What is Your Habit Change Personality Type?

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Habit Change, Old Habits Or Change

“Change is easy.”—Said no one.

 We all have a “habit change” personality type—the characteristics we possess that helps make change work FOR us or AGAINST us.

What is YOUR Habit Change Personality Type?

Are you a…

  • Daydreamer.
  • Researcher.
  • Rule Follower.
  • Non-Conformist.
  • Groupie.

Read on to find out, and how to make change work FOR YOU.

Change is Hard…Really Hard

Habit Change Shutterstock 1096532843 | What Is Your Habit Change Personality Type?

Wouldn’t it be great if we did nothing at all and change just magically happened?

That’s the dream, right? We wake up one day and realize we do all the things we’ve put in our self-care planner and goals list to do.

Unfortunately, change doesn’t work like that.

If change was easy, then we’d all be 5 pounds lighter, or two times stronger, eating green things as frequently as coffee, sleeping like a baby 7 to 9 hours per night, and NOT wishing things were different.

 Humans DON’T Like Change

Humans are hardwired to NOT like change. We are creatures of habit. It is in our DNA. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. It’s unknown.

Just like our bodies desire homeostasis (such as water when we are thirsty, sleep when we are tired and coffee when we need energy), our human brains desire homeostasis (i.e. balance, peace) too.

Back in the days of our ancestors, “homeostasis” for humans meant: escaping the threats of bears, tigers and lions; protection from natural weather storms and disasters; feeling safe; and a sense of belonging with  their community and tribe.

Fast forward to today and “homeostasis” for our human brains means things like: a sense of being in control; guaranteed results or achievement; not getting too uncomfortable.

Change is Threatening

“Change is the opposite of homeostasis—it is threatening!”

Whether it’s change in your nutrition or fitness regime; breaking up with a “bad” habit; or changing up your morning routine, change requires LOTS of brain power, self-coaching and pep-talk (i.e. “it’s okay,” “you can do this,” and “it will pay off”).

Similarly, humans crave routine—routine is also hardwired in us from childhood, such as our school routine (math, reading, lunch, recess, art, etc.) or our bedtime routine (bath, brushing our teeth, reading stories, getting tucked in, asking for water, etc.).  Combine our habits with routine and you’ve got a winning combination for making change HARD!

How to Make Change Easy

In order to actually “change” ANY habit or start a NEW HABIT, 3 steps are crucial:

  • Step 1: Understand where you really are in your own “change” process
  • Step 2: Know what kind of “Habit Change” Type you are
  • Step 3: Create a plan of attack to succeed.

Step 1: Understand Your Stage of Change

Habit Change

According to the Transtheoretical Model of Change, there are 6 primary stages of change.

Throughout the change process, we can go in and out of each of these stages, often repeating them in the process. A mistake many people make when it comes to “making a change” is believing they are READY, when they actually are not. What stage of change are you in—really?

  1. Ambivalence: Not ready; Resistance; Second-guessing; Say you “want” change, but you’re actually really not ready to take steps and/or your current values don’t align with what you say you want (such as saying, “I want to eat healthier,” but not wanting to “give up” takeout dinners or make time for meal prep)
  2. Pre-Contemplation: Thinking about change, learning about change and increasing awareness of your own ambivalence or resistance to change; Start using “change” talk—statements of determination, ability, and reasons needing commitment
  3. Contemplation: Learning and acquiring information about what is required to make change happen (talking to people who have made the changes before, reading, researching, etc.)
  4. Preparation: Beginning to construct a plan for how change will play out in your life; Getting ready for big things to happen
  5. Action: Putting your plan into action and taking the steps necessary
  6. Maintenance: The changes you’ve made have become habits. You’re now ready to embark upon another change

Bonus Stage: Believe (in Yourself)

Although it’s not included in the Transtheoretical Model of Change, a key “stage” for the entire process of change is belief—in yourself.

Simply put: Do you REALLY believe X is possible?

  • Do you believe it’s possible to conquer your eating issues or break free from chronic anxiety?
  • Do you believe it’s possible to lose or gain the weight?
  • Do you believe it’s possible to nourish your body in a new way?

 Until you believe change is possible, then full change—habits, health or lifestyle—is not fully possible.

Step 2: Know Your “Health Habit Change” Personality Type

Woman Writing, Setting Better Goals, Habit Change

When it comes to change: Are you an overthinker? A researcher? A rule follower? A non-conformist? A groupie? Understanding your “Health Habit Change” personality can make all the difference in seeing change through.

  • Love making goals and setting intentions. You’re a visionary and often find yourself thinking…and thinking…and thinking…about how great life will be when you just do or achieve _____. (And you will start “tomorrow”).
  • Constantly researching and Googling answers to your most pressing health questions. You’ve acquired lots of knowledge; however sometimes you are conflicted about what to believe—sometimes even questioning yourself.
  • Rule Follower. A classic rule-follower. Uphold diets and health advice to a tee—even if it doesn’t fit you best. Good at being restrictive if need be.
  • Non-Conformist. “Rule breaker” is your middle name. Don’t tell them you to do because you will do the opposite. March to the beat of your own drum and have a tough time following any rules set by others outside yourself.
  • Strongly desire community and accountability for change. Influenced by other’s opinions and even goals for you as well. Will change for other people if you must.

Think about former health habits you’ve changed in the past, and what personality type tends to shine through most. You may be more than one, but we all tend to gravitate towards a primary one.

When it comes to making impactful, sustainable change, chances are if you go against your natural personality type, then change WON’T be easy.  For example, if you’re a Rule Followr, you like to follow rules! How to make this work for you? Consider making a black-and-white plan for yourself or check-list!

Here are some strategies for each of the Health Habit Change types to consider “gaming” into your personal Total Gut Reset:

Strategies for your Health Habit Change Type

Choose one strategy to adopt into how you approach any “plan” or program.

    • Create a vision board for your health goals and stick it in a place where you can see it
    • Adopt a mantra that reminds you to “check in” and remember your primary goals and reasons behind the changes and choices you make (such as: “Choose Freedom,” “Real Health,” “Inside Out Wellness”)
    • Pencil in a weekly goal check-in date with yourself to set ONE intention for each week that you’d like to focus on
    • Connect with an accountability coach or partner to help keep you focused on your goal
    • Get a planner that inspires you
    • Set reminders on your phone for the basic changes or habits you’re creating
    • Put your money where your mouth is. Download an accountability goal setting app that makes you pay money if you don’t hit your goal.
    • Write your own articles, blogs, notes or bullet points about certain topics that interest you or that you question.
    • Myth or fact? For the articles or advice you read on Google, research what the PubMed or science backed research says about it.
    • Hire a healthcare provider (nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, etc.) who can help you decipher the facts.
    • Experiment on yourself. (Learning ourselves is often the best teacher).
    • Interview people who are experts in the certain areas of change or health that interest you for your own knowledge.
    • Research multiple sources—don’t just take from one place.
  • Rule Follower.
    • Work with a practitioner or coach to help you create a custom plan with clear black-and-white guidelines and less room for “trial and error,” along with ongoing support.
    • Use the Playbook in the back of this book for your play-by-play.
    • Put your money where your mouth is. Download an accountability goal setting app that makes you pay money if you don’t hit your goal.
    • Put reminders of your goals or make inspirational goal note cards/vision boards to put in places you will see them often to remind you of your goals.
    • Create a daily checklist with your top 3 goals for the day, and weekly intention (one main goal each week) that you’re working towards.
    • Get a planner that inspires you.
  • Non-Conformist.
    • Make up your own version of “rules” or “plan” instead of using the “rules” from others (a coach, this book, etc.)—take new insights and make them your own.
    • Realize your blind spots. How often have your own rule-making tendencies led you astray? Have a heart to heart with yourself to determine what, if anything, needs to change.
    • Consider working with a coach or practitioner to get started, then checking in as needed.
    • Be a leader yourself-start your own group for accountability, support and change together (that you found and make the rules).
    • Put your money where your mouth is. Download an accountability goal setting app that makes you pay money if you don’t hit your goal. (Money can help make things happen when we don’t).
    • Join a group program, create a group with your friend circle or recruit an accountability buddy to help you stay the course.
    • Work 1-on-1 with a practitioner on a regular basis to stay accountable, connected and see yourself through to the finish line.
    • Enlist a loved one or family members to join you in your new lifestyle change (i.e. eating healthy meals together)
    • Join a gym/fitness community, online groups and local meet-ups with people who are like-minded.

Work with yourself (not against yourself).

Step 3: Make New Habits

Writing New Goals, Making Checklist, Habit Change

Use this exercise to guide you in taking the pro-active next steps in your “habit change” adventure.

Part 1: Create 2 Lists:

  1. One list of the things you’d like to do for improving your health (these can be the healthy habits you already know work for you, as well as new habits you’d like to adopt)
  2. Then, make a list of the current habits (food, fitness, sleep, self-care, etc.) that you currently do every day—both “healthy” and “unhealthy” (such as binge watching Netflix with popcorn every night, or eating the same things every day).

Part 2: Compare your Lists

Simply acknowledge where you are at. In addition, bullet point what (if anything) may be standing in your way of making the desired change(s) you’d like to see.

Part 3: Create Your Sticky Note To-Do List

No need to overhaul your entire life right away. Start with a few things at a time—beginning with a “Sticky Note” list.

Each morning (or before you go to bed at night), prioritize the day ahead by simplifying your to-do list with a “sticky note” to-do list that includes at least ONE habit change action step.

Whip out a pad of sticky notes every night before you go to bed or the first thing in the morning

Ask yourself: What 3 things will I feel most accomplished having done or experienced in your day? Not just work or achievement related, but also self-care, relationships, events and beyond.

Make a list of your top 3 to-dos for the day—the top 3 things you’d most like to accomplish that day. Just three.  Keep your to-do list short (only enough to put on a small sticky note) and choose wisely.

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