‘I’ll start on Monday.’
I feel like we’ve all said this at one point, myself included. Whether it’s putting off eating healthy or working out, Monday seems to be the magical start day for any fitness journey. The promise of a new week invokes images of a better, stronger willed self that will magically get things done that your old self could only dream of.
Everything will be better on Monday, right?
That’s rarely ever the case. Thing is, we are still the same person we were the day before magical Monday. The only thing that has changed is that we’ve lost those previous few days between the decision to wait till Monday and the start of the week. In that time, we’ve told ourselves that our goal is not worth pursuing unless perfect conditions are met. What’s so special about Monday?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Mondays. The issue with the Monday Mentality is that most of us don’t prepare to truly get started. We assume that our future selves will just know what to do. And life is suddenly bending to our every whim and desire. Let’s say you tell yourself that you’ll start on Monday. You go to sleep on Sunday night (let’s be real, it’s technically Monday morning because you stayed up watching the latest Netflix binge-worthy show on your cell phone while laying in bed) and you set your alarm for your regular wake up time. The alarm goes off, you’re feeling groggy and realize you have 30 minutes to pull yourself together and get yourself to work. You’re already out the door and dodging morning traffic when you realize that you didn’t pack your healthy lunch.
Wasn’t Monday you supposed to have it all together?
Nevermind that, you’ll just pick up a salad from the nearest fast food place during your lunch break. The rest of the day drags on by, you’re frustrated with your coworker for not pulling their weight, your body is begging for a nap and you cannot wait to leave for lunch. When noon finally rolls around, you’re ravenous and you realize it’s because you also forgot to eat breakfast in your morning haste. The salad you’ve ordered doesn’t look as appetizing as it did in your head. You dump the whole packet of the ranch it came within an attempt to make it taste better, not reading the nutrition label on the back that states that it’s 2 servings.
When the end of the day finally rolls around and you tiredly drag yourself home, you toss yourself on the couch and lay there to try and collect yourself from the long day you’ve just had. You’ll head to the gym later, you just need a second. You eventually go to your closet to try and pick out something to workout in and can’t find anything because the laundry hasn’t been sorted.
You settle for the first thing you find deemable to sweat in and head out the door.
When you arrive at the gym, you’re a little overwhelmed with the number of people there and you’re not sure where to even start. Are you supposed to try and do every machine once? Who even knows? Awkwardly, you try to get started on the machine that looks vaguely familiar because you saw some Instagram fit chick using it. Woah, it’s not as easy as she made it seem and you’re a bit uncomfortable because you’re convinced everyone is staring at you.
Forget this, just hop on the treadmill for a bit. You get a text from that coworker of yours and you slow down the tread’s pace so you can text a reply and answer a question you swear you’ve answered at least 10 times before. Before you know it, the tread’s self-timer of 30 minutes starts slowing you down to its preset cool down pace and you call it a day there. You go home and shower and your stomach starts rumbling. You haven’t had anything to eat since that soggy salad. And you dig through the freezer and you find freezer-burned broccoli and Hot Pockets.
Well you worked out today, right? You burned off those extra calories so you deserve the tastier option of the two. You stay up watching Netflix again and the rest of the week continues in this manner until you reach a point where you’re just too tired to go to the gym anymore and the salad is substituted for whatever was your go-to item on the fast-food menu from before.
Does this story sound all too familiar to you?
The problem doesn’t lie on Monday itself. The barrier here is the lack of preparation and the illusion that Monday makes everything better. This was my reason for starting this blog. If you go back and reread the scenario I just gave, I’m sure you’ll find several instances that contributed to another failed attempt at lifestyle change. Not every choice and misstep was based on food and exercise. My goal is to help others learn how to manage their time, set boundaries, and rethink their approach to healthier living in order to make it a reality rather than a crash diet that leaves you feeling defeated.
You felt the desire to read this today. You feel ready, you feel motivated. So maybe you don’t eat kale and run 5 miles today, that’s ok. Getting started doesn’t mean you begin to live your life perfectly. Your start may be looking up workout plans that seem feasible and doable for you. Maybe you contact a few friends to let them know about your new goal and form an accountability group. You could take a look at your grocery list and update what does and doesn’t need to be there. You start by laying the foundation that’s ultimately going to make your new lifestyle feel achievable.
Doesn’t matter if you read this on a Monday or a Wednesday. Your start, however small, can be today.