Back Into Fitness Again?

Have you ever struggled to get back into your fitness routine after a long break? Maybe you haven't worked out in a few years and are ready to commit to taking care of your body again. If this resonates with you, then you'll definitely want to check out the video below, where I answer a question from Lisa, who asks:

"I want to start exercising again after a super long hiatus. However, I've become so unfit that I can feel my glutes and calves ache after walking up a flight of stairs. I have a gym membership which I never use. However, I feel self-conscious when I go to the gym. How should I start again? Should I start off with bodyweight exercises? 

Have a question on fitness, nutrition or habit change? Ask away, and I'll answer it via video or blog post!


© Tangram Fitness 2013