The Power of Mondays
The reason that so many societies celebrate the New Year (regardless of when or how) is because, intuitively, we all understand how important beginnings are. The power of Mondays to massively increase your fitness is really the power of beginnings — it’s the power of beginning things the way you want them to end. I’d like to share with you how I learned about Mondays for myself:
While my wife was pregnant I started having a lot of sympathy ice cream consumption and weight gain. Since I don’t wear slacks to work I didn’t really notice my waistline expanding, until I had to wear them to Synagogue. Not being able to button my slacks was a wake up call to get my rear in gear and do a better job of following my own advice!
Progress was frustratingly slow because I kept hitting the same wall over and over again: whenever a week had one too many emergencies I’d get consumed and wake up on Thursday morning realizing four things — (1) I owned a gym, (2) I hadn’t worked out once this week, (3) I was already booked from 6am-8pm, and (4) it was too late to rescue the week and get all my workouts done and still honor things like family night.
There is a happy ending to this story. At this point I’m consistently in the best shape of my life, and I’m swimming in the slacks that I used to not be able to button. It’s not because the circumstances of my life have changed — my daughter never lets me sleep in, and my work hours have gone up a bit. It’s not because I’m more disciplined that I used to be. The different is the power of Mondays — I’ve made Monday’s sacred instead of optional.
When I was floundering and there were emergencies (or I felt way behind), then I would often postpone a Monday workout to allow for more work time. When I look back at my calendar I realize that these were the weeks where there was no exercise until Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Now I do the opposite — the more demanding Monday looks the more I know that I must make Monday happen (even if I only get 30–40min) so I can keep up with the week.
These are my top 3 suggestions for applying the power of Mondays so that you end your week the way you want to (closer to your goals of increased health , energy and/or health, and/or weight loss).
1. Grocery shopping and food prep: having this done on Sunday or Monday makes eating right pretty easy.
2. Getting your first workout done: getting this done no latter than Tuesday sets you up for success regardless of how your week turns out.
3. Scheduling “the big three”: the big three are the three most important things you will do for your health and fitness over a week — (a) at least three workout, (b) grocery shopping, (c) food prep. It’s not enough to only have these appointments in your head, put them in your calendar with a day, time and a place.
One important and positive thing to keep in mind is that no matter how bad this week is going, there is a fresh week coming soon, and you can always make sure that you get that one started right!
Josef Brandenburg is a Washington D.C.-area fitness expert with 16 years of experience and co-author of the international best-selling book “Results Fitness.” In 2004, he started True 180 Fitness (formerly The Body You Want) personal training program, which specializes in helping you get the body you want in the time you have available. Learn more about Josef on his blog, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, or check out his fitness videos on YouTube.