Apparently one of the reasons that we don’t stick to New Year’s resolutions is the fact that we make them at the wrong time of year and in the wrong state of mind.
It’s dark and gloomy outside, the festive season has been and gone, you probably eat, drank, and spent too much and all there is to look forward to is the long dark, joyless months of January and February.
What kind of resolutions do we make in that state? Ones driven by guilt and designed to remedy overindulgence I would wager.
I am inclined to think that Mondays are very similar.
So often we sit ourselves down at the desk after an enjoyable weekend and resolutely begin our ‘to do’ list. How long is it then before we find ourselves staring out of the window or scrolling through social media looking for inspiration?
Is there another way?
I definitely think so and here are my top tips to help.
1. Give up on ‘to do’ lists. Use ‘to done’ lists instead i.e., at the end of the day write down everything you did (no matter how big or small) and then draw a very satisfying line through each one.
2. Use the ‘tough nut option’. Put the meeting that you are least looking forward to in your diary for first thing Monday morning. Hard though it may seem it will certainly wake you up, even if it is painfully so and once it is over, the rest of the week will look golden in comparison.
3. Don’t start your week at the desk. Get out and exercise preferably with something like a walk or even a swim or possibly a yoga/Pilates class. This will fire up your neurons and never fail to give you a fresh perspective. It was a strategy favoured by everyone from Charles Dickens to Steve Jobs.
4. Use the ‘Test/Reward’ strategy. Go through your diary for the week ahead and block out some time to ‘Reward’ yourself first. Once you’ve done this, then work backwards to find the ‘Test’ slots that you’ll reward yourself for, this could be things like a difficult meeting, finishing a report or updating your website. This is very counterintuitive to how we have been taught to act so don’t worry if it makes you feel uncomfortable at first.
5. Stay light. Keeping the endorphins flowing and a bigger sense of possibility alive is vital so don’t sit there in silence. Put on some music, sing and dance abit and maybe mind map your ideas. This helps access that deliciously creative right hemisphere of the brain rather than the dull old sequential logical left hemisphere.
6. Stay flexible. All good plans in my book are D.I.M – Demanding, Imaginative and Moveable. If a good opportunity pops up then take it and move things around to suit and make Wednesday’s ‘Test’ Friday’s instead.
7. Remind yourself how well you are doing, enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Spend some time reading or thinking back to what you have achieved in the last week, month or even the past year.
8. Make Friday the new Monday. Plan your week ahead on Friday afternoon or perhaps Saturday morning when you have a bit more time and you have moreenergy.
9. Remember you are human. Make sure you take time to be a ‘human being’ and not just a ‘human doing’, save time in your life for things outside of work, your partner, children, friends, or self-care.
10.Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go to plan. Sometimes you get loads done and sometimes you don’t, that’s life.
Here at Best Foot Forward, I tend to play around with a strapline or mantra of ‘Walk, Talk, Dream’ and then words like ‘Plan, Do, Act’ which I use to get me motivated.
If you’d like further help with Monday motivation to help with planning or getting things done, or even deciding your New Year resolutions then drop me a line.