May 27, 2020The Ripple Effect Blog

Fill your tanks

There is a sense of optimism on 01 January of every year that the year ahead will be a good one. 

Where does this optimism stem from?  To a large degree it stems from nothing more than a change of year.  

Most commitments to changing behaviour in the form of resolutions are broken, so nobody is confident in them anymore.  It all comes down to the change in date.

Challenges will test your resolution

If celebrating the start to a new year brings an energy for the twelve months that lie ahead, it better be a big dose of energy.  In the case of 2020, we are only in May and we have had our fair share of challenges.

The start of 2020 brought about a long-needed change for me.  I realised that relying on the new-year for a boost was futile.  I decided to create that new-year optimism in a time frame that will serve me.  Once a year was not going to do it.  

My commitment to self, was to go through a reset-process at the beginning of each day.

It does not matter how badly a day comes to an end or how well I cope with everything every day if I am best set up for success at the start of the next day.

The best version of myself

I decided to formulate an idea of the best version of myself.  What do I need at the start of a day and what do I not want to take into a day?

I pictured two sets of tanks.  The first set needed to be full to be useful to me.  The second set needed to be empty to be useful to me.  I decided on the number of five tanks per category.

I listed the following:

  • My full tanks – energy, patience, optimism / faith, creativity and discernment.
  • My empty tanks – fear, stress, toxins / excess weight, clutter and emotional baggage.

Then as with new-year, I needed a ritual.  A ritual which I would experience as the reset.

Not the most difficult decision I’ve ever made – Nespresso.  The ritual of filling the tank, warming it up, choosing the pod, pushing the button and hearing the distinctive sound of the coffee being formulated.  

It is working.

There was another change. I decided to set a time to switch the lights off at night and have an early start in the morning, resulting in high levels of consistent sleep.  Sleep is a major energiser and an important healing process for the body and mind.

This too is working.

In the five months since implementing these routines, I have done extremely well.  At times my reset has not been enough to get me through a day without beginning to feel the drain.  More was needed.

I have added healthier eating choices, exercise and new aspects of Emotional Fitness including a focus on endurance.  These too are working notwithstanding the odd slips which have necessitated the further commitment to developing higher levels of resilience.

Visualisation is a handy tool

I decided to add visualisation into the Nespresso ritual.  I picture a flat round stone, the kind I would select when picking stones to skim across water. The right stone can bounce multiple times, each time creating ripples.  This is one picture.  

This skimming is most effective on flat water, but life has not been flat since 01 January 2020.  Another picture was needed to balance the trying times for which the light stone is not equipped.  Enter a large ship that can withstand the waves.  It would be marvellous if life was without its ups and downs but like the sea, there will be waves and, at times, large ones.  

Two pictures that are both needed.  In one situation I can call on the stone in another I can call on the ship.  The trick is to have both to call on.

No doubt my process will need tweaking.  All I can say is that my daily new-year is proving more effective than my old annual new-year.

Try it out for yourself:

  • The best version of you.
  • The tanks you need to be full.
  • The tanks you need to be empty.
  • Your daily reset processes.
  • Your energy enablers.
  • Your resilience mechanisms.
  • Your visualisation.
  • Your situational coping requirements.
  • Your review processes.

Under the banner of ‘Against the Traffic’, I promote tackling life in ways that are different from the norm.  I coach one-on-one sessions and facilitate team development workshops.  

By Louis Gerke

Facilitator |  Coach | Trainer | Speaker

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