People begin and end fitness and nutrition plans all the time. They begin with high hopes and end a few months later a little discouraged. What went wrong? Why did they fail?
I’m convinced that there are many diets that are healthy and can help you lose weight. I’m convinced that most exercise programs will help you get in better shape. Additionally, I’m convinced that it isn’t the diet or exercise program that matters, it’s the strategy or modality that you use to follow the program.
We fail at our fitness and exercise programs because we are utilizing strategies that are not a good fit with our personality.
So what is your personality type? If you don’t know, I recommend visiting https://www.keirsey.com. You can take the personality inventory for free, or pay and get a comprehensive description of your type (there are 16 different types). If you are a J (Judging) vs. P (Perceiving), then you prefer more structure and more routine.
I am an INFP. The P means perceiving and indicates that I prefer less structure in my life. Here is what the experts say about me:
- A live-and-let-live attitude comes naturally to INFPs, and they dislike being constrained by rules.
- They are spontaneous and often juggle several projects at once. They enjoy starting a task better than finishing it.
- Because of the preference for perceiving over judging, people with INFP have both the positive characteristics of the perceiving type (flexibility, adaptability, openness, etc.) as well as the negative (disorganization, messiness, indecisiveness, etc.).
This means that I don’t do well with structured programs. I don’t do well with programs that require week-after-week of adherence; to programs that require me to monitor and use some level of self-control over a lifetime. I know myself and I know that this strategy does not work. I need dieting and fitness breaks. If my workouts are more intuitive and not so regimented, I’ll do better.
Get to know yourself through this assessment and then adjust your dieting strategy to better suit your personality. You’ll enjoy it more and you’ll be more likely to maintain it over a lifetime.