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Jul 06

Monday Mindset. Our Favorite Day to Make Changes.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Monday

 

It’s Monday.

It’s Monday following a holiday.

It’s Monday following a holiday where many people spent time at the beach.

 

That trifecta might have led you to wake up this morning determined to “get back on track”, to “drink more water”, to “exercise more and eat better”. Well, good for you!! You’ve picked a perfect day to start.

 

Let me be clear. I could spend some time explaining there is no “track”. Health is a lifestyle and it should be routine. Taking care of yourself should be business as usual. It should be something you do on Saturday as well as Monday. That’s not my point with this post though.

 

My intention isn’t even to tell you, “Monday is not a better day than any other day to start whatever it is you’re starting.” Sure, that’s been the recent movement, and I do believe it. So long as you’re determined to make a change, you can be successful no matter whether you start on Wednesday or Friday, on the 1st of the month or the 18th.

 

There is absolutely nothing “magical” about Monday.

 

Except….

 

This little thing called, “human nature”.

 

You see, human nature is suspect to what behavioral scientists call, “the fresh start effect”. Ever wonder why so many people resolve to start exercising, eat better, quit smoking, or otherwise make major changes, on the 1st of January? We like aligning our new beginnings. We like to start things on Monday, on our birthday, the start of a new season or month, and as we start a new year. In, The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior, by Milkman, Dai and Riis conclusively shows that Google searches for the term, “diet” as well as gym visits and commitment to pursue goals all increase following the start of a new week, month, year, semester, birthday, or holiday.

 

Why? The scientists believe we like to have clear lines. If I start my diet on Monday, everything that happened prior to Monday, before this week started, doesn’t matter. I have a clean slate with the start of the new week.

 

Does it have to be this way? No.  Could you be successful if you start the journey toward your new goals, on Wednesday? Of course.

 

If you employ habit-based, incremental change, rather than trying to change every single thing you do and every single thing you eat in one day [You know that doesn’t work. You’ve tried it how many times before?] you can be successful regardless of when you start. Habit-based, incremental change, works!

 

That said; if our human nature causes us to like to start things on Monday, start on Monday! Use human nature to your benefit vice fighting against it.

 

“In fresh start moments, people feel more distant from their past failures,” says Katy Milkman, one of the lead researches in this work. “With the downward pull of failures behind us, it’s much easier to move forward.”  (Note:  under the heading of sources at the bottom of this blog, the second link is to a 3:31 minute video of Katy personally explaining this research.  Check it out!!!  Let me know what you think of the research).

 

Fact is:  it’s Monday.

You do have a clean slate. Even your biology likes it!  Use that to your advantage.

 

Whatever happened this weekend, happened. Whatever you did on the holiday is done. You cannot go back and change even one thing.  No guilt.  No worry.  No regrets.

Let it go

 

It’s Monday.  Perfect day for a fresh start.

 

The choices you make today determine the quality of your life tomorrow, and all the days there after.

 

PS

I do have a 4 year old little girl in my life so, yes, I am going to pull out some Elsa.  If you’re as fortunate as I and you have heard this 8 million 452 thousand times, you’re probably singing.  Ya.  Sorry for that.

 

Sources:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2204126

http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00266?gko=6c11d

 

4 comments

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  1. Ginger

    I agree with your post. Just today, Monday, I said “I will start my diet” right after a weekend holiday.

    1. Hatcher252

      That is too funny, Ginger. Sounds like you’re right here with me 🙂

  2. Danielle Howell

    OMG that Elsa at the end definitely brought back some days of replays… over and over again with my daughters lol!! that’s ok 🙂
    I liked what you wrote here about Mondays being a day of a fresh new start. I tend to live my life like that as well. I hold a motivational Monday call every Monday morning just because I feel that most people want Mondays to be their time of getting back on track. Like you mentioned, we are conditioned that way… it’s human nature, and as long as we keep focused on the things we really want to do, it doesn’t matter what day we start, as long as we start and stay committed.
    Much success to you!
    Danielle

    1. Hatcher252

      Thank you so much for your comment, Danielle. Much success to you as well.

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