We’ve all been here, haven’t we? The alarm goes off on Monday morning, and the last thing we want to do is get up and start another week. We’re groggy, we’re not ready to handle the workaday stresses. Maybe your job is pure drudgery and the last place you want to be. Monday is the great tester of our patience every week, and some of the time, based on our attitudes and our actions, we lose.
What if there was a way to greet that Monday morning alarm with enthusiasm, and to start the day clear headed and with enough get up and go to take you through the day? What if Monday became not only just like every other day during the week, but the day you got things done? I have some ideas that might point you in that right direction.
HOW TO KICK BUTT EVERY MONDAY
Start the night before — Yes, we like to play hard during the weekend nights, nut really, Sunday night should be your night to relax and make sure you get a good nights sleep. Just like our parents used to tell us, ‘It’s a school night’, we should take that same advice to heart on nights where we have work the next day. We’re going to have a lot to do in the mornings to get you going, so get your full eight hours (yes, I believe that 7-8 hours of sleep a night sets you up for a great day.)
No Snoozing — The snooze button is the worst invention ever made, and we really shouldn’t give ourselves that crutch. I’ve been as guilty as anyone else in wanting five or 10 more minutes, but I find that the more often I get a full night’s sleep, the less I need that button. I wake up naturally, and I’m ready to get up.
Visualize the day — Before you jump out of that bed, take that five minutes you would have spent bargaining with The Sandman for more time and visualize all the things you have to do that day, and see yourself knocking every single task you need to perform right out of the park. In my case, that’s finding content to write about later, finding material for podcasts, that’s performing at top level at my day job, that’s even being receptive to my daily dose of Dharma.
No Email — Do NOT go straight to your PC first thing in the morning and check email or social media. I find that email and social media first thing in the morning sets you up for feeling poorly. The trick here is to get up and get moving. Trust me, the PC can wait. Morning is for YOU.
Read/AM Journal — I have recently started by reading some of whatever book I’ve been reading first thing in order to get my brain going for about fifteen minutes. Then I take out my Journal — not an electronic one, good old fashioned pen and paper, thanks— and do a little morning brain dump of what’s in my head right now. No editing, get it all out onto the paper. Any projects or ideas that I need to work on, I’ll transfer to my calendar or whatever project software is appropriate later.
Fuel — Now a lot of folks talk about a hearty breakfast. I’m not one of those people. I find I can’t eat big first thing in the morning. However, I usually have a protein shake first thing in the morning along with my caffeine. Yes, I have to have some caffeine first thing in the morning. I’ve tried mornings with and without caffeine, and I find that my attitude is much better with it, thank you very much. However, nothing beats water first thing in the morning. Drink a bottle of water before you hit the protein shake or the caffeine. Your body is probably giving you a whole bunch of signals first thing in the morning, and one of those ought to be that you’re thirsty. Pay attention to that one, it’s probably one of the best things you can do to succeed at your day
Get Moving — I used to work out at night before bed, thinking it would tire me out. Boy was I wrong! Working out before bed gets you wired. So, get moving. Get a gym membership, or get on the road and get walking or running, whatever you think you’re able to do physically. Don’t push yourself, though. No one needs to get injured on a Monday morning, and of course if you’re under a doctor’s care, make sure you talk to them before you start some exercise program. I’ll talk to you about my exercise program in another post.
Meditate — You’re going to find a whole bunch of blog posts by people wiser then I about meditation, so I will only share what it does for me personally. Meditation twice a day for a minimum of 10 minutes each has brought me a peace and calm I never thought I could achieve. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it. There are many apps that help with guided and unguided meditation, I use the Headspace app for iOS, previous to that I used a simple timer called Meditate by Simpletouch. The latter is one that can be used on older iOS devices. Try it for seven days, I think you’ll see some results in even that short amount of time. Once you do, you’ll never want to go without it.
Cleanup Time — once you get back, take that hot shower and get ready to take on your day!
Mondays do not have to be the bringer of bad news and heartache. You can jump out of bed and kick maximum ass first thing in the morning and the momentum will carry you through the rest of the day. If you’re lucky, It will carry you through a week of awesome that you’ll want to repeat over and over.
Do you have any tried and true rituals on Monday mornings (or any other day) that get you set up for a GREAT day? Share them with us.