Archives for January 2018

The 4 Tendencies

“Ok Google…”

How to make new habits…

How to make good habits…

How to break bad habits…

How to make habits stick…

How long to make habits stick…

When people are trying to figure out how to actually make goals happen they know they have to make and break habits.  I mean, you know that… right?  Of course, you do!  Yet, each year people choose to make new habits around this time and fail repeatedly.  We may not truly grasp how bad, old habits are broken, but just about everyone can grasp the concept of how new habits are formed:  We make a decision to make a new habit, get repetitions of said habit in daily, and over ‘x’ amount of time it will become something we do automatically without putting as much time, energy, and thought into it.  Simple!  Or maybe not so simple.

I’ve recently become a podcast guy.  I love listening to podcasts that discuss productivity, human nature, psychology, relationships, and business.  Just the other day I was listening to The Tim Ferris Show and he was interviewing an author by the name of Gretchen Rubin (I’ll include links to Tim’s podcast and the interview at the end).   Amidst all the talk about Gretchen’s upbringing, books, and publishing, Tim’s questions her ideas around making and breaking habits to which Gretchen dives into what she calls the “4 Tendencies.” 

Now, before I list and discuss Gretchen’s 4 Tendencies I just want to say that I’m not really in favor of putting people and their ‘personality types’ into boxes.  I will also say that these 4 tendencies make a lot of sense and identifying with one of them may give you some insight into the ways you typically respond to goal setting.  With this info and a fresh perspective, my hopes are that you might be able to come up with a few alternative methods proving more effective than the ones you currently use when setting and working toward achieving goals.

So, let’s get into it, shall we?

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Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies as noted from her book, The 4 Tendencies.

Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies

When discussing goal setting and achievement there are two kinds of goals a person can have which she refers to as inner and outer expectations.  An example of an inner expectation would be one you’d set for yourself like, ‘I’m going to start a new diet,’ or ‘I’m going to go to the gym 3 times per week.’  An outer expectation would be one that is given or assigned to you by others, like your boss for instance.  How we execute these goals depend on our tendencies as Gretchen would claim.  So what are these tendencies? 

Tendency #1.  The Upholder

The upholder is one who readily takes on internal and external goals and can focus their effort on accomplishing them until they are done and move onto the next set of goals.  In fact, the Upholder needs to have goals readily available to work on because achieving things is essentially what they do.  

The downside to being an Upholder is they can tend to be cold to others around them.  They can become super strict in maintaining course on they objectives and brush people off.  For example, if a woman came home to her husband one day and told him that old friends were coming to town tonight for a surprise visit, and upholder would say, “Oh well I guess you’ll be alone with them because I have to run 10 miles in preparation for my marathon in a few months.”

Tendency #2.  The Questioner

This person questions all expectations.  It has to make sense in order for them to even take the first step.  In a way, they turn everything into an inner expectation.  As they are presented with outer expectations they question whether the tasks at hand meet their standards.  If it meets their standards, they’re game to take on new goals.  If it doesn’t meet their standards or if it seems irrational or illogical they will resist.  

You guys are kind of a pain in the ass for us trainers to work with… no offense.  You like to take all expectations and make them internal.  We as trainers give you options, you seem to resist every one of them, and show up in the gym the next day with a “brilliant new idea” that kinda sounds similar to yesterday’s option #2.  See what I’m getting at?   But we still got love for ya.

 Tendency #3.  The Rebel

You’re the small crowd of the four tendencies and you guys just resist everything.  You don’t like to be told what to do.  You can meet internal expectation, but you’ll even sabotage your internal expectations if you feel others expect them from you.  And, of course, external expectations… well they’re not happenin’.

Tendency #4.  The Obliger  

This final tendency tends to be the most common and commonly the type of person I find at my doorstep.  The Obliger is the person who’s great at meeting other’s expectations, but because they put others first all the time, they fall short of meeting their own expectations.  This is the kind of person who over-delivers at work, putting in countless hours to exceed other’s standards, and never get’s a chance to put themselves first.  

I’m going to bet that the majority of people who will read this will relate to being an Obliger.  I also believe we as a country produce Obligers in the way we are brought up in school and sports.  We’re so eager to please and seek approval.  Of course, this can make you a very dependable person, too…

…until your health finally suffers too greatly to do anything anymore because you always put your well-being last while taking caring of everyone else’s needs on every beck and call.

So forget about your new year’s resolution.  Stop trying to set goals for yourself, because let’s face it.  You’re never going to get them done anyway, right?  This is you.  You kick ass at doing things for others and flat out suck at achieving your own goals, so give it up.  

Or maybe it’s not time to give up…

If you’re an Obliger you may say things to yourself things like,

“When I was in college and played sports, I showed up to practice and exercised every day.  Why can’t I get myself to workout just a couple times a week and stick to it?”  

If you think about it, playing sports when you were in school meant you were on a team and your teammates depended on you to do your part as a member of the team. Your coaches were on your ass the moment you were late to practice.  There was accountability and that meant as an Obliger you worked diligently to meet those outer expectations.  

So when relating your actions the time you were on a team to the times you just set goals for yourself, in essence, your relating apples to oranges.  You’re asking yourself why you were so good at doing one thing and terrible at another when now you can clearly see the difference between the two environments.  

In one scenario you had a boatload of accountability and you worked your butt off to meet other’s expectations and therefore performed well in your sport.  In the other scenario your only accountability is you, and looking back now with this new perspective you may notice that historically this hasn’t worked for you.  The goals you set for yourself just get bogged down by all the things you end up having to do for everyone else.  

The good news is, with this understanding you can put yourself in environments which foster your success by taking those inner expectations and making them outer expectations and here’s how.  Just like the days when you were part of a team or a club and you successfully maintained healthy productive habits, you can find people with common goals and a coach to team up with and find the accountability you need to keep you on track.

I know it sounds simple, but for many, asking for help is hard and maybe at times embarrassing.  Many would think of being an Obliger as a weakness, but it’s not!  Don’t identify with the idea that you’re not as motivated as an Upholder is, 0r view the fact that you benefit from using a community of people to help you stay on track as a disability.  Use what works!  

At FitLife Fusion we have a private facebook group.  If you’re a member of FitLife Fusion and your reading this you know what I’m about to say.  If you’re not one of our members, then I’m about to give you the key to taking your internal expectations and transforming them into external expectations which will now line you up for success in achieving goals that you originally set for yourself.  

The Key to success as an Obliger

Don’t just join a gym and try to hold yourself accountable for daily exercise and dieting.  Even if you enlist the help of a friend with similar goals you’ll most likely end up quitting together (and you can read about why friends don’t help friends in a recent blog post, “The Friend Effect” Why friends don’t really help friends).    

Instead, join a group.  Work with a professional who knows the route you must take and doesn’t hold back when you need to be checked back onto the path.  When you join an accountability group whether it be a private group on Facebook like ours or a group of friends or colleagues, be sure to use the group!  participate.  Tell people your goals and put it all out there.  Ask questions.  Join in on the conversation.  Get uncomfortable and maybe allow yourself be a bit vulnerable.  This is how you can leverage a group and transform inner expectations into outer expectations.

And as I said, if you are a member here at FiLife Fusion, USE THE GROUP!  Participate.  Post an update of things that may not even seem important.  It helps to stay present in the group.  It provides accountability.     I promise, if you find yourself to be an obliger, which many of us are, this is the answer to getting yourself focused on crushing your goals in 2018!


The Four Tendencies Quiz:

More on Gretchen Rubin:

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast & blog):

GO TIME! 2018 New Year – No Quit Challenge

The Captains of Team FitLife


Alright, everyone!  Monday, January 8th starts the 4-week New Year – No Quit Challenge!  Below you will find the teams listed and who your team captain is.  Keep a look out on the Team FitLife private Facebook group for tips, tricks, info, and instructions. 

***Something I want to emphasize…

I know it can be difficult sometimes to put yourselves out there for people to see, but I’d like to encourage all of you to participate as much as possible on the private Facebook group.  First of all, know that what you post in the group WILL NOT show up on your public feed.  The only people who will see your posts are the people who are already in the group.  All members of the group are present or past members of FitLife Fusion.  

Feel free to share, declare, and ask as much as you’d like.  Putting it out there for others with common goals to see can help tremendously.  It helps the person who shares by putting thought into action and it helps those who read by knowing there are others out there who also experience similar struggles or maybe others who have had similar struggles and overcame them. 

So share.  đź™‚

The Teams

Team Hasani

Team Jenn

Team Peter





Cindy B.




Kristine L.



Jason Thomas








Liz Gordillo & Fam



Cindy M.


Kristine S.


Katie E.






Katie H. 


Scott Crawley



Justin M.


Justin E.









Remember!  You can contact your team captain via email anytime!  We’re here to help, support, answer questions, and kick you in the ass (if you need one, lol).

The first Challenge will be posted tomorrow.  Let’s do it, guys!


“The Friend Effect” Why friends don’t really help friends

The Friend Effect

A New Year Blog Post by Peter Pinto
The New Year is here!  You’re probably thinking about your health or, more accurately, your weight.  The new year, of course, brings with it new hope, and therefore you’re most likely excited about hitting the gym or beginning a regiment of running and biking.  Regardless of the exercise you choose, you know exercise shall be done, along with eating smarter which will take place simultaneously… not a moment sooner.  There’s just one last thing you need to obtain in order for your goals to come to fruition.  A friend.  A comrade to help you stay disciplined while you share in the pain and starvation.  Someone who will accept your lies detailing the deliciousness of kale and pea protein smoothies.  
Now, exercise and cleaning up your diet doesn’t need to be as painful as I just made it sound.  I talk about smarter ways to make your diet and exercise plans more enjoyable often, but that isn’t what this article is about.  This is about one of the greatest flaws in habit change people don’t talk about.  “The friend effect.” 

Here’s a common example of the “Friend Effect” in play.  

It’s the new year and you’ve decided to get fit.  Most likely, this is the 5th 6th or 7th new year you’ve decided to get fit, but this year will be different.  Yes, you’ve failed all of those other times along with a handful of additional occasions that had nothing to do with the New Year, but this year… this year will be different!  This year you’re going to find a friend with a similarly shitty health situation and combine forces to keep each other on track.  Your friend has likely failed at losing weight and keeping it off even more times than you have, but she too will reap the benefits of this colossal, collaborative quest!  
Let’s set the scene.  You and your buddy are both, let’s say, 30 pounds overweight.  You both feel like you lack discipline. You discuss with one another how doing everything together will prevent you from giving in to the usual cravings and weaknesses to which you commonly admit defeat.  When one of you is feeling lazy, the other will be there to provide the proverbial boot in the ass!  While one of you reach for the slice of pizza the other will be there to slap it out of the weakling’s hand.  
The plan is flawless!  No one has ever failed to achieve their New Year’s resolution when they’ve teamed up with a partner in possession of the same goal!  

It’s Go-Time!

You start off, day one.  You and your teammate head to the local gym together and get a serious 1-hour workout in.  You may have overworked yourself, and you know you’re going to pay for it later in the form of soreness, but the energy was flowing and there was no way you were leaving that gym until you felt sufficiently worked.  This goes on for the next 2 or 3 workouts, and then one day your friend texts you just before you head out the door and says, ”I’m so tired.  Work was really stressful.  I think I need to let my body rest a bit and I’ll get back into it tomorrow. 
You give it the ol’ college try to motivate your pal with your text response, “Aw c’mon!  You’ll feel better once you start moving.  Let’s go! I’ll meet you at the gym (muscle emoji)!”  
Radio silence… 
Then the next text comes through, “I can’t.  I’m sorry.  Tomorrow for sure!”
And along with the sound of that last text alert comes the crashing of the first domino. 

A Crack in the Foundation…

On another day during lunch, you decide a salad just isn’t going to cut it.  You’ve been having a bad day since the moment you had opened your eyes.  You missed your alarm, woke up late, and didn’t have time to grab a morning coffee.  Then when you got to work, everything that could go wrong went wrong.  You know what’ll make you feel better?  Eating a familiar meal.  Maybe a turkey sandwich with all the fixings on some artisan bread, a soda… and a chocolate chip cookie to cap it off.  Luckily your friend is there put a stop to this madness.
“Just eat something healthy.  The bread is going to ruin your progress.”  Your accountability partner warns.
You quickly defend your decision.  â€śI know. I know.  I just need to have something right now.  I’m too stressed.  My day has been terrible from the start.  I just don’t care right now.”
Your friend, being sympathetic, understands what you’re going through gives you a soft look and simply nods.  She gets it.  She’s been there plenty of times herself.  

Support vs. Support

This is the “friend effect.”  Because you and your friend both struggle in this same area, you too easily sympathize with one another over the struggles of a stressful work life, a lack of energy, and feelings of guilt around self-sabotage.  Instead of supporting and checking each other in times of weakness, you support each other in another way by consoling one another in moments of failure.  You end up supporting each other emotionally when you fail because that’s what friends do.  That’s not the kind of support you were looking for when started this whole new year resolution thing, right?  You see where I’m going with this.
The point is, if you have a big goal you want to reach, you can’t team up with someone at the same level of success in that area.  You must seek out someone who has already achieved some level of success in that field.  We already intuitively know this when operating in the business world.  You most likely wouldn’t take someone’s advice on running a business if they haven’t already achieved a respectable level of success beyond what you’ve already been able to accomplish in yours.  When others try to give you advice on making more money and they’re broke, you kind of listen, but in your mind, you already distrust the source of information.  This is why you must find and partner up with someone who has achieved a certain level of health beyond what you have achieved.  
Seek out a friend whose new year’s resolution isn’t at all about getting fit and healthy because they already are!  Align yourself with someone who already has all the discipline and focus you need to grow in order to consistently take steps toward your goals.

Hire a Coach

When we work with people in our gym, we understand our role.  We’re not here to help you rationalize why you’ve failed in the past.  We’re here to help you make the right decisions and grow the habits needed to get healthy and fit. We’re here to guide and push you to stay the path. 
Most people just sign up to a local big box gym, like Anytime Fitness, LVAC, EOS, or 24 Hour Fitness, and 95% of people start strong, fail, feel terrible, and inevitably waste good money.  Don’t let this be you this year.  
Join us this January to get the best start you’ve ever had to your new year.  The FitLife Fusion New Year Challenge starts January 5th, it’s $97 to enter, and you’ll get all of the following tools to put you ahead of the game this year.  The best part is you will be assigned to a team and each team will be captained by one of our highly skilled NeuroPro Trainers.  Here’s what you get:
  • 4 weeks of unlimited classes at FitLife Fusion ( for our class schedule”).
  • Daily guidance and advice from your assigned NeuroPro Trainer
  • Nutrition Guidance, Meal Examples, Grocery List
  • Workshops on such topics of Pain Reduction, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Motivation. 
  • Invitation to a private support group on facebook supervised by our NeuroPro Trainers.

Visit and tell us what your goals are in  2018!

Teaming up with a friend for your new year resolution may not be the best idea. Here’s why…