Successful Monday Mornings: My how-to guide

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It’s easy to let Monday, or any day for that matter, get the best of us. Any day of the week can quickly drain us, but there is something about Monday’s that people dread, fear, and hate like none else.

Quite frankly, a few years back I got sick of it and realized that it was just a day, like all the rest. I slowly adapted more and more ways to endure and embrace this dreadful day and soon it became my favorite day of the week. Some call me crazy, but I promise you it’s possible for you, too!

I promise you if you take the time to read through these next ten tips and put at least half of them into practice, you’re going to have a much better Monday. I can’t promise you that you’ll love them like I do , and I can’t promise you that it will be life changing, but if you open your mind for a bit and give it a shot, you might just be surprised at the outcome.

Eternal perspective – Get your mind right, get your heart right!

Nothing is more important. Mental perspective is a big part to why people hate Monday’s. Most commonly,  people put what they HAVE to do on Monday’s and what they GET to do on the weekends in a mental comparison chart and the pros of the weekend slaughter the cons of Monday’s workload.  First of all, you should reverse that, you GET to do what you do on Monday, nothing is promised – that job you hate included.

Secondly, it’s so important that you maintain proper perspective. First thing Monday morning when you wake up, get your mind right, and get your heart right. Remember that this is not our home, this is a temporary place (check out Hebrews 13:14-21), the things of this world, the problems and worries we have don’t hold a candlestick to the joy that will be revealed to us in Heaven (Romans 8:18). Make sure you’re not sweating the small things.

The Bible says that those that seek God early will find Him. When you wake up, before you can get effected by emails and social media updates, get that cup of coffee, open your bible and spend time with the Lord. Fixate yourself upon Jesus. When you do this, it’s so much harder to be miserable, when you think of all that Jesus has done for you, it’s not possible to let the small things have such an effect on you.

Also, I just touched on it but I want to emphasize it: don’t wake up and get brought down by some of the menial tasks you have to do that day, or get envious and jealous by waking up and starting the day rolling over in your bed and going through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds and being mad or jealous of so and so’s life or what so and so’s doing today. This is your day. Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.

 

Workout – What an accomplishment first thing in the morning!

It’s scientifically proven that working out in the morning is the best time of the day to workout. Not only will you jump start your metabolism, among other benefits, but by the time you’re done at 7 or 8am, you’ve already accomplished more than many will all day. The accomplishment of a great workout is a wonderful feeling to have under your belt at 8am.

Working out early in the morning also gives you a lot of quiet time to actually think, which our culture full of ADD has wiped away. Chances are you’re not going to get interrupted by clients or your boss, or be prone to checking social media activity at 6am, so this time allows you that time to wake up and get your mind and heart right. This extra quiet time when waking up, when driving to the gym, etc. can give you time to set goals, think about what you want to accomplish, dwell on positives, instead of negatives, and so forth (which leads me to point 3 in a minute).

One more quick encouragement about working out in the morning. Often times, those who work out in the morning, tend to eat healthier throughout the day. Since each morning is a fresh start, it’s also a fresh start for your health. It’s a lot easier to make a decision to have a healthy breakfast or healthy lunch or eat even eat healthy all day long, when you’ve already put in such great work at the gym. One good decision often leads to another!

 

Gratefulness – Always be grateful!

Be grateful. No matter what you do, in all things, be grateful. It’s been said before that misery and gratefulness can’t coexist. I know there can be thoughts and happenings that weigh heavy on our hearts and get us down, but one quick way to combat that is to just start rattling off things you’re grateful for. Doing this not only makes you more aware of the positives, but it can change your brain to focus on the positives instead of negatives, and your brain can slowly start to do the same thing in different areas of your life.

Personally, I keep a (third) white board in my office and every so often I erase the entire board and fill it up with things I’m grateful for (see pic here of the last one). A client of one of my companies has a website called TheGratitudeJar.com. I highly recommend checking it out and being inspired by what others contribute as what they are grateful for and maybe even get in a habit of sharing your own gratitude’s. After a while, it will really make you dig deep for things you’re grateful for!

 

Fulfill your passion – Find a job you love working!

I’m not saying it’s easy, I understand the economy and the job crisis we’re facing, but there’s no reason for you to do something you hate. If you hate your job, it’s going to majorly contribute to you dreading Mondays. Who wants to get up after relaxing all weekend and having a good time and going to a job they hate? A good way around this is to find a job you love! Don’t’ just work a job to make money, find a career that fulfills you and that lets you channel passion and energy somewhere where the return will feel good and fill you with purpose. Working a job just to get a paycheck often times leaves people feeling like they have no purpose, and contributing to one’s misery.

I can tell you first hand and as honest as anyone can be, I love what I do. I run multiple companies offering various online technologies and I couldn’t be happier doing it. Sunday nights I am excited that in a few short hours I get to start working on Monday mornings. I’m excited to engage with my clients, I’m excited to see what the team is doing, I’m excited for growth, I’m just excited. I usually even get a head start on Sundays so that I can stay ahead of my workload. Lowering your workload can lead to reduced pressure and stress causing happiness and the ability to look forward to the week. That ability to look forward to the week can cause positive momentum that lets it not only be a good Monday, but a good week!

 

Fake a smileIt might sound crazy but it actually helps!

I’ve known one of my best friends and business partners (Mike Farin) for 13 years – half my life. About the time I met him he taught me something that to this day he still reminds me to do: fake a smile. Even if you’re not in the best mood, even if you have a lot going on, even if you think you have nothing to smile about (such a stupid thought), fake a smile, and watch it lead to real ones!

For more on faking a smile and the benefits it has, check out the article Forbes published a few months ago, called Why Faking a Smile Is a Good Thing: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2013/02/26/fake-smile/

Want even more? Try these, too!

Head Start: Overwhelmed by what you have to do on Monday? Take a few hours on Sunday to get a head start on the week. Take a little bit of that down time and leverage it towards making Monday’s work load that much more tolerable. As I mentioned it above, it might even take away that extra ounce of pressure/stress that puts you over the edge and puts you in the category of “having a bad day.” Nobody likes to be behind and getting ahead can make all the difference in the world at times.

Associations: Don’t associate yourself with miserable people; they will just bring you down. Don’t believe me? Stand up on a chair, have someone else stand on the ground. Is it easier for you to pull them up, or for them to pull you down? Think about it. Surround yourself with people that motivate and inspire you. Also, make it a priority to encourage those around you and not drag them down!

Shower Head:  Simple but try it! Get a shower head with great water pressure. Having great water pressure and a great shower head and can almost be a mini-massage and contribute to de-stressing you nice and early in the morning. Who doesn’t love a massage? (even a mini one by the means of a great shower!)

 

I can whole heartily tell you that the tips I’ve mentioned above have led Monday’s to being my favorite day of the week. If you put the above tips into action, I can almost guarantee you that you will have a much better Monday. I can’t promise you’ll be as hyped as some people, but work your way there! Imagine if you go from hating Mondays to tolerating them, then from tolerating them to liking them, then from liking them to looking forward to them!

Going back to one of the above tips on associations, it wouldn’t hurt to inspire others and share these tips with them either. Use the buddy system to try to keep each other motivated and accountable! Anyways, take the first step. Set that alarm for 5-6am Monday morning and when it goes off and you so quickly are about to hit snooze, remember, you set that alarm for a reason.

JB