When the Bangles sang about Manic Mondays and wishing it was Sundays, most of us probably nodded our heads in agreement. After a great weekend, nobody wants to start the working week again, and finding your Monday motivation can feel like a slog. The problem is, it’s that attitude that sets you up for a bad week ahead.
But don’t worry, because in this article I am going to share with you 10 Monday morning habits which will ensure that the next five days are brilliant, productive, and most of all, enjoyable.
1. Wake up Early
We’ve all been there, hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock when it goes off on a Monday morning. That five minutes of extra time in bed can’t hurt, can it?
Well, the truth is, it can. Hitting that button automatically means that when you do get up, you’re already running behind.
Here’s a radical idea: set the alarm clock for even earlier than you normally would, and get up when it goes off.
- Put your alarm clock/phone out of reach, so that once it goes off you have to get out of bed to switch it off. Once you’re out of bed, there’s no point getting back in.
- Once you’re up, do a few stretches to get the blood flowing around your body. This will help you feel energized and ready to go.
- Go and take a shower. By leaving your bedroom, you are leaving sleep behind and once you shower you will feel like your day has begun.
You can set your own routine, and after a few days of getting up early, it will become a habit. But what are the benefits of being an early riser?
- It will give you time. Sticking to your usual get up/ get dressed/ get the kids ready/ grab toast on the way out of the door leaves little time for personal care. By setting your alarm an hour earlier, for example, you will have time to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the morning without all the rushing about.
- It puts you ahead of schedule. Think about an occasion when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do ahead of time, and how great that felt. Getting up early does exactly that, every single day.
- It sets the tone for the rest of the week. While getting up early is a great habit on any day of the week, doing it on a Monday morning is a signal to your psyche that that’s how the week is going to go.
No longer the domain of spiritual gurus, meditation is something that everybody should do at least once a day. Of course, any time is a good time to take 5, but on a Monday morning, it is especially important to meditate as soon as you wake.
- By managing to focus on your breathing you are training your brain to also focus on other tasks, too.
- Instead of beginning the day, and the week, in a rush, you are starting out with a calm serenity that will stay with you, rather than everything passing in a panicked blur.
- It lessens anxiety and stress. This is because meditation allows you to observe your emotions and your thoughts and deal with them as a bystander – objectively and matter-of-factly.
3. Practice Gratitude
Whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction, being grateful for the good things in your life will attract more good things and vice versa. Starting the week with gratitude is a great way to put a positive slant on everything.
- Thinking or talking positively about the week ahead will make it a positive week. Thoughts become things, so by waking up on a Monday and saying ‘thank you for the great week this week’, you will have a great week.
- Spending a few minutes thinking about the good things in your life, no matter how small, will make you realize all the great things you actually have. This puts you in a great frame of mind, which will have a knock-on effect for the rest of the day/week.
- Feel real gratitude that you are alive. Many people won’t have the opportunity to wake up, so your first thought on waking should be ‘thank you for giving me another beautiful day’, because the alternative is unthinkable.
4. Indulge in Some Personal Development
Every day is an opportunity to become a better version of yourself, so use that extra hour in your morning to inject some inspiration and motivation into your life. Whether it’s listening to a podcast, reading a book, or watching a Ted Talk, check out some great motivational speakers and incorporate them into your day.
- Breakfast is a great time to fed your soul as well as your body. Sit down with a healthy meal and tune into someone you admire, someone who has achieved what you want to achieve.
- Stick in your earbuds and take your own personal cheerleader with you when you go for a run or practice yoga. It will spur you on in both your exercise and your working week.
- Immerse yourself in positivity. Any time you have a spare 15 minutes, read about how someone overcame adversity, or became successful against the odds, and put what they’re telling you into practice.
5. Treat Yourself
I’m not talking about indulging in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s here, but make Monday the day you do something you really enjoy. That way, rather than it being a day you dread, it will become your favorite day of the week. For example:
- Make Monday night movie night. Knowing that you have a chilled, enjoyable evening planned will make getting up on a Monday morning something to look forward to.
- Have a regular spa session, even if it is at home. Male or female, everyone enjoys a bit of ‘me time, so make Monday night that time and run a bath, pour a glass of wine, and relax.
6. Make Breakfast the Best Meal of the Day
Okay, so it might sound like something your mother drummed into you, but she was right; breakfast is important. Just like trying to drive a car with no fuel, facing a busy day without food will make you sluggish and prone to grinding to a halt.
- Incorporate fruit into breakfast. Full of vital vitamins and minerals, fruit is also refreshing and delicious and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
- A smoothie is a perfect start, especially if you’re not really a breakfast person. Blend some fresh fruit into milk or yogurt, add some nutritious seeds like flaxseed, and enjoy – you could even use frozen fruits for an ice-cold treat that tastes far more indulgent than it is.
- Make breakfast more substantial by having eggs on toast. Full of protein, the eggs can be served on a slice or two of seeded bread or toast and will keep you going right up until lunchtime.
7. Get Moving
Make exercise an integral part of your Monday morning (and every morning).
- It doesn’t have to involve joining a gym or hitting the pool; why not invest in a pair of decent shoes and head for the park or even the streets for a run? It’s a great cardio workout.
- Devise your own program which you can do from the comfort of your own bedroom floor. Push-ups, sit-ups, and squats will really stretch those muscles and get you in the mood for the week ahead.
- Take a brisk walk with your dog if you have one. Particularly good for those who are new to exercising, walking the dog will benefit both of you, and it’s something which can be increased in intensity the fitter you get.
8. Nurture Loving Relationships
Going to work on an argument or even just without saying goodbye is bad for the soul, and will cast a shadow over the whole day. Love makes the world go round, so take steps to ensure that you are nurturing the relationships in your life.
- Start the day off on the right footing by leaving last night’s or last week’s bad feeling where it belongs. Not only is Monday a new day, but it’s the start of a new week, so make sure you begin it with an open heart and a clear conscience.
- Always take the time to kiss them goodbye, whether it’s your parents, your spouse, or your kids. Loving and being loved is as important for the soul as good food is for the body but it doesn’t come with a calorific value, so give and receive as much as you can.
- Let them know how you feel. A simple ‘I love you’ will always work, but so will an unexpected text, a phone call, or a note left in a lunchbox. What a wonderful way to bring a smile to someone’s face.
9. Always Make Your Bed
This sounds like a strange one, and it can be tempting to just jump out of bed and leave it – after all, you’ll be getting back into it in another 18 or so hours. But it actually plays a very important part in your routine.
- It’s the first task of the day. As mundane as it feels, making your bed will spur you on to do the next task, and the one after that, and the one after that. Get the first job of the week out of the way, and the rest will be easy.
- It draws a line in the sand. Looking at an unmade bed, still crumpled and warm from the night, is a temptation you just don’t need, especially on a cold winter’s morning when it’s still dark outside. Making the bed, smoothing the covers, and plumping the pillows is a way of marking the difference between the night before, and the day ahead.
10. Be Present
When you’re rushing around, getting ready for work, or school, or family life, it is all too easy to miss what’s actually going on around you. Make a conscious effort to notice what’s happening in the here and now, and learn to find joy in the little things.
- Stop and listen to the birds singing. Sounds corny, doesn’t it? But the truth is, birdsong is an incredibly beautiful thing to hear, and most of the time we miss it because we are too busy with life. Stand and appreciate the sounds, and smile at the wonder of nature.
- Turn every negative into a positive. We’ve all been late for work after being held up in roadworks or traffic jams. Remember the podcast we talked about? Listen to one on your way to work, and be grateful that the extra 20 minutes allows you to take in even more motivation!
By changing your mindset, you can literally turn Monday on its head, making it the best day of the week instead of the worst. It’s a fresh start, full of possibilities and the chance to forget the stresses and strains of the past week and focus on having an even better one this week.
Remember, the dread we so often associate with Monday is nothing to do with the day itself, but rather what it signifies; the end of the weekend, another five days of work, or something which stops you from doing what you really want to do. By changing your mindset and adopting some or all of the practices above, you can turn that negativity around. Let’s look at those points:
- It’s the end of the weekend so take it as a chance to recharge your batteries, ready for the next weekend. While ‘all work and no play does indeed make Jack a dull boy, the same can be said in reverse…’ all play and no work’ will make Jack a hedonist with no sense of purpose and no sense of satisfaction.
- It’s another five days of work. And thank goodness for that, because if you didn’t work, you wouldn’t have the money to do all the things you love on the weekend. Appreciate the fact that you can work and can earn money, and use the working week to constantly improve yourself so you can enjoy those weekends off.
- It stops you from doing what you really want to do. No, it doesn’t. Without work, the weekends would lose all meaning. You’d never get that Friday Feeling, never look forward to the time off, and your days and weeks would just all fade into each other.
So work hard to play hard, and you’ll find that your life is enriched exponentially.