Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Temperance and Temperaments

With the New Year fast approaching and resolutions on our minds, I would like to open a discussion around the issue of temperance. Temperance, defined as moderation and self-restraint, reigns as an irritating culprit to many of the standard New Years Resolutions. Any goal that requires limitations, cutting back, or defining new boundaries requires varying degrees of temperance for success.

As a Myers-Briggs personality type administrator, I have a passion for helping people understand how their type and temperament preferences influence their approach to working, learning, playing and communicating. You can learn more about the 16 MBTI personality types and the 4 temperament preferences on Wikipedia.org.

I believe that considering your natural temperament while planning your New Years resolution may help set you up for success! I will highlight an example of how to do this using the New Years resolution: “planning and designing a budget to increase savings.”

  • The Idealist Temperament (iNtuitive Feeling): NF’s naturally desire to please others and feel motivated by causes outside of themselves (usually idealistic ones!). NF’s will succeed most when they follow a budget for the love of a person or a cause, in the form of a personal mission. Their preference for abstract, big-picture thinking means that they may find detailed charts and number recording tedious and irritating. A budget system allowing some flexibility and creativity (like a monthly Splurge fund!) and recording weekly, rather than daily, would better serve an NF. NF’s generally love emotional support, so they might also benefit from involving their family or a support group in the process.
  • The Rational Temperament (iNtuitive Thinking): NT’s motivations come from their minds, not their hearts. They need to have an opportunity to compete with either themselves (for Introverts) or others (for Extraverts). The actual money and budget means less than the challenge of mastering the system they’ve designed to “win the game.” NT’s dislike failing above everything, so they will thrive best when they have an opportunity to intellectually understand their end goal and strategically design a custom plan for accomplishing it. An NT’s ideal budget would be one they’ve individually designed, starting from a template, and would involve innovative process strategies to give them a competitive edge.
  • The Artistan Temperamant (Sensing Perceiving): The SP lives for the moment, enjoying the practical, spontaneous and immediate. Long-term planning and goals will evade this type, so designing a budget strategy requires creativity (which they will probably like!). SP’s need to set tangible, short-term goals that emphasize doing and activity. SP’s need to view temperance one day at a time, setting daily goals for spending, or creating a game they can play each day to record their spending. Daily rewards catering to their senses would motivate them more than the big picture goal of saving money for a greater purpose.
  • The Guardian Temperament (Sensing Judging): The SJ Guardians are the most naturally suited for the disciplined structure that molds excess into temperance. As sensors, they are focused on facts, details and records, and their judging function lends them to enjoying long-term, goal oriented planning. In fact, most typical budget planning books, Quicken and Excel spreadsheets are designed for the classic SJ. If SJs have problems with temperance, it most likely results from external stress, or one of their two other preferences (extraversion or feeling) causing problems. Extraverted SJs may be tempted more by social pressures and external factors; and SJ feelers, if stressed, might use spending for comfort.

We all want to achieve personal success – and it’s absolutely possible for each and everyone one of us. But I have to admit that every little bit that helps us along the way counts. So, I pose the question…

How might you custom design your own temperament-friendly temperance plan for the New Year?

Coach Allison Aboud


Anonymous said...

Allison, great description of (us) NF's. However, I may be a little SP too, now I'm not too sure. But either way, can you help me stay out of the Christmas cookies?!? If I don't, I'm going to have to make a great big New Year's resolution about losing weight! Coach Sue

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