I can barely believe I’m halfway through The Tending Year!
To celebrate, I reviewed all of the posts I’ve shared this year and I gathered five lessons that have had the biggest impact on my practices and perspectives.
In no specific order, please enjoy my top five tending tips (so far!).
Individualize Your Tending Plan
Most of my favorite posts include specific questions that help me to adapt broad self development concepts to my own experience. By getting to know myself better, I am able to play to my strengths, and by learning which situations will allow me to thrive and succeed, I am better able to guide myself away from paths that don’t serve me rather than trying to force myself to fit into a general self development trend or concept.
For example, learning that I fit into Gretchen Rubin’s “Obliger” tendency in her Four Tendencies system allowed me to replicate external accountability rather than repeatedly beating myself up for not being a natural at internal accountability. Similarly, taking time to reflect on what it was that I really enjoyed about the process of research and writing helped me to develop a new perspective based in my interests and skills. This made revision feel enjoyable, and I ended up feeling proud of myself and motivated.
Recommended posts on Individualizing Your Tending Plan:
Week 2: Three Keys to Abundance
Weel 15: Habits 101
Week 16: Enjoy the Process
Ease Decision Making with Tools
This year has had some major ups and downs in terms of healing, and reading through the last six months of posts showed me that I struggled the most when I was overwhelmed with stress or pain. When I was facing difficulties, I often struggled to self-refect and choose which tool would be the best to calm my nervous system or help me reframe my mindset.
Instead, I learned to rely upon predetermined toolkits that my wise and grounded mind had prepared for me. This includes actions like naming and externalizing my internal critic and pulling up vetted meditations by Sarah Blondin on topics like “Giving Yourself Permission” and “Self Love.” By collecting these calming tools when I was feeling well, I gave myself more agency to choose healing when I was feeling overwhelmed.
Recommended posts on Easing Decision Making with Tools:
Week 22: Negative Self-Talk
Week 24: Regarding Self Care
Be Kinder to Yourself
It’s no surprise that The Tending Year has been a venue for me to flesh out the helpful and hurtful parts of my drive for success. My perfectionistic tendencies can be a source of motivation to accomplish more that I previously thought I could do, but they can also easily veer off into negative self talk if I don’t meet my sometimes unrealistic expectations.
When I focused on changing the stories I was telling myself about what it meant to be “good enough,” I better understood why I was choosing to be mean to myself. Having learned this, I could then actively replace that negativity with compassion and positivity. Sometimes that meant faking it until I believed it, but very often it resulted on learning how to guide myself to a kinder self awareness.
Recommended posts on Being Kinder to Yourself:
Week 21: Perfectionism and Pain
Week 25: Embracing the Gray Area
Set Parameters for Productivity
I love being productive! The mere fact that I am simultaneously studying self development while I work on my dissertation is a key example of this drive to take in and produce knowledge. Unfortunately, I sometimes struggle to recognize when I’ve done well and should thus close the books for the day.
In order to reframe my thoughts about what counted as “enough” productivity, I utilize specific tools and frameworks that help me set parameters. Perhaps the best one has been the app Todoist, which allows me to track my productivity by task and sets a daily goal for the number of tasks I should accomplish. Working in 90-Minute Sessions also reminds me that it is okay not to finish an entire project in one sitting; rather, working for 90 minutes and switching it up helps me to recognize my accomplishments and gives me permission to say “I did a great job today!”
Recommended posts on Setting Parameters for Productivity:
Week 5: Mindful Production
Week 10: Conscious Input and Output
Week 20: How to Schedule
Shoot for Long Term Goals
I was fascinated with the overlaps I observed between my recovery from alcoholism and my struggles with other negative coping mechanisms. By using my recovery as an analogy, I reframed my thinking about topics such as workaholism and dissociation, and this helped me to repurpose recovery tools for other challenges in my life.
For example, I found more self-compassion for myself in healing from Complex PTSD, and I resaw my negative self talk as a coping skill that had previously helped me to survive, but which no longer serves my current experiences. When I realized that my perfectionism might be tied to fears about scarcity or my self worth, I sought out tools to help reframe my mindset and get be back on the healing path I want to be on.
Recommended posts on Shooting for Long Term Goals:
Week 12: Recovery
Week 18: Self-Validation
Week 22: Workaholic Tendencies
Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to share that The Tending Year has been meaningful to you.
I am thrilled that my blog is having a positive effect on people, and I look forward to bringing you even more tending tips over the rest of the year! If you have any suggestions, topic requests, or just want to say hello, please reach out to me via email at [email protected] and connect with me on Instagram and on Facebook!
*Please note that the original version of this blog post was published here.
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