Using the four pillars to build any routine

Using the four pillars to build any routine

An article by Jess Eddy on medium caught my attention this morning (mostly because I could use help with motivation to rebuild my former fitness habits). While reading it stuck out to me that Gretchen Rubin's strategies of Monitoring, Accountability, Scheduling, Foundation, which she refers to as a "The Four Pillars", can be applied to every long-term goal we set for ourselves. There's a quiz on her website that allows you to identify what type you are if you're not familiar with her work. I took the quiz and identified as a Rebel, which I totally get. 


By learning what type of tendencies you have (use the quiz above to find that out), you can use Gretchen's 4 Pillars of Habits (below) to build a new routine.


  • Monitoring: You manage what you monitor, so find a way to monitor whatever matters.
  • Foundation: First things first, so begin by making sure to get enough sleep, eat and drink right, move, and un-clutter.
  • Scheduling: If it’s on the calendar, it happens.
  • Accountability: You do better when you know someone’s watching–even if you’re the one doing the watching.

Do you have any ideas on how you would you use these strategies to build or bolster your habits?

Janice James - W+H Community Manager
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Re: Using the four pillars to build any routine

One interesting thing that I've heard about monitoring your habits is that the very fact of monitoring them causes you to improve them. Let's say you decide to monitor all the sweets that you eat, and keep a written record of them. Just knowing you'd have to write down the piece of apple pie you want to have for breakfast would dissuade you from eating it.

It works for positive reinforcement, too. If you start writing down all the books you read, you'll want to create an impressive list, which means you'll read more books, with more substance to them. Neat how that works out!