of looking back over the month before and entering details of what I did, where I went, and who I saw on a wall calendar. I’ve been doing this for a good while now, since early 2000. It’s a great way to manage memorabilia (I collage together my tickets, notes, and business cards) and to reflect on the month that was. I wrote about my process a while back – check it out here.
What's your tendency?
Recently, though, I’ve begun to dread sitting down and doing this little ritual. Once I’m into it and on a roll I’m fine, it’s just getting started that is the problem it feels like. It doesn’t even take that long, 20 minutes or so. The funny thing is that it’s only me who wants me to do this task. No one else cares!
If you’re familiar with The Four Tendencies framework by Gretchin Rubin – I’m very much an Upholder. This means that I meet inner and outer expectations and sometimes I’m relentless about it. Curious as to what you are? Take the quiz here and let me know what you got!
Being aware of this Tendency of mine enabled me to observe myself with kindness and honestly ask myself “so why am I still doing it? Do I want to keep doing it?” In essence, I had to give myself permission to give it up if that’s what I wanted to do.
As Rubin says “When we understand ourselves and how our Tendency shapes our perspective on the world, we can adapt our circumstances to suit our own nature—and when we understand how other people’s Tendencies shape their perspective, we can engage with them more effectively.”
Knowledge is power
From asking myself questions and observing myself I was able to discover that yes, I still do want to keep doing it. I get a lot out of the reflection time and I enjoy the crafty-ness of collaging my memorabilia. So then the discussion became about what can I change so I look forward to doing it again? And from that I came up with ‘highlights only’ – maybe some days will be blank, and that’s okay! I don’t have to enter everything in. So I ‘diminished’ the task and now it’s less of a burden.
I think as humans, we’re often stressing about things we’ve added to our own to-do list, like me with this ritual, that no one else cares about. Or maybe our habit is placing unrealistic deadlines on ourselves that others wouldn’t expect of us. Once we become aware of these patterns and the undue stress they are causing, we have the opportunity to change them or remove them altogether. But awareness is key. I full-heartedly recommend investigating your Tendency. Knowledge is power and the more you know of yourself the better your time and life management will become.
PS: If you need more guidance on this or simply want to talk about The Four Tendencies (one of my favourite topics!!) feel free to book in for a call with me, click here to book in for a 30-minute chat.