Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” is one of my favorite songs of all time, and it has absolutely nothing to do with this article. Just saying.
I wanted to take a quick second and talk about Monday, the well known and well hated first day of the week. Monday is probably the most dreaded day on the weekly calendar. It means that we all get to end whatever fun we had from the weekend and prepare ourselves for the workweek.
On Mondays, most work environments reach dangerously high toxic levels when it comes to people’s attitudes and overall outlook on life. That kind of negativity can be a real drain on someone who is trying to make the best of a Monday, pursue greatness and improve their mind, body or spirit.
I used to despise Mondays.
I was one of those people. It wasn’t the alarm clock in the morning, it was the ineffective armor that I brought with me into the work environment which was quickly penetrated by those who weren’t so chipper. Life beats people down, but most times it seems like we are accepting of this beat down. Almost like we cannot change it. “It is what it is” kind of thing.
Actually, I really hated Sunday’s because although it is a day off and considered a day of “rest”, it just meant that Monday is right around the corner. Just hours away. On Sundays, you can “kinda sorta” have fun and do something cool, but not really. It’s a bit of a tease.
Back to Mondays. As I lightly mentioned, my attitude has always been brighter than most on Monday, but I still went to bed on Sunday night anticipating the blare of the alarm clock. It always seems a bit more shrill on a Monday morning at 5:30am. Weird. Waking up early has never been an issue for me. It’s a time to enjoy some coffee and focus on ideas and creation. All good things right?
- Check out my referral article on coffee and how it helps the move things along (or out I should say) and also serves as an appetite suppressant.
A while ago, I made a small commitment to myself. Despite not minding the early morning Monday awakening, I needed to be a little more proactive on a Monday. Aggressive if you will. I started thinking that maybe I should attempt to dominate Monday’s with the achievement drive that I used to gain momentum and dominate later in the week. By Thursday and Friday, I am a rockstar when it comes to getting things done.
But that’s too long to wait. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are perfectly good days to get shit done and move forward with life.
Why make a dreary day even more dreary? Monday is what it is, so why not approach it proactively versus reactively?
(Good personal trainers and holistic health coaches understand the proactive versus reactive theory… I applaud you)
As it pertains to fitness, Monday is a tough day for most people to get a training session in. I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it is the long, drug out Monday workday that makes people feel like they need to rest up, or maybe it’s the general attitude that most people carry throughout the day, which ends up spilling over to the thought of working out. I really don’t know.
I do know that if you can get your ass out of bed in good shape early on a Monday morning, you’ll have the run of the gym. It’s a ghost town in most gyms on a Monday morning, except maybe the Monday immediately after New Year’s. On that particular Monday it will be like some sort of circus attraction in the gym. But as we all know, that fizzles out rather quickly, doesn’t it?
Making an effort to be slightly better than average or working to improve health is the last thing most people think about on Monday morning. That my friends, can be learned, yet it is definitely an acquired taste. Those who stay dedicated to a Monday morning or evening routine health and wellness-wise have built character. Character is what you do when no one is there watching you.
So, as I was saying, I decided to ramp up my attitude and willingness to get stuff done on Mondays.
—>Here are my general guidelines for Mondays<—
1) Do everything (tasks, chores, etc) that I dread doing, and complete it as early in the day as humanly possible.
2) Under no circumstances do I dare hit snooze (I typically don’t anyways it’s just a reminder)
3) Workout no matter what.
4) Dominate the food I eat no matter what (starts with breaking the fast).
5) Mandatory two glasses of ice water before eating no matter what.
6) Write SOMETHING no matter what (building the future).
7) Smile and say hi to as many people as possible.
8) Get into as many conversations as possible (without being weird about it)
9) Establish/finalize what I want to accomplish for the days ahead.
Now those are Monday guidelines. What I have found to make Monday so much tolerable and productive is to take some of the usual Monday load and put in on Sunday. That’s right Sunday, you’re involved now. Sunday you hung around long enough, you just got the call up.
For all the guys out there (since I am a guy) I typically shave, lay out work clothes and set out breakfast related items (that don’t need to be refrigerated) on Sunday night. I also make a short checklist of everything that is going to be happening or I need to get done on Monday and set it on the table that I eat at each morning.
The checklist ritual is BRUTALLY EFFECTIVE. The “brain dump” as it is commonly referred, has been one of the most simple yet effective integrations into my life. When you jour down every little worry that has potential to create stress you before or during the night time sleeping hours, you can sleep like a baby knowing that you won’t forget anything.
It sounds ridiculously but try it for a week straight. You’ll sleep like a small child.
Write it on anything! I have used post-it notes, notebook paper, the back of a utility bill, receipts, my iPhone Reminders App (with alarm set), etc. I have even use the back of my hand, but that looks a bit tacky, especially if you cannot get the ink off in the shower the next morning. If you use your hands and your success in the workplace demands a clean look, you might want to invest the $1.00 in a post-it note pad. Just saying.
Take a proactive approach to your health, career and overall well-being Mondays.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
Why? Because most people don’t, and you don’t want to be like most people do you? I sure as hell don’t. I watched video that got me fired up recently where Ray Lewis makes some great points to some young basketball players.
His message was simple: Do whatever it takes to put yourself into that 1% in your craft.
(P.S. I don’t believe that Ray works out 5 times a day, because that is overkill, but that was a minor hiccup in his fantastic message)
Now, YOUR craft can be anything in this world. It is exclusive to you. If keeping yourself fit is important, then go for it, don’t just go through the motions in hopes of making it happen. Hoping is like wishing and fitness isn’t something that should be hoped or wished for. It is something that is accomplished by emotional and achievement drive. Make it happen for shit-sake. The only person holding you back is you. Understand?
Bottomline is this: Attack Mondays, don’t let them eat you alive. Heck, take Ray Lewis’s advice and put yourself in the top 1% for Monday domination. If you approach Monday like you are just looking to survive, you’re going to at best stay the same if not take a step backward. If put yourself on autopilot to get through Monday, you’re risking getting steam rolled at some point. It will happen. You get caught with your hand in the cookie jar sooner or later.
Do you have any tips for me? Things that you do that have helped you deal with Monday?
Let’s connect as I would love to hear them…
Cheers on MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY (@ 5:45am)…
(P.S.#1 Whoever counts the number of times I said “Monday” in this article gets a fist pump)
(P.S.#2 How to Stranglehold the Monday Workout… coming soon)