Win Today with Christopher Cook

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How to Beat the Case of the “Mondays”

Last week, I was in a conversation about personal goals and dreams with a friend. As we delved into our talk, however, it became glaringly apparent that conquering the world (so-to-speak) was not as much as a priority for him as…well…conquering Monday. And that really got me thinking. Surely, he wasn’t the only one who had the same thought. What if, despite having a great team, a stress-free commute to work, and a pretty predictable 9-5 gig (all the factors that should suggest a slow pitch into the new week), a strong case of the Mondays insidiously siphons people’s everyday drive?

Can you relate? How many of you finish the weekend with expectations for the coming week that resembles the same excitement had in aggressive dental work?

I see those hands and I can totally relate.

When I was in high school and college especially, I dreaded the end of the weekend. Packing my lunch, wrapping-up homework, and anticipating the ensuing exams turned my stomach into knots quite unnecessarily.

Ugh. Back to the grind.

Kick Monday in the Face

In the last few years, however, I came to the realization (and probably maturity) that it doesn’t have to be that way. Monday doesn’t have to suck. Sure, the morning alarm invades like a bull in a china shop, but other than that, what’s stopping us from ending the weekend with expectation for the coming week? Diving deeper, what if consistency in our everyday life was precisely the ingredient needed to create momentum on which meaningful progress towards future growth was built? I believe it is. And it all starts by making peace with Monday.

My friend, getting from point A to point B—from where you are to where you want to be—is going to include a lot of “Mondays,” both figuratively and literally. And what you need more than willpower or a slick pep talk is clarity—clarity to reframe your approach to everyday life, because after all, most of life happens in “the middle.”

If you’re like me and need a paradigm shift about Monday, here are four bulletproof strategies to create more stability in your week-to-week life:

Four Bulletproof Strategies to Beating the “Mondays”

1.) “Land” the weekend smoothly. How’s your Sunday night routine? Too often, we set ourselves up for exhaustion on Monday morning by running hard late in the weekend. When I was in my early 20’s and didn’t have class until noon on Monday, it worked, but as I stepped into my career, things had to change. In the last couple years especially, I’ve learned that I need to establish a Sunday night routine that’s relaxing and enjoyable. Whether it’s a simple dinner and a movie, coffee with friends, or light outdoor exercise, do something that feeds your soul for the next week.

2.) Reframe your mindset. Monday shows up every week. But so does Friday. Don’t dread the entrance into Monday with heart pangs to race to Friday as quickly as possible because you’ll miss the middle. And often, we miss the fact that the good stuff is in the middle, just like…

The middle of a sandwich (without the middle, it’s just plain bread).
The middle of a molten chocolate cake.
The middle of sushi (Yes, Lord).
The greatest middle of them all: the middle of a Chipotle burrito.

Just to drive my point home, I will bring clarity to the analogy. Whether you realize it or not, the majority of life is lived in-between significant events and milestone moments, not in them. If you discount the value of your everyday life, you’ll easily slip into autopilot, waiting for that next “thrill” moment.

3.) Make Monday night count. One of my favorite cures for the Mondays is to plan in advance for a relaxing evening. Over the weekend, I meal plan for Monday and Tuesday so that I don’t have to think about cooking when I get home from a long day (especially because I work 10 hours on Monday). Upon arriving home, I publish my blog, put dinner together, put my phone out of reach, and turn on a game or read a book. It’s like an emotional reward after a long day of work.

4.) Choose your attitude. Is Monday really worth dreading? Our attitude, whether positive or negative, is a choice. You’ve heard me say this before, but it bears repeating: nothing can stop the person with a good attitude, but nothing can help the person with a bad attitude, other than an adjustment of attitude. Friend, we must learn how to take responsibility for our feelings and the expression thereof.

If you don’t deal with the “Mondays,” consider yourself fortunate! As for me, I’ve benefited greatly by implementing these strategies. Doing so is a weekly choice, but one that has paid dividends in my life.

I trust they’ll serve you well, too.

  • Kathy Craig

    We need to tweet this: “Nothing can stop the person with a good attitude, but nothing can help
    the person with a bad attitude, other than an adjustment of attitude.” This is a great motto for teenagers as well!

    • Thanks, Kathy! It has been one of my token statements to my teams for years. So true, isn’t it?