Mondays: The way you begin your week, is the way you will live your week
At the start of the official working week, Mondays are the day when we get a fresh start. The time of the week when our good health and fitness intentions can be used to our advantage if and how we know the right way to implement healthy lifestyle changes and maintain them. A well organised and planned Monday can ultimately mean that 3 to 4 days of our week are on track and when you translate that into calorie intake, meal planning and exercise sessions, 3 to 4 good days ultimately means weight loss over the course of a week.
Unfortunately for many of us, Monday mornings start in a rushed and frazzled state, in which we are happy to have simply made it to work as opposed to starting the week fresh, organised and on track with your diet and weight loss goals. If you adhere to the mantra, ‘the way you start your day is the way you live your day’, there is much to be said for making a concerted effort to start each Monday on the right foot, especially when it comes to having your food and exercise plans ready to help you keep focused and make positive progress, especially if your goal is weight loss.
While starting Monday’s right will largely depend on how much time you have dedicated to getting organised over the weekend, if you consider that Mondays are an opportunity to reboot, recharge and kick-start your week after the weekend is a great way to take control of your diet again. There is some evidence to show that including low calorie food days as part of your overall calorie intake is a great way to give the metabolism boost and also a way to compensate when things have gone off track over the weekend. Knowing that Monday has been reserved for light foods and low calorie eating will help to get rid of the extra fluid and bloating that accompanies a weekend filled with alcohol and high fat, high salt foods. Eating lightly reminds us of how good we feel when we eat lightly and get back in touch with our hunger and satiety signals and it also helps us to drop the couple of kg that tend to be gained after a weekend filled with social engagements.
Learning to start Monday beautifully
There is more and more evidence to show that seeking out simple pleasures in our day to day lives is an important determinant of well-being. With so many of juggling so many balls and constantly working toward the big goals of houses, careers, children and even retirement, it can be easy to get so caught up in working and planning for the future that we forget to enjoy the here and now- taking the time on a daily and weekly basis to savour and thoroughly enjoy life’s simple pleasure such as eating, relaxing and enjoying the company of those important to us. This means being mindful and aware of the small aspects of each of our days that come together to determine how much we are enjoying our experience of living and how much we are simply getting through each day.
When it comes to starting a new week, this means that somehow we need to learn to love our Mondays and start them beautifully. It means sitting an enjoying breakfast; it means taking time out to plan the week ahead and outline what you are keen to achieve, it means being grateful that you are here at all to enjoy a brand new week, rather than cursing the very fact that yet another week is about to start. For some of us this may come naturally with a new week signally a new start but others may need to do some work to learn to appreciate Mondays rather than hate them.
Get up early
Successful people generally get up early and make the most of their time. They understand that all of us are generally playing a time game, with time being one of our precious resources that we simply cannot get back. If you consider that getting out of bed an hour earlier during the week days,w ill give you a an extra two whole days each year, imaging if you could get up even earlier.
Whether an early morning start helps to get extra chores completed, allows time for your to exercise or simply represents an hour or two when you enjoy some peace and quiet, the feeling of starting your day gently without rushing is a sure fire way to start your week in the right frame of mind.
Start off on the right foot
For many people looking to start the week right, this means starting with some exercise and there is no better way to kick start a Monday than with a brisk walk or run to kick start the metabolism and get you in the right frame of mind for eating well and maintaining your exercise program.
One of the biggest issues when it comes to making a concerted effort to factor regular exercise into your lifestyle is the belief patterns that accompany the thought of regular training. Exercise does not need to mean numerous hours spent at the gym in an uncomfortable and sweaty state – it can simply mean walking to work or getting off the bus or train a stop earlier. Simply committing to small but regular exercise on a daily basis is often the difference between weight control or not.
Make your lists
Another Monday habit that is likely to serve you well over many years is to start each week with a clear, write to do list. Operating in the same way as goals help to direct and guide behaviour, writing a to do list helps to keep us on track with the bigger picture plans we have for ourselves and helps to keep our behaviours and choices on track especially during times in which it is easy to get distracted and also get to the end of week feeling as if we have not achieved anything. Get into the habit of sitting for 5 minutes each Monday morning and making a note of the key things you want to have achieved by the end of the week. You will be surprised how much easier it is to keep focused when you know what you are supposed to be concentrating on.
Put the kettle on
Another powerful Monday morning habit is to start the day with a cup of herbal tea. Not only does drink tea or even water help to rehydrate you but the simple habit of starting the day with the kettle on acts as a constant reminder of your commitment to health and well-being for the week ahead.