Another Monday! For many, today is your day 1. No wonder we all look down on Mondays!
We are always confident on Mondays and full of good intentions. Today, we’re trying a new, super healthy recipe, found on Pinterest and heading to the gym. Tuesday, a little less enthusiastic, but still! We do not let go, we want to get into our beautiful jeans. Wednesday arrives, the routine and our new habits start to get to us. Thursday, forget the gym! At this point, we are burnt out and we are not having anymore fun. Friday, finally! We always have a little extra energy on Fridays; the weekend is coming, the work week is almost finished, we will soon be able to relax a bit. Saturday and Sunday is a free for all! What!? We’ve been so strict all week, we just have one life to live anyway! And here we are Monday, day 1 again!
A lot of times when this happens to us, we mistakenly believe that we haven’t put in enough effort, that we are not determined enough, that we lack willpower. But the reality is that a lot of times we do too much, too quickly. This infernal circle plays a lot on our self-esteem. You end up seeing yourself as someone who is incapable of being successful. We come to think that it’s okay to let go when it gets too hard. You end up accepting that this person you’re trying to change is the new you. Why fight if it doesn’t work? Because you are worth it and you deserve to be the person you want to be.
So here are some tips I give to my clients to restore their confidence and motivate them to make lasting changes.
First, forget about day 1. Day 1 is now, even though you ate junk food, that you haven’t moved all day. We must stop seeing Monday as a starting point. In the same vein, we must stop seeing Saturdays and Sundays as vacation days where anything goes. This way, weekends become less prone to abuse and Mondays become Mondays again and not day 1. The easiest way to change that is to try and take advantage of all the days of the week and have fun. ‘stop waiting on Saturdays to live. Reading a book, going to the movies, taking a relaxing bath or even dancing in your living room, it doesn’t have to be on a Saturday to be fun.
Second, set yourself small goals. When we set small goals that are easy to achieve, we rebuild our self-confidence. Example: today I walk 15 minutes outside.
Third, put your energy on just one thing. This week you want to drink more water OR be active for 30 minutes OR eat more vegetables. Much less disheartening like that.
Fourth, you have no choice. When we allow ourselves to have a choice, we give ourselves the right to give up. You promised yourself 30 minutes of exercise, you do it. This is really the best way not to give up. We’re all good at convincing ourselves not to do something we hate!
Fifth, start with one day at a time. When you set goals for a week or a month, it can seem big when you start. When it’s your third day and your head hurts and you are tired, a month can seem far away and almost impossible to accomplish.
Sixth, be prepared for the unexpected. If it’s not a sick child, it’s a rush dossier or a last-minute invitation. Life is full of the unexpected! If you’re too rigid with your routine, something unexpected can easily bring you back to your old ways. It’s not hard to double up a recipe and freeze some of it for those days when you don’t have time to cook. Find some workout videos on YouTube for the days when you can’t go to the gym.
Seventh, be prepared to manage your family and friends. Ideally everyone should be encouraging, but this isn’t always the case. Some will be jealous while others will miss the old you. And sometimes, that can cause these people to discourage you or influence you to make bad choices (eg: don’t go to the gym, have an extra drink, go to bed late, etc.). It can be difficult to hold out in front of the people you love, hence the importance of being prepared.
Eighth, have fun. If it’s heavy, you haven’t been able to socialize, and you never feel like you’re doing things for fun, you’re going to let go. Personally, I like to cook while listening to loud music. I sing at the top of my lungs and it makes me happy! I like to include my children in my training. We spend quality time together and I feel less guilty for taking time for myself. I like to take a bath with Epsom salt and essential oils to relax my sore muscles. It’s up to you to find what you love and see how you can incorporate it into your new life.
9. Ninth and last tip: be constant. Being consistent is the key to success. Always making an effort without being perfect is better than being perfect only 2-3 days a week.
Good luck and have a good Monday!